Superintendent Hoffman and Invest in Arizona Coalition respond to Arizona Supreme Court Invest in Ed Ruling
There are, like EJ Montini was the headline in an oped yesterday (August 19, 2021) A Republican War against Children in Arizona. This is on top of their separate wars against science, reality, economic reason, and democracy.
For the past several months, her staff in the Legislature, Governor’s Office, and the Arizona Supreme Court have:
- Decided not to spend $ 12 million expanding KidsCare for poor children. They decided to spend $ 5 million funding cash prizes for racehorse owners and jockey winners.
- Enact laws to ban wearing masks in schools to curb the spread of COVID 19, play coronavirus roulette on the health and life of children, especially children under the age of 12. Politically cowardly Mr Ducey has even announced funding programs that encourage school districts and families to promote unsafe practices and spread the coronavirus.
- Pass tax cut laws to protect the ultra-rich from paying the 3.5 percent surcharge to partially fund Invest in Ed Proposition 208 coffers.
- As AZ Blue Meanie reported yesterday, the Arizona Supreme Court paved the way for funding Proposition 208 by finding, despite previous judgments to the contrary, that the promotional language contained in the proposition, as it is a tax on their friends, the The ultra-rich do not qualify for exemption from statutory spending caps.
Of course, following the Arizona Supreme Court ruling, Arizona top Republicans danced on the streets of social media.
Mr Ducey posted:
There is a clear legal way to knock down Prop 208 completely, it’s just a matter of time. Today’s judgment is very positive for the state and for taxpayers. 2 /
– Doug Ducey (@dougducey) August 19, 2021
Senate President Karen Cyber ninja bogus audit Fann also posted:
Superintendent Hoffman and Invest in Arizona Coalition respond to Arizona Supreme Court ruling.
Meanwhile, in the part of Grand Canyon State that takes care of children …
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman beat up Republicans who were salivating after the Supreme Court ruling, writing:
Today’s ruling does not change the fact that a majority of Arizonans support taxing the ultra-rich to help fund public education. The joy some take of not providing the resources they need for public school students tells you everything you need to know about their values. https://t.co/1IAJVS4E0d
– Kathy Hoffman (@Supt_Hoffman) August 19, 2021
The Invest in Arizona Coalition, a group that includes the Arizona Education Association, Stand for Children Arizona, Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Arizona Interfaith Network, and now Save Our Schools and Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association, issued its own response to the Arizona Supreme Court ruling.
It is reprinted in full below.
“INVEST IN ARIZONA (FORMERLY INVEST IN ED) RULES POLITICAL MOTIVATED, CYNIC ARIZONA HIGH COURT AGAINST PROP 208; REQUESTS GOVERNOR IMMEDIATELY CALL SPECIAL MEETING TO PREVENT PERMANENTLY UNDERFUNDED ARIZONA SCHOOLS
In a destructive, politically motivated decision related to the state’s outdated education funding cap, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that, apart from legislative action, essentially requires a lower court to overturn Prop 208, undercut, and guarantee Prop 301 that schools in Arizona are permanently underfunded.
The cynical and contradicting decision of the Ducey-filled court undermines the will of 1.7 million voters, ignores previous court precedents, and leaves the court no discretion in deciding the constitutionality of Prop 208.
Invest in Arizona coalition is calling on Governor Ducey to immediately convene a special session of the Legislature to lift the archaic spending cap on education that is at the core of the flawed verdict.
(PHOENIX) – Today, in a ruling that reeked of partisan politics and nepotism, the Arizona Supreme Court did everything it could to crush Prop 208 – Invest in Ed while forcing the lower court to do its dirty work. The move, which was passed by 1.7 million Arizona voters in November, would raise nearly $ 1 billion in K-12 education funds annually to address the state’s longstanding teacher shortage, reduce class sizes, hire auxiliaries and counselors, and Career and career expand technical education.
On April 20, the court heard oral arguments in the case of a small group of political opponents of Prop 208 – Invest in Ed, who advocated ultra-rich Arizona citizens as the final runner in the citizen initiative process simply because they opposed the outcome of an election. Now the Supreme Court, made up almost entirely of the members appointed by Governor Ducey, has agreed to represent the interests of the minority against the majority.
