No, Spending Alone Won’t Fix Education. But…

No, money alone won’t fix education, but neither will starving public schools of resources and vilifying teachers. The US leads the developed world in children living in poverty. That is a problem our teachers can’t solve.

If money isn’t at least part of the solution, why is it that wealthy people spend thousands of dollars to send their children to costly private schools with small class sizes and highly qualified teachers? Those schools also have the advantage of picking and choosing what children they accept, unlike public schools, which must help every child who comes through their doors.

From 2008 to 2013, Arizona led the nation in per pupil cuts to K-12 education. Maybe that’s why the Kids Count Data Book shows Arizona as 46th in education performance and even the conservative American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) shows us at 36th?

It is beyond time to quit blaming each other and work together to solve our problems. Our kids deserve nothing less!

Trickle-Down Bills

In a recent op-ed in our local paper, two local education experts wrote, “classroom spending has taken a hit” because the state Legislature “slashed funding” while “adding unfunded mandates.”

Insufficient funding, NOT improper management, is why school districts are asking voters for locally controlled funding via overrides and bonds. Arizona Legislators brag about balancing the budget, without mentioning they did it on the backs of our children.

Over half-a-million students have never had the opportunity to learn in a classroom funded in the manner voters intended when they passed Prop 301 in 2000. No, money alone won’t make our schools great. But, are great teachers, small class sizes, and a complete curriculum really something we can’t afford?

Arizona has led the nation in cuts to per pupil spending. Does that sound like a recipe for success? It’s time politicians obey the courts and will of the people. It’s time to invest in Arizona’s future.