July 31, 2009: Remember when your parents implied that nothing good happens after midnight? After sitting bleary-eyed and watching our elected representatives in action into the wee hours of the night, we are beginning to think Mom was on to something.
Our legislators are back from special-interest summer camp and yesterday was a flurry of action. Unfortunately, it appears that everyone got an extra dose of ideology while they were away and it has translated into some really bad news for education.
More cuts to education in this surprise budget.
Friday, July 24, 2009 …..The Arizona Supreme Court ruled in favor of Arizona’s Early Childhood Initiative (also known as ‘First Things First’), which saw $7 million dollars “swept” from their dedicated fund during the legislature’s 2009 fiscal year budget session. …..The seven million dollars in question was interest income within the First Things First fund. Continue Reading >
Bi-partisan negotiations on the budget are ongoing and Governor Brewer has offered to consider keeping the state equalization property tax ( $250 million dollars in revenue) if the Democrats support her proposed 1% temporary increase in sales tax… though she isn’t including the Democrats in formal talks just yet. We recommend the following two media Continue Reading >
The third week of the Special Session kicks of on Monday, but 16 state legislators will be out of town again
The Arizona Department of Education released the 2009 AIMS test results for Arizona students.
Earlier this summer Governor Brewer renewed the Arizona Community College Council.
. AZ Misappropriates Education Stimulus Money? . Arizona qualifies for over $830 million in education cash under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. However, the state doesn’t have the $317 million it is due to pay schools Wednesday. The state has had to borrow $130.9 million to make that payment. But WHY hasn’t the state Continue Reading >
On July 13, 2009 Governor Jan Brewer signed new legislation to extend and expand the premium corporate tax credit for private schools. This legislation was enthusiastically supported by some of the same legislative members who have been pushing for massive cuts to public education as a way to close our growing, $3.5 billion state budget Continue Reading >
Question: I just read that Senate President Robert Burns reiterated the urgency of our budget situation…just before he himself left for a special interest junket in Georgia. Is this true? This sounded a little dubious to us – why would the leader of the Senate skip out on important, on-going negotiations this week regarding our unresolved multi-billion dollar deficit, especially just issuing the “all-hands-on-deck” directive? While we hoped that this was just political gossip, we confirmed today that it’s TRUE…Senator Burns is leaving this afternoon for a week-long American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) conference!
AZ fiscal jam has laid-off teachers in area on edge
Districts find it hard to plan with budget uncertain
TUCSON-Excerpt The Arizona Daily Star, Rhonda Bodfield
Tucson-area school districts are anxiously awaiting the final word on how the new state budget will play out — as are teachers who were laid off earlier this summer amid funding cuts.
That’s in part because district officials are worried about committing to new spending when the budget is a bit like playing with funny money until lawmakers find a way to actually pay for it. The budget is still at least $2.1 billion in the red.
Gov. Signs Budget, Burns “Cleans” House; Burns, after lambasting Brewer, calls on her to ease up on rhetoric : July 12, 2009
Brewer Signs Budget Deal into Law
Excerpt: Arizona Republic
[Brewer's] signature on the four-bill package was expected, and it restores funding that Brewer had vetoed last week as the state’s budget battle hit fever pitch.
That struggle produced new casualties Wednesday: Senate President Bob Burns changed a key leadership post and replaced another member of the rebellious Rules Committee while legislative attorneys filed an appeal of last month’s state Supreme Court ruling on the budget.
Brewer OKs Budget Deal
PHX- Excerpt by Mathew Benson, The Arizona Republic, July 8, 2009
Gov. Jan Brewer today signed into law a state-budget deal that ensures funding for public education as well as Arizona’s receipt of more than $2 billion in federal assistance.
The four-bill package cleared the Legislature in bipartisan fashion Monday. Amending an earlier legislative budget plan mostly rejected by Brewer, the new proposal calls for about $10 billion in general-fund spending.
