Education Bullies Chris Christie And Doug Ducey Hit The Trail Together

Doug Ducey needs some support from his friends in his hotly contested Arizona gubernatorial race. So today Ducey is bringing in Chris Christie, a man who would certainly rather enjoy the sunny skies of Scottsville than address the fiscal fiasco he’s built in New Jersey.

Well Chris Christie and Doug Ducey have a good deal in common. Christie has presided over an impressive eight credit downgrades in New Jersey, while Doug Ducey’s Cold Stone had one of the highest franchise default rates of any company in the country. Both support massive tax cuts for the wealthy, shifting the burden toward the middle class.

But the biggest and most damning similarity between Ducey and Christie is their shared insistence on slashing education funding. Christie has cut $1 billion from education in New Jersey, and Arizona can expect much the same if Ducey gets his way. Ducey opposed a court order requiring Arizona to increase education funding. He promises huge tax cuts that would predominately help the richest Arizonans, but claims he will somehow implement them without touching the education budget — a plan that’s been written off as unrealistic. And that’s just the tip of the ice cream cone.

No matter how you split it, Chris Christie and Doug Ducey have the same priorities: Sweeten the deal for the fat cats while education funding melts away.

Background:

Ducey Supported Appealing A Ruling That Would Require Arizona To Increase Education Funding By Over A Billion Dollars

In 2000, Voters Approved Proposition 301, Which Increased k-12 Spending By More Than $400 Million A Year And Included An Annual Adjustment For Inflation

2000: Voters Approved Proposition 301, Which Increased The State Sales Tax From 5 Percent To 5.6 Percent To Raise Teacher Pay, Reduce Class Sizes And Increased Aid To Students Who Failed The Graduation Test. According to The Associated Press State & Local Wire, “Arizona teachers will see larger paychecks as early as mid-July after a new sales tax hike takes effect. Some of the $445 million from Proposition 301, which was approved Nov. 7 by voters, will raise teacher pay, reduce class sizes and help students who fail the AIMS graduation test. Proposition 301 raises the state sales tax from 5 percent to 5.6 percent.” [The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 11/12/00]

Proposition 301 Would Raise About $445 Million A Year For Education, $389 Million Of Which Would Go To K-12 Education. According to Tucson Citizen, “Proposition 301 would boost the state sales tax rate to 5.6 percent from 5 percent to raise about $445 million a year for education. How the money would be spent: – $389 million for K-12 education and $56 million for community colleges and universities – 40 percent of the K-12 money would be set aside for teacher bonuses of up to $2,500. – 20 percent would be used to increase base pay for teachers by about $1,200 a year. – 20 percent would pay for a menu of programs, including one to reduce class sizes.” [Tucson Citizen, 10/26/00]

Proposition 301 Included Annual Adjustment In Education Spending For Inflation. According to Tucson Citizen, “Groscost and other opponents of Prop. 301 say a tax hike is an easy out for a difficult problem. They say there are other ways to raise just as much money for education, including spending cuts in other state programs. Prop. 301 supporters scoff at that notion. ‘Then why didn’t they do that?’ said Lopez, a member of the Sunnyside Unified School District board. ‘Why has that not been done in the last 10 years?’ Arizona has perennially ranked near the bottom of the 50 states in surveys of education funding, and this year finished dead last in a survey of of per-pupil spending. Lopez also is pleased that Proposition 301 includes an adjustment for inflation in education spending. ‘The inflation factor is a key,’ she said. Even if Proposition 301 dealt only with the inflation factor ‘it would be worth it,’ she said.” [Tucson Citizen, 10/26/00]

Ducey Effectively Supported Arizona Legislature’s Decision To Drastically Cut Education Spending During the Recession

During The Recession, Arizona Cut Education Spending By Billions Of Dollars

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: Arizona Legislature Cut $3 Billion From K-12 Education Since 2008. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “Although deep budget cuts have directly led to this workforce shortfall, one candidate does not think Arizona needs to reinvest the $3 billion it cut from K-12 education over the past six years — one of the deepest cuts to public education in the nation.” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: From 2008 To 2012, Inflation-Adjusted State Funding For Schools Decreased By 24 Percent, From $4,654 Per Student In 2008 To $3,512 Per Student In 2014. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “One candidate continues to promote a simplistic solution: No new money — just reallocate the little funding that remains. Sounds good, as all simplistic solutions do. But the severe flaws in that thinking are clear. In the past six years, inflation-adjusted state funding shrunk 24 percent from $4,654 per student in 2008 to $3,512 per student in 2014, exacerbating Arizona’s ranking as one of the worst-funded states in the nation.” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Study Found That Arizona Cut Per-Pupil State Aid To Schools By 17.2 Percent, Adjusting For Inflation, From FY2008 To FY2014. According to a report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), in inflation-adjusted per pupil spending on state aid to schools, from fiscal year 2008 to fiscal year 2014, Arizona cut state aid by 17.2 percent. [CBPP, 5/20/14]

