Editor:

Lot’s of us are very interested in making Arizona, and the Rim Country specifically, the best it can be. One thing that breaks my heart is that Arizona ranks 49 out of 50 states in education. Just about bottom in the U.S. as far as the amount of money spent on educating our children is beyond belief. Why? Because the people who run our state continually cut the amount of money spent on the education of our children.

One reason the state is short of teachers is because teachers can’t make a living on the pay they receive. Teachers are prevented from striking for higher wages and are forbidden to quit as it can break their contracts. Taxpayer money for education is diverted from public schools, bringing the amount per student even lower, and sent to private schools. I don’t have a problem with people sending their children to private schools, but I don’t believe my tax dollars should go to private schools.

The lack of tax dollars create lower graduation rates, lower test scores, and overall, the inability for new business to find employees suitable for modern industries.

I support both Col. (ret.) Felicia French and Mayor Coral Evans. They both agree that improving education in Arizona is critical for improving the Arizona and Rim Country economy.

Connie Cockrell, Payson

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(1) comment

Jack Handy

The educational system as a whole needs a massive overhaul. Teachers are not making what they consider a living wage, while superintendents in some larger districts are pulling down $250K annually, and more. Overhead is out of control, and rather than address that, like we are forced to do in our lives, they propose higher taxes and an increased budget. They've been reading from the standard issue government entity playbook. I would like to see budget overhauls and some serious fiscal conservation before giving more money to feed the machine.

Jack

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