It took all day, but the budget passed out of both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Wednesday night. While this budget does increase education spending, it comes nowhere near addressing the severe funding issues our public schools still face (teacher shortage, class sizes, counselor/student ratios, outdated resources, etc.). Adding insult to injury, the money is there to make a much more significant investment in education, but lawmakers would prefer to pass a tax cut that voters aren’t asking for and invest money in the “rainy day” fund when it’s been pouring in our public schools for years.
Today the budget will be heard in caucus, then in Committee of the Whole, and then head to a final vote on the floor. We had some real heroes at the Capitol yesterday testifying before committee and making our presence felt, but we need even more as we approach the finish line. The budget vote is expected to be extremely tight, and everyone has an opportunity to make a difference:
- contact your legislators NOW and ask them to hold out for a budget that truly invests in our students
- get down to the Capitol today after work so our leaders see we’re paying attention (it will be a long night!)
- check back at AEA’s Facebook page and arizonaea.org/budgetwatch throughout the day for updates