  • 35 Of The 48 States Reviewed By CBPP Cut Per-Pupil, Inflation Adjusted Spending From FY2008 To FY2014. According to a report by the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), “Our review of state budget documents finds that: At least 35 states are providing less funding per student for the 2013-14 school year than they did before the recession hit. Fourteen of these states have cut per-student funding by more than 10 percent. (These figures, like all the comparisons in this paper, are in inflation-adjusted dollars and focus on the primary form of state aid to local schools.) At least 15 states are providing less funding per student to local school districts in the new school year than they provided a year ago. This is despite the fact that most states are experiencing modest increases in tax revenues. Where funding has increased, it has generally not increased enough to make up for cuts in past years. For example, New Mexico is increasing school funding by $72 per pupil this year. But that is too small to offset the state’s $946 per-pupil cut over the previous five years. […] For 48 states, the necessary data are available to compare this year’s allocations for the first category of funding, general formula funding with funding before the recession hit.[6]  The 48 states included in this analysis are home to 97 percent of the nation’s schoolchildren.” [CBPP, 5/20/14]

Studies Found That Arizona Ranked 42nd On Education Spending Per Capita And 47th On Per-Pupil Spending. According to Linda Valdez – AZCentral.com, “On both counts, ‘Arizona is clearly behind most states,’ Myers says. ‘Almost everyone funds at a higher level than Arizona does.’ A 2013 analysis by the Morrison Institute found Arizona ranks 42nd in the nation for per capita personal income, but it ranks 47th in per-pupil spending. Education Week’s 2014 state report card gave Arizona a D+ for K-12 achievement, and an overall national rank of 47th in a list that includes the District of Columbia.” [Linda Valdez – AZCentral.com, 9/5/14]

Over 500,000 Students Had Yet To Experience A Fully Funded Classroom Due To Arizona’s Education Cuts

Arizona Education Association: Over 500,000 Arizona Students, From Kindergarten To Fifth Grade, Had Never Had A Fully Funded Classroom Due To Arizona’s Education Cuts And Continued Appeal Of The Court Ruling Requiring The State To Increase Funds To Education. According to Arizona Education Association – Press Release, “One year after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of public schools in Cave Creek Unified School District v. Ducey, parents, teachers and education advocates are calling for an end to delay tactics and legal maneuvers by the state that are keeping more than $300 million out of Arizona district and charter schools this school year. ‘Arizona schools have yet to see any of the money they are owed by the State Legislature since last year’s ruling because the state has engaged in stall tactics and is now attempting to tie up the case in appeals,’ said Dr. Tim Ogle, executive director of the Arizona School Boards Association. ‘Compounding the issue and the urgency is the fact the Legislature stopped funding our classrooms as the law requires beginning in the 2009-2010 school year.’ As a result, more than half-a-million Arizona district and charter school students – those children who are in kindergarten, first, second, third, fourth and fifth grade this school year – have never had the opportunity to learn in a classroom that was funded in the manner the voters intended when they passed Prop. 301 in 2000.” [Arizona Education Association – Press Release, 9/22/14]

Education Experts: The Education Cuts Hurt The State

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: Arizona Faced A Severe Teacher Shortage Due To State Budget Cuts. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “Arizona faces a severe teacher shortage. Yearly job insecurity due to drastic state budget cuts led large numbers of teachers to permanently leave Arizona, exit the profession or retire early. Long-term substitutes or nonspecialists are now teaching critical classes.” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: Arizona Legislature Refused Only Funded Emergency Repairs And Refused To Fund New School Construction. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “In the past six years, inflation-adjusted state funding shrunk 24 percent from $4,654 per student in 2008 to $3,512 per student in 2014, exacerbating Arizona’s ranking as one of the worst-funded states in the nation. On the school building side, the state Legislature provides funding for emergency repairs and not new school construction.” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Ducey Supported “Allowing The Legislature To Cut Voter-Approved Spending In Times Of Financial Crisis”

2010: Ducey Supported Allowing The Legislature Cut Statutory, Voter-Approved Spending “In Times Of Financial Crisis.” According to a copy of the Center for Arizona Policy’s 2010 General Election Voter Guide, obtained from StopCAP.org, “Question: Allowing the Legislature to cut voter-approved spending in times of financial crisis. Doug Ducey’s Answer. Supports.” [Center for Arizona Policy – 2010 General Election Voter Guide, Accessed 9/23/14]

Courts Ruled That Arizona Owed Public Schools $1.7 Billion And May Rule That Arizona Owes Schools An Additional $1.3 Billion, Both Due To Proposition 301

Courts Ruled That Arizona Violated Proposition 301 And Owed K-12 Public Schools $317 Million A Year For The Next Five Years

