VIDEO: What is Arizona’s Prop 123?

The first video by supporters of Prop 123 has debuted. Watch as parents and teachers explain what Prop 123 is and why they are supporting it on May 17th.

Recall Douglas Officially A Miserable Failure

After all the hype, help from the AZMedia and AZ’s organized Left, the Recall Douglas has failed to garner even 10% of the roughly 450,000 signature needed to recall AZ Superintendent of Schools, Diane Douglas.

Read the story here

 

Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona Will Nullify Education Results

By Paul Boyer

Paul BoyerThe marijuana legalization movement in Arizona is relying on a specious study to make the case for recreational marijuana at the ballot next year. Their study says marijuana is 114 times safer than alcohol. Interestingly, it also says meth is ten times safer than alcohol, while heroin and cocaine are twice as safe.  On that logic, why not make meth, heroin, and cocaine like alcohol, as well?

Meanwhile, serious peer reviewed research regarding the effects of marijuana has been shown to increase high school drop outs, lower IQ, induce memory loss, and in some cases cause paranoia and psychosis – especially among adolescents.

For those of us concerned with the state of education in Arizona, this is extremely alarming. With considerable discussion about Arizona’s education funding, along with high school and college graduation rates, we should be working to improve our state of education, not exacerbate an already bad situation by legalizing a substance detrimental to every outcome we want for our children.  And make no mistake, legalizing this dangerous drug for adults will lead to more use by children, just as we see with alcohol.

States that have marijuana-friendly legislation have seen a dramatic spike in marijuana exposure to children.  The Journal Clinical Pediatrics found an over 600 percent increase in the amount of marijuana exposure to children six and under in such states. That study suggests, “the rate of marijuana exposure among children is associated with the number of marijuana users.” We don’t need that here in Arizona.

Nor can the toxic health, educational, and behavioral impacts to children be overstated. A 2014 New England Journal of Medicine study lists the damaging health effects of just short term marijuana use, including: impaired short term memory and motor coordination, altered judgment with an increased risk of catching and transmitting sexually transmitted diseases, and paranoia and psychosis in high doses. And let’s not forget that today’s marijuana is much more potent than that of previous decades.  We are not talking about Woodstock and commonly grown marijuana anymore, we are talking about a high potency drug.

Similarly, long term or heavy use effects of marijuana include: addiction, altered brain development, poor educational outcomes with an increased risk of dropping out of school, cognitive impairment with lower IQs among frequent users during adolescence, and diminished life satisfaction and achievement.

And who will have to address the consequences of legalization? All of us, including parents, teachers, and an already over-burdened healthcare system will have to pick up the pieces left in the wake of legalization’s destruction.

Given all our debates about funding education in Arizona, one is left asking what the point of all this would be if we introduce a substance into our society that will nullify, if not reverse, everything we have worked so hard to improve when it comes to our children’s education.  Whatever plan we settle on with education, adding marijuana into the mix will render this debate, and its result, essentially pointless.

State Representative Paul Boyer represents Legislative District 20, which includes Glendale and North Phoenix. He is the Chair of the House Education Committee, a member of the House Health Committee, and teaches 10th grade Humane Letters.

Sunday Square Off Appearance Brought Maricopa County GOP Fight To Head

What brought last week’s Maricopa County Republican Executive Guidance Committee intra-party fight to a head was the negative public relations generated when Chairman Tyler Bowyer made an appearance on Sunday Square Off three weeks ago. During that interview with Brahm Resnik, things got heated – more heated than normal between Resnik and his typical guests.

This led to the largest response by viewers of any Sunday Square Off show this year. During the following week’s show, a response by Aaron Borders, 2nd Vice Chairman for the Maricopa County GOP, took direct aim at Chairman Bowyer.

That public joust most likely led to last week’s fight during the monthly EGC meeting when Borders offered a resolution for a “no confidence vote” by the committee. (Sonoran Alliance will publish that resolution in another post.)

Here are the video clips from each Sunday Square Off show:

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/10/25/74595374/

http://www.12news.com/videos/news/politics/sunday-square-off/2015/11/06/reaction-heated-to-bowyer-interview/75306384/

 

 

Gov. Ducey’s Republican Education Plan Earns Support of AZ Democratic Party Leader

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Ducey Plan Solves One of Arizona’s Oldest and Most Politically Controversial Issues: Education Funding
PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party congratulated his counterpart, Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Tameron, on her announcement yesterday of her support of Gov. Doug Ducey’s Education Funding Plan. The measure, Proposition 123, will be on the ballot in May of 2016. If approved by voters it will increase K-12 funding by $3.5 billion over the next ten years.
 
“Governor Ducey is a true leader, and he’s put together a plan to address one of Arizona’s most difficult and controversial issues without putting more pressure on hardworking taxpayers,” said Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham. “Even the Democrat leadership knows a great leader with a great idea when they see one, and we’re happy to see more and more Democrat Party leaders acknowledge the hard work of our Republican legislature and Governor Ducey, and saying publicly they’re voting for it.”
 
