Dear ASBA,

Instead of #REDforED, you’re #BLUEforCHANGE.  Your actions suggest that you don’t want to see improvements made to education in our state.  By supporting Doug Ducey’s ploy you are getting on board with what appears to be a long-term plan to gut public education.

In a video posted yesterday, that has since been wiped from the internet, the ASBA president begged teachers to trust Ducey as he was, “giving his word,” and, “putting his reputation on the line.”  I don’t have access to the video where questions were being fielded anymore, but the essence of the speech was that Doug Ducey’s given us his word, we should take this and thank him for how far “we’ve” come.  All we can find today about this is in this article here.

What’s at stake here is huge.  First, only teachers are getting extra money, and from sources that seem unacceptable for cuts, like services for the disabled.  Another source of funding for the raise is “budgetary efficiencies,” and schools would have the ability to use “flexible funding.”  All of this is alarming as it’s not sustainable and is language that couches hidden measures.  (Read the article hereand here.)  Second, by cutting capital, which seems to be the game plan (AKA flexible funding), the state won’t be raising state taxes but will be forcing local schools to tax their local communities for building maintenance and the like.  The communities that can afford this because they’re wealthy will be okay, while rural and poor communities will struggle.

This is a blatant tax on the poor.

As for rural communities, I wonder:  What political deals have been swung here?  The Arizona Rural School Association are also on board behind this Ducey proposal.  (Read about that here.)  

This sure appears to be a plan to restructure public education in the same way that our prison system has been restructured…which sure is a golden goose of revenue!

But suppose there was a magic pot of money from “budgetary efficiencies,” and it was sustainable.  The 20% raise by 2020 only addresses teacher pay.  Teacher pay is a symptom, nothing but a sore developed by the cancer eating away at public education.  

This does nothing to address the budgetary short-falls over the past decade which have been well documented.  

It fails to address how the over 1-billion dollar short fall in funding since 2008, our horrible counselor-to-student ratio, funding for new books and building maintenance.  

This proposal by Ducey is designed to pay off teachers, to shut the up.

Those that are supposed to be advocating for education and our students are at best failing to learn from their past mistakes (Proposition 123). 

Here is a list of those currently supporting Doug Ducey.  Are they #REDforED or #BLUEforCHANGE, or the question must be asked, #GREENforPOLITICALGAIN ?