VIP (Valley Interfaith Project) and the Arizona Interfaith Network have joined an effort to raise $700 million in new funds for public schools through a ballot initiative.
At a special VIP Civic Academy on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Center, learn how you can help the Church and Society Ministry Team at PVUMC gather signatures for the Invest in Education ballot initiative and learn more about the funding issues that make such a controversial measure one of the only hopes in the near future for a reliable funding source. The Invest In Education Act will provide permanent, sustainable funding if it passes. But it faces significant hurdles.
First, it must gather 150,642 valid signatures by July 5 to qualify for the ballot. It also faces opposition.
The Arizona Republic reported that “The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry has already condemned the initiative and said it would fight it if it secures a spot on the ballot.”
Supporters include many teachers involved in the #RedforEd movement.
“At a Monday morning news conference at the Capitol — where thousands of educators rallied in support of the #RedForEd effort — education leaders said they devised the plan out of urgency to address the state’s teacher crisis. Joshua Buckley, a Mesa high-school teacher who will chair the ballot effort and is president of the Mesa Education Association, said the initiative would provide a “dedicated and secure funding source” for Arizona’s public schools.
“We’ve waited for the politicians to … make education and our children a priority in this state,” Buckley said. “But year after year, they failed us. So now, it’s our time to act.”
News stories about the ballot initiative abound. An article published in the Arizona Capitol Times reported, “the proposal, dubbed the Invest in Education Act, would increase the state’s 4.54-percent personal income tax rate to 8 percent for those who earn more than $250,000 or whose household income reaches more than $500,000, and would double the rate to 9 percent for individuals who earn more than $500,000 or whose household income is greater than $1 million. Under current law, someone with a taxable income of $600,000 pays $25,162. That same individual would pay $14,200 more if the measure is adopted. Consultants for the campaign estimate the proposal would generate $690 million annually in new revenue.” Read more: https://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2018/04/27/arizona-center-for-economic-progress-david-lujan-joshua-buckley-education-funding-ballot-measure-income-tax-hike-for-wealthy-arizonans/
A web page dedicated to #InvestinEd outlines the benefits to the state if this initiative passes.
The Invest in Education Act gives Arizona voters the chance to restore investments in public schools and to ensure a dedicated funding source. The proposition is expected to raise $690 million which will be deposited into the Classroom Site Fund with 60% of the dedicated revenue directed to teacher salary increases and employment-related expenses and 40% directed to maintenance and operations of public schools, specifically for:
- Class size reduction
- Teacher compensation increases
- Assessment intervention programs
- Teacher development
- Dropout prevention
- Full day Kindergarten
- Teacher liability insurance premiums
- Compensation increases for student support personnel, including food service staff, nurses, counselors, social workers, and librarians
The site also includes a map of pick up and drop off locations for petitions.