RE: Dem’s criticism of AZ schools called harmful

Wow! Is AZ Senate President Andy Biggs for real? He says the state is now spending more on education than it ever has, but fails to mention that 3 percent increase amounts to 13 percent less because of inflation. He claims AZ provides “a good education,” even though we are ranked 46th in the nation.

He does acknowledge that education “is the first and most legitimate function of government”, but then says the Legislature has lived up to the extent possible given the recession and drop in state revenue.”

Sorry, but you don’t get to have it both ways Andy! Your words make education a “must fund” expense. If education is the first and most legitimate, then it should be fully funded first before other priorities. If there is insufficient revenue to ensure that is possible, then revenue must be raised via any/all means available.

Of course you have not only vowed to not raise taxes, but you and your buddies have repeatedly lowered corporate taxes, many of which haven’t even kicked in yet.

‘Best performing schools’ play by different rules

Gov. Doug Ducey recently pledged to expand school choice, vowing “serious reform” to ensure “equal access” to the state’s best-performing schools by eliminating waiting lists, such as the 10,000-student list at the Great Hearts Academies.

Choice won’t ensure equal access, there are too many barriers. These “best performing schools” achieve because they play by different rules — cherry-picking students, unlike district schools who educate all.

Charter schools are notorious for padding their waiting lists. The Arizona Charter Schools Association claims their schools were hit harder during the recession because they can’t ask taxpayers for overrides and bonds. Give me a break.

Charters receive $1,100 more per student than the district schools because they don’t have access to override and bond monies. The recession made it tough for district schools to get additional monies passed, but charter schools never missed a beat.

— Linda Lyon, Tucson