While the Invest in Education initiative was removed by the Arizona Supreme Court and will no longer be included on the ballot in November, supporters of the ballot measure, including many teachers involved in the #RedforEd movement as well as Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) and the Arizona Interfaith Network, still recognize the need for the voters to better understand how public education is funded in AZ and find a solution. Paradise Valley United Methodist Church is one of many religious institutions who are part of VIP and the church has agreed to host a Civic Academy on Tuesday, September 11 at 6:30 pm in the Fellowship Center.
You’re invited to learn more about what’s at stake this November, and what you can do as a voter and citizen to create a more just society.
Meet the Candidates VIP Events
On Thursday, September 20, VIP holds a Meet the Candidates session at 6:30 pm in the PVUMC Fellowship Center. The community is invited to hear confirmed candidates in Legislative Districts 23 and 28 respond to prepared questions, providing an opportunity for citizens to hear from the candidates on how committed they are to VIP’s Human Development Agenda. This is not a debate, but a way for candidates to let the public know where they stand on certain issues. Look for tables on the patio after worship on Sunday, August 26, September 2, September 9 and September 16 to sign up for the Civic Academy and/or the Meet the Candidates event. A larger Meet the Candidates event will be held at 3 pm on Sunday, September 30 at a TBD location. This event will include AZ State gubernatorial candidates, state senate candidates, and congressional candidates.
Invest in Education Act
News stories about the Invest in Education 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 and an AZ Republic article outlines the pros and cons: https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2018/04/30/arizona-redfored-educators-detail-income-tax-ballot-proposal-education-funding/
Recent Rulings Remove Invest in Ed from the Ballot
The Invest in Education Act would have provided Arizona voters the chance to restore investments in public schools and to ensure a dedicated funding source. The proposition was expected to raise $690 million which would have been 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
Now, supporters are looking for another option.
On August 16, 2018, The Arizona Republic reported the following:
“Educators are one step closer to getting additional funding for Arizona schools, thanks to a Maricopa County Superior Court ruling.
Opponents of the Invest In Education income tax hike proposal had filed a lawsuit challenging the Invest in Education income-tax proposal and the petition process used to get it on the November ballot.
Thursday, a judge ruled against Arizonans for Great Schools and a Strong Economy’s petition, allowing the measure to remain on the ballot.”
Then, on August 29, 2018, the Invest in Education income-tax measure was knocked off November ballot by an Arizona Supreme Court ruling. Read the full story on azcentral.com: https://azc.cc/2N3EgDO