“I want to thank the Chairwoman for publicly announcing her support,” Graham added.
 
Governor Ducey’s plan highlights are here:
 
 
Governor Ducey’s remarks upon signing the legislation to refer the plan to the ballot are here:
 
 
Arizona Democratic Party Chairwoman Alexis Cameron’s remarks, broadcast on 12 News’ “Sunday Square Off” on November 8th, will be available here:
 

Governor Doug Ducey: Our Money. Our Kids. Our Success

This special message was sent out from the Office of Governor Doug Ducey today:

Doug Ducey

Who says you can’t make government work?

We just did it here with the most far-reaching, high-impact education funding bill in our state’s history. News like this is too good not to share, so spread the word by forwarding this message along!

We’ve just passed, signed, and are ready to go with a bill that:

  • Puts $3.5 billion into education to dramatically improve our schools.
  • Increases per-student funding to $3,600 each year and gives educators the resources they’ve been asking for.
  • Doesn’t raise taxes while maintaining our balanced budget.
  • Provides relief from lawsuit abuse so funds go into classrooms, not attorneys’ pockets.
  • Maximizes the State Land Trust by drawing a modest amount as a shrewd investment in our kids.

I’ll never forget the good friends and strong, loyal supporters who gave me this job and the accompanying charge to solve problems and get results. Your support was, is, and will always be a source of tremendous inspiration.

Thanks so much,

Governor Doug Ducey

P.S. Help me share our fast-breaking news. Tell your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues that we got something great done for Arizona’s future. And we’re not done by a long shot. In fact, we’re just getting started!

Senator Sylvia Allen: Win, Win for Schools and Taxpayers!

Senator Sylvia Allen

Senator Sylvia Allen

I am proud of our schools in Arizona.  A number of our high schools are consistently ranked near the top of U.S. studies.  We were one of the first states to create charter schools and our Empowerment Scholarship Accounts allow parents to find the best education option for their children. These two reforms are models being emulated throughout the country.  I personally have toured and seen the excellent achievement of our students and teachers throughout my district.

Friday, October 30, the Legislature passed and the Governor signed an increase of $3.5 billion over the next ten years to our schools.  This will bring new money into our K-12 school system, if voters approve the plan in a special election to be held May 17, 2016.

Part of the funding will come from a new percentage level, 6.9%, distributed to the State Schools Fund from the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Funds (PLETF).  The Arizona Constitution determines the portion of investment earnings the Treasurer must distribute annually to each beneficiary.  Right now annual distributions are set at 2.5% of the average monthly market valuation of the PLETF from the preceding five years.  The voters will be asking to approve the increase above 2.5% in the May election.

Governor Ducey was State Treasurer before being elected Governor, so he understands this trust fund and how it functions.  In 2012 he developed Proposition 118, to move to a fixed rate of 2.5%, instead of a fluctuating rate used at the time.   Voters approved that proposal.

Three years later, the Governor proposed to increase that amount to 6.9%, and the Legislature agreed.  We spent much time in debate and talking to lawyers and staff about the ramifications of the increased percentage.  I am convinced that we have been short changing our schools all these years.  The PLETF is now valued at $5 billion and the consensus of those who voted yes is that we can safely pay this out to our schools and protect the principle of the fund.

Triggers are placed within the law in case we have another major economic downturn. It would require the Directors of the Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting (OSPB) and the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (JLBC) to jointly notify the Governor, the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House that a reduction to the distribution is necessary to preserve the safety of the capital in the PLETF, if the value of the PLETF has decreased.  At that point we would return to the 2.5%.

This was a complicated issue that took hundreds of hours of work by all concerned, but I am confident that we have made a very good decision in increasing the payout from the State Schools Trust Fund.

The proposal also included increased money for schools from the General Fund.

  • Increases the per pupil amount by $173.26
  • Increases basic state aid by $248,829,400 in FY2016 by increasing the base level per pupil amount
  • Includes additional inflation of $74,394,000 in FY2016
  • Increases the Permanent State School Fund distribution line item by $172,081,000
  • Appropriates to the Superintendent of Public Instruction additional funding for school districts and charter schools of $50 million annually in FY2016 through FY2020
  • Allows flexibility for school districts to budget the additional funding to where they feel it is needed.

None of this will increase taxes for our citizens and is being done within the capacity of what we have now.  

We hear all the time how bad Arizona ranks in school spending, but those rankings can be very misleading. Other states have 95% of land privately owned and is part of the tax base. In Arizona, we are generating revenue from 13% private property. We will never raise revenues to the level of those other states.

Also, Arizona has a high population of those under 18 years of age and a large population of adults over 65 years of age.  In the 18-64 age bracket where the bulk of taxpayers reside, we have a proportionally small population, so again, we will never be able to reach the revenues of other states without significantly increasing taxes.

This ranking propaganda by our critics is designed to pressure taxpayers to fund more into our schools.  We are short changing our teachers and kids when we constantly focus on a ranking instead of results.   Funding is important but does not guarantee a good education that depends on parents, teachers, and, most of all, students.  