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper Found That Arizona Owed Public School System $317 Million A Year For Five Years, Or A Total Of $1.6 Billion, Beginning In The Current Fiscal Year, Due To Proposition 301. According to Arizona Republic, “Brewer’s remarks were the first indication from state officials of how they plan to deal with last week’s ruling that requires state lawmakers to pay charter- and public-school districts about $317 million a year over the next five years. ‘Obviously, we are appealing that,’ Brewer said at a news conference. ‘It would be absolutely devastating to the state of Arizona, to public safety and the rest of our ­budget.’ The Maricopa County Superior Court ruling carried out the findings of the Arizona Supreme Court, which determined last fall that the Legislature had failed to honor the direction of voters in 2000 when they approved a ballot measure calling for annual inflation adjustments to the school-funding formula. Cooper determined that payments totaling $1.6 billion over the next five years would reset the starting point for per-student school funding.” [Arizona Republic, 7/18/14]

Judge Scheduled A Second Trial To Determine If Arizona Owed K-12 Schools An Additional $1.3 Billion Due To Proposition 301

Cooper Scheduled A Second Trial To Determine If Arizona Owed Public Schools An Additional $1.3 Billion In Inflation Costs, Also Due To Proposition 301, That Lawmakers Did Not Fund During The Great Recession. According to Arizona Republic, “Cooper on Friday scheduled a five-day trial starting Oct. 27 on the unresolved question of whether the state also should have to pay schools an additional $1.3 billion for inflation costs that lawmakers didn’t fund during the Great Recession.” [Arizona Republic, 7/18/14]

Education Officials Offered To Settle But Republicans Refused To Settle

Arizona Schools Leaders Offered To Settle For $1.7 Billion And Forego The Potential $1.3 Billion Judgment Against Arizona

Arizona School Boards Association Offered Arizona A Compromise On State Funding: Settle For $1.7 Billion So That The State Would Not Possibly Be Responsible For An Additional $1.3 Billion. According to Arizona Capitol Times, “School officials are warning lawmakers that if they don’t take a deal to settle the inflation adjustment lawsuit – and soon – taxpayers could be on the hook for another $1.3 billion. Chris Thomas, attorney for the Arizona School Boards Association, acknowledged Monday that the state has the legal right to appeal a trial judge’s ruling that it needs to provide an extra $317 million a year to schools right now. And he said that, legally speaking, the question of how much schools are owed for the years that lawmakers ignored a voter-mandated requirement to increase aid to schools is unresolved. But Thomas said schools have offered a simple way out of the problem: Cough up that extra $317 million now – and similar amounts each year in future years – and that potential $1.3 billion hit for ‘back pay’ would disappear.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 9/23/14]

If Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper Ruled In Favor Of The Schools, The Potential Pay Out They Would Receive Could Be Much Larger. According to Arizona Capitol Times, “Time is running out, with Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper set to hear arguments on that back pay issue next month. If Cooper sides with the schools, that puts them in a much stronger position – and less likely to negotiate a deal.” [Arizona Capitol Times,9/23/14]

Republican Leadership Refused To Drop The Appeal

Republican State Senate President Andy Biggs Was Convinced That He Could Win The Lawsuit And Successfully Argue That Arizona Owed The Schools Nothing Because It Funded Above Inflation Rates Before The Recession.According to Arizona Capitol Times, “But Senate President Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, said he’s still convinced the state can win the whole lawsuit. He said there’s a case to be made – at this point to an appellate court – that Cooper got it wrong and lawmakers should get credit for the years before the recession where they increased state aid above the minimum inflation figure required by the 2000 voter-approved measure. And that, said Biggs, would mean the state ultimately owes nothing.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 9/23/14]

Republican State Sen. Don Shooter, Senate Appropriations Committee Chair, Deferred To His Leadership But Personally Supported Settling With The Teachers. According to Arizona Capitol Times, “Sen. Don Shooter, R-Yuma, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee, said the decision whether or not to settle has to be made by Republican legislative leadership. But Shooter said that, personally, he thinks it’s time to talk rather than fight. ‘My inclination is to fix the problem,’ he said.Shooter said it’s more than a question of putting the lawsuit in the past. He pointed out the state already is looking at deficits for future years, with or without resetting the state aid to where Cooper said it belongs, even without the possible $1.3 billion payout. ‘That kind of a burden on us would collapse us,’ Shooter said.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 9/23/14]

DUCEY SUPPORTED APPEALING THE COURT DECISION REQUIRING ARIZONA TO INCREASE EDUCATION FUNDING

Brewer Appealed The Court Decision Requiring Arizona To Increase Education Spending

