Arizona public schools educated me growing up. I remember that first day of school with the smell of the wooden desks and plastic from the brand-new Trapper Keepers that every student just had to have. Fridays always included pizza day, with the smell of the cheese permeating throughout the cafeteria creating culinary anticipation by all the students. I also remember the butterflies from fear of meeting my 20 new classmates that first day, hoping to be liked just like any kid.
Now imagine the experience too many of our students face today. Some students attend their first day of class with 50 other students until the school can find retired teachers to rotate into the class along with other short-term solutions. Due to budget cuts to education by the legislature, to start the 2017 school year more than 500 teachers quit or did not come to school because of the pitiful salary they receive. Who can blame them? We ask them to prepare our children to succeed while they rank last in the country in salary. It’s simple economics. Worst of all, it negatively affects the quality of education our children receive. Do you remember how unruly a classroom of 20 3rd graders could be? Now imagine there being 35 children.
Fortunately, a solution does present itself that does not cost taxpayers. Arizona provides corporations significant tax breaks for job creation, yet does not hold those corporations accountable. By closing those loopholes, we can recoup tens of millions of dollars that can be used for public education. So, we have a choice. Should we continue to let corporate CEO’s who live outside of Arizona profit from unfulfilled promises? I say no. I say we instead invest that money in our Arizona children who will be the future leaders of our great state.
- Currently more than $12 billion dollars in corporate tax loopholes, the result of poor negotiation and loose oversight
- Recouping only $3 billion of the tax payer funded black holes would lower the state sales tax rate by 1% and fully fund education
- Lower class sizes
- Higher pay for teachers and support personnel
- Equity in education quality to overcome economic inequality
- Increase education funding to national per student average