Yes on Prop 208, Invest in Education Act
22nd Oct 2020
Chicanos Por La Causa emphatically endorses Proposition 208, the “Invest in Education Act,” a citizens’ initiative on the General Election ballot to enhance the tax-revenue base for funding education in Arizona.
This proposition is a much-needed game changer. For too long, education has taken a backseat in Arizona, even though it is the driver of economic opportunity and prosperity both individually and collectively. The entire state, including Latinos and other underserved communities, would benefit greatly by its passage, which would add an estimated $940 million annually to our state’s underfunded school system.
Education is the great equalizer, yet we do not have an equal education system for all – especially for poor school districts in impoverished communities. The Latino educational achievement gap continues. The disparities in education perpetuate the disparities in life outcomes. As a whole, Arizona lags near the bottom nationally in terms of per-pupil spending and in teacher salaries and classroom support. We must change the equation in order to get a different answer.
We must view education as an investment, not simply as an expenditure. We cannot afford to accept excuses, incremental changes and perpetually promised educational reform. We cannot lose another generation of great minds and even greater potential – in students and teachers alike – to short-sighted rationale for not fully funding education in Arizona.
Our focus is on the future. The time to act is now.
Invest in Education Act
The Invest in Education Act provides additional funding for public education by establishing a 3.5% surcharge on taxable income above $250,000 annually for single person or married persons filing separately, and on taxable income above $500,000 annually for married persons filing jointly or head of household filers; dedicates additional revenue to (a) hire and increase salaries for teachers, classroom support personnel and student support services personnel, (b) mentoring and retention programs for new classroom teachers, (c) career training and post-secondary preparation programs, (d) Arizona Teachers Academy; amends the Arizona Teachers Academy statute; requires annual accounting of additional revenue.