Governor Brewer Appealed The Decision To Require Arizona To Increase Education Spending. According to Arizona Central, “Arizona schools will likely not see the $1.6 billion a court ruled the state owes them anytime soon. Gov. Jan Brewer said Thursday that the state will appeal a court ruling requiring Arizona to increase funding for Arizona’s K-12 system. That appeal can’t happen until the judge signs the official judgement. School officials hoped that would happen immediately, and that it would require the state to release the additional funds to the schools immediately. But on Friday, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper agreed to allow the two sides to file additional arguments on the wording of that judgement, likely pushing her signing into mid-August at the earliest. ‘We’ll get a judgement as quick as we can,’ Cooper said. Brewer’s remarks were the first indication from state officials of how they plan to deal with last week’s ruling that requires state lawmakers to pay charter- and public-school districts about $317 million a year over the next five years. ‘Obviously, we are appealing that,’ Brewer said at a news conference. ‘It would be absolutely devastating to the state of Arizona, to public safety and the rest of our ­budget.’” [Arizona Central, 7/18/14]

Ducey Supported The Appeal

Ducey Supported Appealing A Judge’s Ruling That Would Require Arizona To Increase Education Funding By $317 Million In 2014. According to Linda Valdez – AZCentral.com, “A Maricopa County judge says it’s time to pay up. That means the state owes schools an additional $317 million this year alone. The five-year total could reach $1.6 billion. If the judge decides lawmakers have to pay what schools were denied in past years, it could add another $1.3 billion to the tab. Big bucks. Especially in a state with a looming budget shortfall. But Broome sees the ruling as a ‘positive,’ and says the ‘investments in education will be good for the economy.’ According to Associated Press, GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey says he supports an appeal of the ruling. This could reverse the decision or delay funding increases. Democratic candidate Fred DuVal, on the other hand, says the voters have spoken and the state should ‘make this investment,’ AP reports.” [Linda Valdez – AZCentral.com, 9/5/14]

AUDIO: Ducey Applauded Governor Brewer For Appealing The Ruling On K-12 Education Funding. According to radio interview with Doug Ducey on KVOI, “Q: ‘Assuming the ruling on k-12 education funding holds up, where would you find the $370 million?’ Ducey: ‘We have options, and the state should explore those options. If anyone asks you what Doug Ducey’s campaign is about, tell them it’s about growth and job creation. I think if Arizona stands for one single idea, it’s opportunity for all. Good jobs and a chance to get ahead. The options that are in front of the governor in this next section are either comply with ruling, to appeal ruling, to restructure or ignore the ruling. I think Governor Brewer made right decision in appealing ruling. I applaud her for doing that. We’ll have some time to decide here. I think in interim we need to look at 9B flowing through our state federal local budgets to fund k-12 education. The real opportunity here is much like we talked about where state was in 2009, I think it’s important to remember, that not long ago state was bankrupt, insolvent, structurally broken.’” [KVOI, 6/18/14] 

AUDIO: Ducey Said He Would Follow The Law Following A Judge Ruling Forcing Maricopa County To Give Back Over $300 Million In Funding To Education. According to radio interview with Doug Ducey on KVOI, “Question: ‘So a Maricopa County Judge is ordering the state legislature to return $310 million back to education, basically this is something the current Governor and a lot of the state legislators interpreted a proposition from the voters one way and the judge said it should be interpreted the other way. Either way it’s an extra chunk of money coming in. As a Republican candidate and State Treasurer, what’s your take on $300 million having to be returned to the educational institutions?’ Ducey: ‘Well, we’re gonna follow the law looking at the details of what’s going to be necessary if it’s going to be this $310 million block if it’s going to be that going forward there are going to have to be some adjustments made in our budget how we handle things. What I point out is let’s look at experience of what people have done before this in terms of managing large budgets and making adjustments.” [KVOI, 7/16/14]

Ducey Said He Supported The Appeal Because He Wanted To Reform K-12 Funding Formula Before Increasing Spending

Ducey Supported Appealing The Court Ruling For An Additional $317 Million In Base-Level Funding Because It Restructured A “Failed K-12 Finance Formula.” According to an opinion piece by Doug Ducey in the Arizona Daily Star, “I support an appeal of the recent court ruling calling for an additional $317 million to the base level funding, but mostly be-cause I view it as an opportunity to look at the bigger picture and pinpoint where we can actually reform and restructure our failed K-12 finance formula. Appeal or not, this discussion must be had. Over the last 10 years, we have seen a steady decline in the percentage of dollars going into the classroom, where it’s needed most. Most of us would agree that one of the most important factors in whether our children have a good school year is their teacher. Our education funding policy should reflect that by focusing more on schools and high-quality principals and teachers. We have some of the nation’s best schools in Arizona, including University High School right in Tucson. There are many other public and district schools throughout Arizona that perform at high levels. We must capitalize on their knowledge and skills, and determine what they need to help them be more successful, while encouraging others to follow their lead.” [Arizona Daily Star – Doug Ducey, 9/7/14]

