Bean and I went to the Voters 4 Kids Celebration today which was an opportunity to hear how local candidates stand on public education. As you might have guessed Arizona is dead last for educational funding in the country and that lack of financial investment is reflected in the education availed to our children. Sucks.
All candidates for federal, state and local, of all parties were invited to attend. However, presence was dominated by the Democrats. Jesse Kelly aka Tea Party nut job showed up. Got to give him kudos for being there. However, it would be a cold day in hell before he got my vote. Privatize and phase out Social Security? Crazy.
1. Vote NO on 302. Prop 302 completely decimates First Things First. First Things First is early childhood services, and the monies that support these programs come from the tobacco taxes. That’s right this legislature wants to further cut services to the 5 and under crowd. I guess they figure the five and under crowd are not voters so why worry about them. The proponents want to sweep this funding into the general fund to address the deficit. My suggestion, cut out the corporate tax cuts and invest in education to deal with the deficit. An investment in education attracts companies who typically have higher paying skilled jobs.
2. Protect the Voter-Approved Early Childhood Health and Development Funds. If kids aren’t having their health needs met it is difficult to see how they might fulfill their educational potential.
3. Make sure your candidates are unwavering advocates for education. Can I just add a little to this? Make that unwavering advocates for high quality public education for all.
4. Rally 10 friends to vote with education as their “hot button” issue. Healthcare and Education are my top two. As for rallying, I encourage you to go check out the Educational Funding Voting Record of our various representatives, senators etc. Reflect on whether their voting record reflects Article XI, Section X of the Arizona Constitution which mandates that our legislators
“…shall make such appropriations, to be met by taxation, as shall insure the proper maintenance of all state educational institutions, and shall make such special appropriations as shall provide for their development and improvement.”
That is, legislators who threaten to sweep monies for education and so destroy state education institutions are not abiding by the Arizona Constitution. Don’t vote for them.