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Arizona, Elections, Politics

Arizona spends over half of its budget on education

Posted: October 29, 2012 at 9:15 am   /   by

The education elites behind the Proposition 204 initiative are trying to sell the story that Arizona does not spend enough money on education. This is a myth.

What they really mean is that they don’t like the elected officials given the authority to spend the taxpayers’ money. Their collective temper tantrum is aimed at the governor and state legislators charged with funding education in the context of the entire state budget.

Arizona spends over half of its total state budget on education. Along with other essentials such as public safety, education is a top spending priority.

The facts prove it. The state’s Auditor General reports that spending per pupil has gone up 39% over the last decade.

Even through two recessions over the last ten years, total education spending that includes local, state, and federal dollars increased 61%.

Proposition 204 would raise $1 billion a year for education spending through a one-cent permanent increase in the state sales tax rate. One might guess that such a hefty permanent tax increase would satisfy the education hand wringers.

One would be wrong. The elites also want to have exclusive say about how the money is spent. The governor and state legislature would be shut out of education spending decisions.

Proposition 204 is an education slush fund. It shuts out the voter and our elected representatives. It should be defeated.

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Arizona spends over half of its budget on education