Ducey Was Critical Of Increasing Per Pupil Spending

Doug Ducey Op-Ed: Large Amounts Of Dollars Spent Per Pupil In K-12 Classrooms Was Not An Indicator Of A School’s Success. According to an opinion piece by Doug Ducey in the Arizona Daily Star, “My opportunity agenda highlights my vision for Arizona — a state that leads the nation in job creation, economic growth, and results in K-12 education. A high-quality education system is imperative to a thriving economy; a state cannot have one without the other. People are quick to say that the dollars spent per pupil on K-12 education are an indicator of success. However, if that were the case, school districts in Baltimore, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Detroit would be among the nation’s best — they’re not. In fact, they’re among the worst. The conversation for education reform, and specifically school finance reform, cannot simply be about the amount of money we’re spending, but rather what we are getting for the money we spend. Currently, $9 billion washes through our education system to educate about 1 million schoolchildren. Are we getting the most bang for our buck?” [Arizona Daily Star – Doug Ducey, 9/7/14]

Ducey Criticized DuVal For Supporting An Education Formula Where “Spending Equaled Success.” According to an opinion piece by Doug Ducey in the Arizona Daily Star, “Unfortunately, my opponent buys into the argument that more spending equals success, and is therefore suggesting that we deplete the state’s savings account in order to pay for it this year. What about next year? And the years after that? Unless he plans to cut public safety or other budgetary items, his only other option is to raise taxes — something I will not do.” [Arizona Daily Star – Doug Ducey, 9/7/14]

Ducey Did Not Support Increase School Funding Without “Real Reforms.” According to Ducey 2014, “It’s not about the money. Between federal, state, and local money, Arizona spends more than $9 billion educating more than one million children. That’s around $8700 per child. We need to make real reforms and get better results from the money we already spend, rather than simply throwing money into a system that’s under-performing.” [Ducey 2014, Accessed 8/22/14]

Ducey Said Funding Increases For Schools Should Be Tied To Outcomes And Advocates Of Increased Spending Need To Justifiably Explain Why It’s Needed. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, “Ducey said funding increases for schools should be tied to outcomes and advocates of increased spending need to justifiably explain why it’s needed. ‘I want to see accountability for the dollars that we spend,’ he said.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 12/3/12]

Ducey Said He Would Review How The State Spends About $9 Billion In Current K-12 Funding Before Deciding To Increase Funding Further. According to the Arizona Capitol Times, “Ducey said money isn’t the key to a better education system. In his ‘Arizona Roadmap’ plan, Ducey said the state needs to make ‘real reforms’ rather than just ‘throwing money into a system that’s underperforming. ‘ He told the Arizona Capitol Times that he would review how the state spends about $9 billion in current K-12 funding before deciding to increase funding further.” [Arizona Capitol Times, 6/13/14]

Ducey Did Not Support Increase School Funding Without “Real Reforms.” According to Ducey 2014, “It’s not about the money. Between federal, state, and local money, Arizona spends more than $9 billion educating more than one million children. That’s around $8700 per child. We need to make real reforms and get better results from the money we already spend, rather than simply throwing money into a system that’s under-performing.” [Ducey 2014, Accessed 8/22/14]

Ducey Supported Reforming Funding Formulas, In A Similar Vein To How The Permanent Land Endowment Was Reformed. According to Ducey 2014, “Review existing practices. Here’s an example: At the Treasurer’s office we found the formula for distributing money from the Permanent Land Endowment was flawed. Some years schools received money, and some years they received nothing. We worked with the legislature, got voter approval, and changed the formula to ensure a steadier, more reliable stream of funding for education. There are many common-sense reforms that can be implemented, but they require conscious effort and a more business-like approach.” [Ducey 2014, Accessed 8/22/14]

Opposed Equally Funding All School Districts

AUDIO: Ducey Called Funding Formulas For Schools Too Complicated And That Education Funding “Shouldn’t All Be About Equality.” According to radio interview with Doug Ducey on KVOI, “Question: ‘On the school board. We’re an A school district. We tried to charter our schools and given one year. There seems to be a right and a wrong kind of choice. Must go after school funding and make it equitable.’ DD: ‘I agree with you, the funding formulas are too complex and confusing. And we need some flexibility around them. The challenge I’ll give you is it shouldn’t all be about equality, because things that aren’t working we got to point that out, They either need to improve or go away. Things that are working need to be properly funded and resourced. That’s what I think is missing today.” [KVOI, 6/18/14]

Education Experts Were Critical Of Ducey’s Opposition To Spending On School Administration