In this case, it is a matter of defining a “grant” for school districts. Prop 208 – Invest in Ed uses the exact language that was passed by voters in 2000 through Prop 301, which introduced a sales tax and spends about $ 300 million on schools every year. When deciding on the law passed by the voters, however, the court assumed that the legislature would not raise the upper limit for education spending, which it has already done several times for measures adopted by the legislature – in 2020. In fact, the legislature will have to do so by March 2022 again so that the school districts can spend Prop 301 funds.
Although Prop 208 – Invest in Ed made it clear that voters intended that any provision found unconstitutional could be “severed” from the full law in order to make it enforceable, the court overturned previous decisions to justify that in the case the granting problem was inseparable. Judge Timmer stated in her dissent regarding divisibility: “Today’s decision is a deviation from our earlier decisions.” (Italian added)
“This is a slap in the pit of the stomach for 1.1 million students and their families and 55,000 hardworking educators from Arizona – and a slap in the face for the 1.7 million voters who voted for these funds to go to schools. You voted for it to be a grant and severable. The Ducey-filled court had an opportunity to honor voters and uphold the rule of law, but instead passed a legally contradicting, politically motivated, and manipulative judgment, ”said Rebecca Gau, executive director of Stand for Children Arizona.
Joe Thomas, president of the Arizona Education Association, added, “Today’s decision not only negates the will of voters to increase Arizona’s school spending from the lowest in the nation, but without legislative action it jeopardizes existing Arizona school sources of income such as Prop 301 and Dignity result in permanently underfunded schools in Arizona – and a weaker economy in Arizona. ”
The coalition calls on Governor Ducey and lawmakers to raise or remove the spending limit immediately. The limit must be raised by March 2022 to allow schools to spend the funds currently allocated, including Prop 301.
“We were concerned that the court would bow to political pressure from the executive and legislative branches instead of acting impartially and remaining independent. That’s exactly what happened. This judgment is a political act that undermines the will of the electorate and complies with the commandments of politicians. But they haven’t stopped our commitment to funding education, tackling teacher shortages, building stronger schools and a stronger economy, ”said coalition partner David Lujan, CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance.
“Our children, who had a tumultuous year with the pandemic and are one of many vulnerable populations in Arizona, now need the support of our communities – including our elected officials. Now is the time for our governor and lawmakers to raise – if not remove – the spending limit and protect our students. In order for today’s leaders to be good stewards of the Arizona of the future, we must invest now in our children’s education, ”said Reverend Hunter Ruffin, Rector of the Church of the Epiphany at Tempe and director of the Arizona Interfaith Network.
The Prop 208 – Invest in Education campaign, which won a historic election at the ballot box last November, is now called Invest in Arizona. The new coalition includes the original members – Arizona Education Association, Stand for Children Arizona, Children’s Action Alliance, Arizona Center for Economic Progress, Arizona Interfaith Network, and is now supported by Save Our Schools and Friends of the Arizona School Boards Association. The coalition is committed to continuing the fight to ensure that Arizona students have a bright future by collecting signatures now to overturn the massive tax cuts decided on this year for the rich. visit www.investinaznow.com to learn more. “
Save Our Schools Arizona, a member of the Invest in Arizona Coalition, made a separate statement:
The Invest in Arizona and Arizona Deserves Better Coalitions continue to collect petition signatures to launch initiatives for the 2022 ballot to end Republican voter suppression, ill-considered flat tax cuts for the rich, and a spin-off for the ultra-wealthy to qualify as a small business, to avoid paying into Proposition 208.
When asked by this author if the Invest in Arizona Coalition would consider developing a new education funding initiative if the lower courts declare Invest in Ed unconstitutional, Rebecca Gau of Stand for Children Arizona commented:
“We are examining various options. Of course, the simplest solution for the governor and the legislature is to respect the will of the voters and say that they will raise the limit as in the past. “
Unfortunately, this option may very well be necessary.
Arizona residents who care what happens to children must stand up and wage the Republican war on children and democracy.
Invest in Ed Proposition 208 was passed with the support of the majority of Arizonans.
Public schools need Proposition 208 funds to better serve the children in Arizona.
Sign the petitions lifting the Republican tax cut and voter suppression measures on the ballot paper.
Support candidates who prefer programs like Invest in Ed and KidsCare that benefit the most vulnerable, including the children of the Grand Canyon State.
Most importantly. Voting in 2022 and 2024.
Democracy and social justice survive when their proponents, the people, appear and vote to move the state and the people forward.
Do your part as an active citizen and show the enemies of the people and democracy that they are not going to win.