To: Gov. Doug Ducey and Arizona state legislators

Support #RedForEd Educators in Arizona

We cannot wait for a ballot initiative in November. The future of the children we serve depends on a change in direction by you, our elected officials. Arizona’s educators can no longer stand for the shameful funding of public education that is selling short the future of every child in our state.

To restore those massive cuts and create a continuous revenue stream for funding public schools and educators’ salary hikes, we call for:
• Support for the proposed ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide on increased revenue from high-income taxpayers.
• Legislative rebalancing of the “three-legged stool” of state revenue—the income tax, property tax, and sales tax.
• Closing tax loopholes and reviewing all tax giveaways to make sure the state is getting an adequate return on tax breaks and tax cuts.

We stand in solidarity with the educators who are participating in #RedForEd actions and urge you to show your support for the Arizona AFT funding plan that will pay for additional school funding and much-needed pay raises for teachers and other school staff.

Why is this important?

Since 2008, Arizona has cut almost $1 billion in education funding. Shortchanging Arizona’s children by nearly $1 billion has consequences: textbooks that are 25 years old, leaking roofs, class sizes as large as 40 students, outdated technology, and inadequate support staff to keep students safe and systems working.

On April 26, tens of thousands of educators and other staff rallied at the state Capitol in Phoenix to demand that elected officials provide adequate funding for Arizona’s public schools.

To restore those massive cuts and create a continuous revenue stream for funding public schools and educators’ salary hikes, the Arizona American Federation of Teachers
recommends:
• Support for the proposed ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide on increased revenue from high-income taxpayers.
• Legislative rebalancing of the “three-legged stool” of state revenue—the income tax, property tax, and sales tax.
• Closing tax loopholes and reviewing all tax giveaways to make sure the state is getting an adequate return on tax breaks and tax cuts.

The additional revenue raised could be used to fix older school buildings and build new ones—and pay off the lawsuit that contends the state hasn’t provided the required money for school site maintenance; create curriculum that is aligned to the state standards, and provide classroom necessities ranging from modern technology to basic classroom supplies; provide 100 percent funding for all-day kindergarten and for pre-K programs; restore arts programs, alternative education programs for special education students and classes for gifted students; or, provide a salary increase for all school staff—teachers, paraprofessionals, custodians, secretaries and others.

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