Ducey Was Critical Of Education Spending On School Administrators

Ducey Blamed School Spending Increases On School Administrators. According to Ducey 2014, “Money needs to be spent in the classroom. Each year since 2004, school districts have decreased the percentage of their resources they allocate to our classrooms. With almost 250 school districts and over 40 percent of the employment in district schools not being a teacher or a teacher’s aide, the amount of money being spent on ‘overhead’ is much too high. Money should go where it will do the most good – rewarding superior teachers, and to providing materials, supplies, and technology that will enhance learning for all students.” [Ducey 2014, Accessed 8/22/14]

Education Experts: Ducey’s Education Plans Would Hurt The State

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: Ducey’s Solution To Education, To Cut Spending For Administration, Included Funding For Teacher And Principal Evaluation, Holding Back Third-Graders Who Did Not Read At Grade Level, And School Workers Who Were Not Teachers, Like Counselors. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “While slashing funding, the state Legislature at the same time added unfunded mandates, which require administrative resources to implement. As a result, the percentage of money spent in Arizona classrooms has diminished. Currently, 53.8 percent of all state funding is spent on classroom instruction. Because the state has not funded inflation, nor rising costs for such things as gasoline or electricity, classroom spending has taken a hit. Nevertheless, the simplistic solution is to reallocate more money to classrooms and away from ‘administrative bureaucrats.’ If only it were so simple. One candidate is counting on voters thinking that the 46.2 percent of funding spent on administrative costs means employees at district headquarters. But it actually includes counselors, nurses, speech pathologists, safety monitors, bus drivers and food-service workers. It includes individuals who administer all the mandates unfunded by the Legislature that require more oversight, such as standardized-test-based teacher and principal evaluation systems and requirements for all third-graders to read at grade level or be held back.” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Ann-Eve Pedersen And John Pedicone Op-Ed: Ducey’s Solution To Education, Cutting Spending For Administration Without Increasing Funding For Schools, Would Require School Districts To Cut Other Priorities, Such As Nursing Staffs And Reading Specialists. According to an opinion editorial by Ann-Eve Pederson, president of the Arizona Education Parent Network, and John Pedicone, former superintendent of Tucson Unified and Flowing Wells School Districts, “If more money must be reallocated to classrooms without an increase in revenues to school districts, we will be asked to choose between such priorities as having a trained nurse at a school or a reading specialist who works with students so they don’t fall behind a grade. Either choice reduces a child’s chance to succeed. Not so simple, is it?” [Ann-Eve Pedersen and John Pedicone – Arizona Daily Star, 9/23/14]

Ducey’s Plan To Cut Taxes While Not Cutting Education Spending Was Impractical

SUPPORTED ELIMINATING STATE INCOME TAXES

Ducey: “I Want To Make Sure We’ve Got The Best Possible Environment – Lowest Tax Environment, Lowest Regulation And Liability On The Taxpayer So That Our State Can Grow.” According to the Arizona Republic, “Question: What issue is most urgent for Arizona? Answer: The issues for me are the economy, the economy, the economy. For some people in this state, the recession never ended. I want to make sure we’ve got the best possible environment – lowest tax environment, lowest regulation and liability on the taxpayer so that our state can grow.” [Arizona Republic, 2/19/14]

Ducey: “I’m In Favor Of Reducing The Income Tax With The Goal Of Driving It Down To Zero, And To Do That You Need A Plan To Grow The Economy.” According to the Arizona Republic, “Q: Do you favor a repeal of the Arizona income tax in whole or in part? Why or why not? A: I’m in favor of reducing the income tax with the goal of driving it down to zero, and to do that you need a plan to grow the economy. I think that that’s a worthy goal and it’s a big idea but it’s something that you have to have a plan to get it done.” [Arizona Republic, 2/19/14]

Ducey: “My Pledge Is To Start Reducing Personal And Corporate Income Taxes Right Away, With The Goal Of Bringing Them Both All The Way Down To Zero.” According to National Review Online, “LOPEZ: How quickly can your no-income-tax dream become reality? DUCEY: My pledge is to start reducing personal and corporate income taxes right away, with the goal of bringing them both all the way down to zero. I won’t trade in false promises by saying it can all happen overnight. Eliminating state income taxes is one of those big, structural reforms that can change so many other things for the better in a state, and we’ll get started on the day I take office.” [National Review Online, 5/1/14]

Ducey Did Not Answer A Question On Whether It Would Be Fair To Adopt Individual Income-Tax Cuts That Primarily Would Benefit The Wealthy. According to the Arizona Republic, “In one contentious exchange, Resnik asked Ducey whether it would be fair to adopt individual income-tax cuts that primarily would benefit the wealthy. Department of Revenue data show that such a move would benefit households that earn $100,000 to $200,000 more than middle-income Arizonans, Resnik said. ‘This looks like a tax cut that favors the wealthy, doesn’t it?’ Resnik asked. Ducey repeatedly deflected and didn’t answer.” [Arizona Republic, 6/7/14]

