Tag: Capitol Media Services

House panel OKs asking Arizona voters to increase sales tax to pay for education. See more state education news here

| February 19, 2019
House panel OKs asking Arizona voters to increase sales tax to pay for education. See more state education news here

A House panel voted (Feb. 18) to ask voters to increase what they pay in sales taxes to fund public education.

The proposal would put a measure on the 2020 ballot to boost the current 0.6-of-a-cent sales tax earmarked for schools to a full penny.

That would bring in an extra $450 million to $500 million a year, with 75 percent earmarked for K-12 education, 20 percent to keep tuition affordable at public universities and the balance for community colleges.

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Douglas: Legislature shortchanges school voucher program. See related news here

| December 27, 2018
Douglas: Legislature shortchanges school voucher program. See related news here

Outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas accused Arizona lawmakers of routinely underfunding the Department of Education’s effort to oversee the state’s voucher program, leaving millions of dollars earmarked for administrative costs untouched. …

In all but two years since the voucher program was launched in 2011, lawmakers have allowed the Department of Education to spend less than half of what’s prescribed by law, according to a memo sent by Douglas to legislative leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey.

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Ducey, Garcia debate centers on education. See related news here

| September 26, 2018
Ducey, Garcia debate centers on education. See related news here

In the first gubernatorial debate, Gov. Doug Ducey touted a record of improving the state’s economy and providing 20-percent pay raises to teachers while Democrat David Garcia accused him of breaking promises and leaving Arizona’s education system in crisis. 

While Ducey and Garcia’s hourlong verbal grudge match on KAET-TV, the Phoenix PBS station, centered predominantly on education, the candidates addressed a myriad of other issues such as border security, the economy and a now defunct ballot initiative that would have increased taxes on the rich to better fund K-12 education.

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Charter school financial controversies spark talk of Arizona legislative action. See related news

| September 26, 2018
Charter school financial controversies spark talk of Arizona legislative action. See related news

Gov. Doug Ducey says he’s open to the idea of reforms in how charter schools are operated, including how they handle their finances.

For the moment, though, he has no specific suggestions. And he remains convinced that the private schools, which in Arizona can be operated as for-profit entities, are an innovation, he said.

There is some movement on the issue.

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, said Tuesday she wants lawmakers to mandate that there be better oversight of these technically public schools run by private entities that get taxpayer funds.

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Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

| September 19, 2018
Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

The two contenders for state schools chief found one key agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

Democrat Kathy Hoffman said there is no reason for the plan approved last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature to make vouchers of taxpayers’ dollars available for all 1.1 million students to attend private or parochial schools, with an initial cap of 30,000 students. …

Republican Frank Riggs, a former California congressman, said he has no problem with the vouchers, called “empowerment scholarship accounts.” He said there is an argument to be made for greater availability. But not for all.

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Pay raise puts slight dent in Arizona teacher shortage. See related news here

| September 12, 2018
Pay raise puts slight dent in Arizona teacher shortage. See related news here

Nearly one in four teaching vacancies that school districts had this year remain unfilled four weeks into the academic year.
The new report by the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association found that the 178 school districts and charter schools who responded to the survey reported they needed to fill 6,227 slots this school year.

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Voters will get the final say on measure to tax Arizona’s rich for education. See related news here

| August 22, 2018
Voters will get the final say on measure to tax Arizona’s rich for education. See related news here

A judge has slapped down efforts by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to block people from voting on whether income taxes on the rich should be hiked to generate $690 million a year for education.

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Arguments in education tax on rich comes down to fine (percentage) points. See related news here

| August 15, 2018
Arguments in education tax on rich comes down to fine (percentage) points. See related news here

The question of whether Arizonans get to vote on a tax hike on the wealthy to raise $690 million a year for education could depend on what a judge thinks of a math teacher’s explanation of the difference between “percent” and “percentage point.”
At a hearing Tuesday, both sides agreed that the Invest in Ed initiative would boost the tax rate on earnings above $250,000 a year for individuals and $500,000 from 4.54 percent to 8 percent. And what’s clear is that the mathematical difference between the two figures is 3.46.

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Plan in place to fix millions in misallocated school funds

| August 7, 2018
Plan in place to fix millions in misallocated school funds

Nine months after the Arizona Department of Education notified schools it had misallocated millions in funding for special education programs, the federal government has approved a plan to correct the error. 

A plan to remedy similar issues with Title I allocations has also been drafted but will not be finalized until at least next week during a phone call with state representatives.

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

| July 25, 2018
Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

PHOENIX — The fate of whether voters get to decide on a higher income tax on the wealthy could depend on a judge’s math decision.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry contends the petitions circulated by the #InvestInEd committee are “objectively false and misleading.” Attorney Kory Langhofer wants a judge to block the issue from getting on the November ballot.

The measure, if approved, would boost income tax rates on individuals making more than $250,000 and couples in the $500,000-plus range, to raise an estimated $690 million for education.

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