I wish to thank the Arizona taxpayer who is willing to give their hard-earned money to better the life of children through our education system in Arizona.

For DeWit, the Media Spotlight Trumps Arizona’s K-12 Education

Last night Governor Doug Ducey called a special session in order to approve a K-12 education plan that will put an end to litigation and put $3.5 billion back into K-12 education without raising taxes.

State Treasurer Jeff DeWit has been whining for months about the plan, but he wasn’t in Phoenix yesterday to answer questions or offer any sustentative alternatives. He was in Boulder, Colorado, following around Presidential candidate Donald Trump like an eager puppy. Hopefully, Treasurer DeWit wasn’t seeking financial advice from The Donald.

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It’s actually no surprise to see DeWit and Trump together. Both have the same thirst for attention from the media. The mainstream media, all too happy to play-up the egotists and swindlers on the right, are happy to give them the airtime.

Meanwhile, the business of helping Arizona’s children get the funding they need continues. From The Arizona Capitol Times:

 

The House and Senate Appropriations committees began considering the bills at 8:30 a.m. The bills will then head to both chambers’ Rules committees and Republican and Democratic caucuses. Both chambers are scheduled to debate and take a final vote on the package at 1:30 p.m. today.

 

Will DeWit be back in Arizona today or will his need to seek the spotlight trump his phony rhetoric?

MBQF Poll: Joe Arpaio Has 50/50 Chance Of Re-Election

Also, Tested was School Bonds, Pot Convention and Education Tax

(Phoenix, AZ) — MBQF, a public affairs and consulting firm, announced results of a recent survey dealing with the nationally known, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who could be facing his toughest re-election battle yet.  We also looked at several other current issues in Arizona, primarily within Maricopa County.

In the most recent automated telephonic survey of 559 high efficacy voters in Maricopa County, conducted on October 19, 2015, the survey calculates a 4.14% theoretical margin of error, plus or minus in percentage points, 95% of the time.

The survey asked several questions of voters.  The first was a basic re-elect question regarding Sheriff Joe Arpaio, “Looking ahead to next year’s election for Maricopa County Sheriff, do you think that Joe Arpaio should be re-elected, or do you think that it is time to give someone else a chance?”

Arpaio Re-Elect Question
Results
Should be re-elected
50.45%
Give someone else a chance
49.55%

Party Breakdown

Republicans
Democrats
Independents/PND
Should be re-elected
53%
48%
49%
Give someone else a chance
47%
52%
51%

The second question was phrased, “Recently, the Republican Party of Maricopa County has decided to oppose ALL 28 school district overrides and bond ballot initiatives come this November.  Arizona is one of the lowest ranked states in the United States when it comes to education.  Would you consider the Republican Party of Maricopa Counties stance on these bonds as obstructionist or as fiscal prudence?”

County GOP-No on all Education
Results
Obstructionist
41.50%
Fiscal prudence
39.36%
No opinion
19.14%

The third question was phrased, “Given what you know about Arizona’s education system, would you be willing to pay slightly more generally in taxes to invest in Arizona’s Education System?”

Invest in Education System
Results
Yes
46.33%
No
39.18%
Unsure
14.49%

The fourth question was phrased, “The Phoenix Convention center will be hosting the “Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo” at the end of this month.  Do you think that is a good idea or bad idea to host this event?”

Pot Expo – Good/Bad?
Results
Good idea to host event
36.31%
Bad idea to host event
29.52%
No opinion
34.17%

Michael Noble, consultant and pollster, issued the following statement:

“With Maricopa County voters split on whether America’s Toughest Sheriff deserves another four years, the data shows Sheriff Joe will have his toughest campaign ever.  Republicans, Democrats, and Independents are near evenly split.  In addition, a small plurality of county voters say they are open to paying more for education.  With most eyes focused on the Presidential election next November, Arizona voters have some big choices.”

For more information about this survey, or a summary of topline data and wording, please contact MBQF Consulting. The margin of error for this survey is +/-4.14%.

David Gowan 1st CD-1 Candidate to Sign “Stop Common Core” Pledge

David Gowan

Proven Conservative & Constitutional Republican Signs Eagle Forum Pledge

Phoenix, AZ (October 8th, 2015) – Arizona Speaker of the House David Gowan became the first candidate in the race for Congressional District One to sign the Eagle Forum’s “Stop Common Core Pledge.”

“For me, this was an easy pledge to make because it was nothing more than a continuation of my history of opposing Common Core, no matter what it was called.” said Gowan.

The pledge commits its signers to opposing Common Core and limiting or eliminating various aspects of Common Core such as data collection, directed vocational training, and nationalized assessments.

“The Federal Government has no Constitutional authority when it comes to education, and Common Core represents nothing more than the next step in the federal takeover of our schools.” said Gowan, continuing “I believe that control of the schools ought to be a local matter, and I will fight against any efforts to give control to bureaucrats thousands of miles away from Arizona.”