McClellan: Goldwater Institute’s education sales tax opinion flawed - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Valley And State

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McClellan: Goldwater Institute’s education sales tax opinion flawed

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Mike McClellan is a Gilbert resident and former English teacher at Dobson High School in Mesa.

Posted: Monday, June 25, 2012 7:01 am

Three points about Goldwater Institute’s Jonathan Butcher’s column on education funding in Arizona:

First, Butcher would like his readers to believe his framing of the sales tax supporters as the “education union,” knowing full well that supporters for the initiative cut across the spectrum of our state.

This is the same tired tactic that Goldwater used when the tax was first up for a vote in 2010, which means pretty soon they’ll trot out their scare tactic, that the sales tax will result in a loss of jobs in Arizona. That’s what they told us last time, but in the two years of the sales tax existence, the number of jobs has actually increased in Arizona.

Second, if Butcher were honest, he’d tell you that in the last 30 years, inflation-adjusted funding for education in Arizona has actually dropped. And he’d tell you that since 2008, more than a billion dollars has been cut from the K-12 budget.

Finally, since Butcher mentioned “competition,” one of his mantras to improve education in our state, he should note that since we’ve adopted the Butcher/Goldwater plan to have schools compete, education achievement continues to flat-lined.

He will, of course, say that the answer is even more competition, a pure voucher system. Which suggests that if we do more of what isn’t working now it will somehow work later.

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