Robert Robb: “For Ducey, Abolishing The Income Tax Seems To Be More Of An Aspiration Than An Actual Proposal.” According to a column by Robert Robb and published by the Arizona Republic, “For Ducey, abolishing the income tax seems to be more of an aspiration than an actual proposal. He says he will lean in that direction as state finances permit. Given projections of renewed deficits, they aren’t likely to permit much.” [Robert Robb Column – Arizona Republic, 6/11/14]

Ducey: “I Believe The Most Fair Thing That You Can Do Is Provide Opportunity For All, Good Jobs And A Chance To Get Ahead…No Income Tax Or Less Income Tax Is A Better Direction.” According to Tucson Weekly, “‘I’m running to be governor of all the people,’ Ducey said. ‘I believe the most fair thing that you can do is provide opportunity for all, good jobs and a chance to get ahead. … No income tax or less income tax is a better direction.’” [Tucson Weekly, 7/3/14]

SUPPORTED ELIMINATING STATE CORPORATE INCOME TAXES

Ducey Supported Eliminating Personal And Corporate Income Taxes In Arizona. According to Arizona State Treasurer Doug Ducey’s pledge to the people of Arizona, obtained via Ducey 2014, “To promote economic growth, if I am elected governor, I will: 1. Submit legislation to reduce taxes every year, with the goal of eliminating personal and corporate income taxes in Arizona, and by executive action eliminate bureaucratic regulations that are unreasonable and unfair to business owners and employees.” [Ducey 2014, Accessed 8/22/14]

AZCentral.com Columnist Robert Robb Claimed That Ducey Misquoted Him When Ducey Said That Eliminating The State Income Tax Was “Eminently Doable”

Robert Robb, Columnist For AZCentral.com, Claimed That Both Ducey And Debate Moderator Brahm Resnik Distorted His Views During The First Arizona 2014 General Election Gubernatorial Debate. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I made a cameo appearance at the gubernatorial debate Wednesday night. Republican candidate Doug Ducey cited me as saying that eliminating the state income tax was eminently doable. Moderator Brahm Resnik retorted that I had also said that taxes don’t make that big of a difference. Now, I am confident that my views on this topic (and any other for that matter) are utterly immaterial to the outcome of the governor’s race. However, since neither description is fully accurate, I thought I should straighten out the record.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robert Robb: Eliminating The Income Tax Was Only “Eminently Doable” If It Was, For Example, Replaced With A “Broader” Consumption Tax. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I would favor replacing the income tax with a broader consumption tax. That’s what I described as ‘eminently doable.’” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

  • Ducey Claimed That Robert Robb Said That Eliminating The State Income Tax Was Eminently Doable. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I made a cameo appearance at the gubernatorial debate Wednesday night. Republican candidate Doug Ducey cited me as saying that eliminating the state income tax was eminently doable.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robb Was Critical Of Ducey’s Tax Cut Plan And Argued For Increasing State Revenue

Robert Robb: “Given The Sorry Condition Of State Finances, I Don’t Put Much Stock In Ducey’s Approach Of Force Feeding Additional Reductions In Income Tax Rates Without Replacing The Revenue.” According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “Given the sorry condition of state finances, I don’t put much stock in Ducey’s approach of force-feeding additional reductions in income tax rates without replacing the revenue.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robert Robb: Income Taxes Were Negatively Correlated With Economic Growth, But Arizona Already Had A Pro-Growth Tax Code. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I think taxes matter greatly to state and regional economic growth. Income taxes, in particular, are negatively correlated with growth. Arizona, however, already has a tax code compatible with robust economic growth, particularly with the phase-down of the corporate income tax rate. Our income tax rates are already relatively low and flat.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robert Robb: State Government Was Under-Resourced And The Lack Of State Government Financial Stability And Funding Was A Drag On Growth. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I also believe that state government is under-resourced, and that instability in state government finances and programs is itself a drag on growth.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robert Robb: Increasing State Revenue Was A Higher Priority Than Cutting Taxes At The Moment. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “I also believe that state government is under-resourced, and that instability in state government finances and programs is itself a drag on growth. At this point, I believe achieving stability in state finances is a higher priority than marginal improvements in the tax code.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/15/14]

Robb Claimed That Ducey’s Plans To Cut Taxes While Not Cutting Education Spending Did Not Make Sense

Ducey’s Plan To Not Cut Education Spending And Cut Taxes Was Unrealistic

Ducey And DuVal Both Pledged To Not Cut Education Spending And Not Raise Taxes. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “A $765 million deficit is projected for next year’s state budget. The two major party candidates for governor, Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal, are vague about what they would do to balance the budget. But both are specific and uniform regarding what they will not do: cut education or raise taxes.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Neither Ducey Nor DuVal’s Budget Plans Were Realistic. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “A $765 million deficit is projected for next year’s state budget. The two major party candidates for governor, Republican Doug Ducey and Democrat Fred DuVal, are vague about what they would do to balance the budget. But both are specific and uniform regarding what they will not do: cut education or raise taxes. So, how realistic is that vow? The answer: Not very realistic. Let’s use this year’s budget to illustrate the point.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Education Spending Was Almost Half Of The State Budget

