Don’t get flimflammed.
We’re still cheating our kids.
For proof, look no further than the recent decision by the Payson Unified School District to hire a consultant to prioritize a list of critical infrastructure needs.
District Superintendent Greg Wyman freely admits that even if the consultants identify critical needs, the district has no money to fix much of anything.
That’s because Arizona’s 48th in per student funding. Moreover, the state Legislature has for years ignored a court order to establish a fair system that doesn’t punish kids living in property-tax-poor districts like Payson.
The state Legislature did sharply limit the ability to local taxpayers to pass bond measures to make capital improvements. But lawmakers never funded an alternative system. By some estimates, the shortfall now exceeds $1 billion.
Granted, Gov. Doug Ducey did push through new money for school facilities. But it amounts to about $100 instead of the $300 million schools need so they don’t fall even further behind.
School districts have sued the state, trying to force the Legislature to abide by the court order. Past experience suggests only a lawsuit of a voter initiative will shake loose money for schools. Wyman reasoned if that lawsuit succeeds, the district should have its priority list all ready to go.
In the meantime, don’t believe it if someone tells you Arizona has started to adequately fund its schools.
They just figure you’re gullible.
And easily flimflammed.