LD 18 legislators face tough budget questions - Ahwatukee Foothills News: News

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LD 18 legislators face tough budget questions

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Posted: Sunday, January 27, 2013 11:45 am

Legislative District 18 legislators made a commitment to Kyrene parents and teachers that they would fight for all the funding they could for education this year during a “Meet Your Legislators Night” at the Kyrene School District.

Parents had 40 minutes to ask Bob Robson, Jeff Dial and John McComish questions. While topics like dyslexia were brought up, most of the questions focused on funding.

The three LD 18 representatives didn’t make any promises Thursday night, other than promising to fight for all the funding they could.

“I can’t predict at the end of the day where the funding will end up,” McComish said. “I speak for myself and I think I can speak for Bob and Jeff when I say we’re going to fight for the maximum amount of money we can get for education. The reality is right now there’s a difference in revenue projections from what the governor projected and what the Legislature projects. We’ve got to reconcile that.”

Education has seen many cuts in the past few years. The rumor going into this legislative session is that schools won’t see additional cuts, but it’s unknown if any of the previous cuts will be restored.

Dial, Robson and McComish are all sponsoring a bill that would allow Kyrene to use bond funding, which is a bill that was held and died last year. They also fought for $40 million to go toward third-grade reading last year and said they expect to see more funding this year go to the Common Core Standards.

“My sense of the Legislature is the only question will be how much funding for the Common Core, but there will definitely be additional funding for Common Core,” McComish said. “We may have a disagreement over whether it’s $50 million or $60 million or whatever, but I think the good news is there will be significant monies designated to help implement the Common Core.”

Still, the legislators warned it’s always a balancing act and parents shouldn’t always believe what they read in the paper. While the state has money in reserves now they have to look three years out when they complete the budget and make sure the spending doesn’t multiply out of control.

Dial, Robson and McComish put out their own newsletter about the budget. To get on the list, email jmccomish@azleg.gov and ask to receive the budget notice.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com

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