Arizona’s Education Spending Was Nearly $4.6 Billion Of The $9.3 Billion Budget. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “The state general fund budget this year totals $9.3 billion. K-12 education is $3.8 billion of that. Universities are another $770 million. (State support for the community colleges is, at this point, negligible.) So, that’s a little shy of $4.6 billion both Ducey and DuVal would declare off-limits for budget cuts. That’s nearly half of the state’s general fund. Education is what the state principally does.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

“Exemption Education From Budget Cuts Would Require Cutting Everything Else The State Does By 16 Percent.” According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “Exempting education from budget cuts would require cutting everything else the state does by 16 percent. Education, however, isn’t the end of the sacred cows.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

If Ducey Carried Out His Opposition To The Medicaid Expansion As Governor, It Would Decrease State Revenue

Arizona Spent $1.3 Billion On Medicaid, Which Was Difficult-To-Nearly-Impossible To Cut. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “This year, the state’s general fund will provide nearly $1.3 billion to Medicaid, the low-income health care program. Federal law sharply restricts what the state could do to reduce that tab.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Ducey Opposed Medicaid Expansion, But Repealing Medicaid Expansion Would Also Repeal The Hospital Assessment, Which Would Cut Net Revenue. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “This year, the state’s general fund will provide nearly $1.3 billion to Medicaid, the low-income health care program. Federal law sharply restricts what the state could do to reduce that tab. Ducey opposed the expansion of Medicaid to childless adults between 100 percent of the federal poverty level and 133 percent championed by Gov. Jan Brewer. However, repealing the expansion would make the budget hole bigger, not smaller. The expansion is paid through a hospital assessment that goes away if the expansion does. The assessment, however, pays for more than just the expansion population. It also pays for childless adults under 100 percent of FPL who were previously covered through the general fund. If the expansion and the assessment go away, they again become a general fund obligation.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Cutting Funding For The Department Of Child Safety Was A Political Nonstarter

Robert Robb: It Was Extremely Unlikely That Either Ducey Or Duval Would Cut Funding For The Department Of Child Safety, Which Cost $360 Million. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “There was a special session to increase funding for the new Department of Child Safety (previously Child Protective Services). The new total is around $360 million. Given the bipartisan, self-congratulatory hoopla that accompanied that event, it is inconceivable that either Ducey or DuVal would suggest backpedalling now.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Refusing To Cut Education, Medicaid Or Child Safety Would Require Across The Board Cuts Of 25 Percent

Robert Robb: Refusing To Cut Education, Medicaid Or Child Safety Would Require Cutting The Rest Of The Budget By 25 Percent. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “If Medicaid and child safety join education on the untouchable list, that’s two-thirds of the state budget. Plugging the deficit would require cutting the remainder of the state’s general fund programs by 25 percent.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Corrections Was One-Third Of The Remainder Of The Budget, And There Was No Easy Way To Cut Corrections Spending

Robert Robb: There Was No Short Term Way To Cut Spending For Corrections, Which Cost $1 Billion Of The Remaining $3 Billion In The Budget. According to Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, “But of the remaining approximately $3 billion, about a billion of it is in corrections. Perhaps sentencing reform could reduce prison populations over time, but no governor is going to propose letting enough convicted felons out overnight to reduce prison costs by 25 percent.” [Robert Robb – AZCentral.com, 9/18/14]

Christie On EducationChris Christie Cut Education by $1 Billion
Politifact: “Bottom Line? Christie’s Cuts Totaled $1 Billion.” According to Politifact, “Ultimately, a judge agreed with the Education Law Center’s challenge. The judge also found that New Jersey would have needed $1.6 billion to fully fundeducation in New Jersey in accordance with the state’s funding law, and ordered the state to spend an additional $500 million on public education in poor districts the next year. Bottom line? Christie’s cuts totaled $1 billion.” [Politifact, 4/30/14]

PolitiFact Rated The New Jersey Education Association’s Claim That Christie Cut $1 Billion From Education As “True.” According to PolitiFact, “A recent video ad by the NJEA claims, ‘Trenton politicians cut $1.3 billion fromeducation.’ Christie made two rounds of cuts between the time he took office in January 2010 and in the FY 2011 budget, which was ultimately approved by the state Legislature. The combined cuts totaled just under $1.3 billion. Although some aid has since been restored, the NJEA claim is correct about the amount of the cuts. We rate the claim True.” [PolitiFact, 9/8/13]