In a rare display of bipartisanship, the House and Senate yesterday approved two education spending bills that restored many of the cuts to education threatened by the previous legislation passed in the chambers. Funding for the education budget still remains uncertain as the legislature has not yet taken up the Governor’s call for a temporary Continue Reading >
An A-Z Glossary of Legislative Terms from the 2003 Arizona Legislative Manual
The Structure of the Arizona Legislature is comprised of a “lower house,” the House of Representatives, and an “upper house,” the Senate. There are 30 Legislative Districts in Arizona, and combined there are 90 legislators who meet in Phoenix, at the Capital Complex, to represent the entire state constituency.
Education pioneer, Geoffrey Canada’s quest to provide the poorest children in NYC an education that will enable them to compete. An interesting book covering the creation of the Harlem Children’s Zone.
Monday, July 6, 2009 6:34 – House conveys bills to Governor; session recessed 6:25PM – Senate recesses until Monday, July 14, 2009. Senate vote on bills transmitted from House – HB 2001 (23 ayes, 0 nays, 7 nv) HB 2002 (23 ayes, 0 naus, 7 nv) HB 2003 (24 ayes, 0 nays, 6 nv) HB2004 (23 ayes, Continue Reading >
Dear Friends of Education,
APPLE, Arizona Parents for Public Education, is sending out a letter to our governor and legislators calling for a bi-partisan approach to crafting a k-12 education budget. Please click the following link to read the letter and sign the petition: http://www.ccsupportourstudents.com/APPLE_LETTER.html
Your AEN Team
In some ways, what’s in a BRB is more important that what is in the general appropriations bill. As these have been gaining popularity, we’ve given a brief overview of what they are and how they work.
. An article in the Arizona Daily Star detailed the process for a proposed budget decrease for Sunnyside School District. It explained the process for passing a budget during this period of “uncertainty” over the Arizona State Education Budget. Once a budget is passed by a school district, the only change a district is able Continue Reading >
25,000 Students in Arizona Now Homeless; Up 18% in Past Year
More bad news for Arizona student today as The Arizona Republic reported Arizona Department of education student homeless numbers for 2008-2009. The article reports that; “[t]he number of homeless schoolchildren in Arizona has surpassed 25,000 – equivalent to the population of Fountain Hills.”
Burns: Brewer Bungling Her Job
PHOENIX —Excerpt from Howard Fischer, Capital Media Services
Stung by the veto of key elements of the Republican budget plan, Senate President Bob Burns on Thursday declared Gov. Jan Brewer unqualified for the job.
“It appears the governor is having problems managing the level of responsibility to which she has been elevated,” Burns said in a prepared statement. To read the complete article, click here.
Your AEN team hopes that Governor Brewer stands strong in face of tough opposition in regards to funding education. By vetoing the entire K-12 Education BRB (Budget Reconciliation Bill’s disallow for line-item vetoing, thus it is either accept the BRB as-is, or veto the entire bill, as Brewer did.), she has made a risky move in an attempt to get lawmakers to reconsider the devastation the previous education budget would have caused. Show your support by emailing a quick line to the governor at http://azgovernor.gov/Contact.asp.
. With Veto, Brewer seeks more K-12 cash PHX- Excerpt The Arizona Republic, by Mary Jo Pitzl Gov. Brewer on Wednesday put an exclamation point on her demand that the Legislature beef up education spending by vetoing the budget for the state’s K-12 system and calling lawmakers back to work next week to increase funding. Continue Reading >
July 1, 2009 – AEN Interviews Tom Horne, Superintendent of Public Education
In the wake of Governor Brewer’s veto of the education portion of the budget, Arizona Education Network contacted AZ State Superintendent Tom Horne for his comments on the impact of the veto on public education in Arizona.
Wed. July 1, 2009, 11:00pm: Update on Governor Brewer’s Budget Vetos Governor Brewer’s office has posted the following information on her web site: Statement on Budget by Governor Brewer Governor’s Call for Special Session Vetoed Bills for Special Session This includes both bills vetoed and line-item vetoes. . Wed. July 1, 2009, 6:00pm: Governor Brewer Continue Reading >
Wed. July 1, 2009, 10:00 am . As of this morning the legislature is in recess and all eyes are on Governor Brewer. The governor can choose to sign, veto or line item veto the legislation passed early this morning. The legislation does not contain the Governor’s temporary sales tax increase. Below is running commentary Continue Reading >