LAUNCH Represented at Arizona Town Hall
Flagstaff attorney Patrice Horstman and Coconino County Superintendent of Schools Risha VanderWey, both members of the LAUNCH Flagstaff Community Leadership Council, joined LAUNCH Partnership Director Paul Kulpinski at the 110th Arizona Town Hall on Funding preK – 12 Education. This northern Arizona contingent participated with about one-hundred other community and business leaders, elected officials, students and educators in an intense three-day process to draft a list of recommendations to be used by communities across the state to influence local and state policy on funding public education in Arizona.
The report prioritizes the following action items:
- Recruiting and retaining teachers with a dedicated revenue stream to increase teacher pay commensurate with the national average.
- Restoring full funding for school capital needs.
- Funding full-day Kindergarten and early childhood education programs.
- Eliminating “results-based” funding.
- Implementing consistent, transparent accountability standards for all educations systems that accept public funds.
- Ensuring that all existing and new funding sources for education can not be diverted for other purposes.
“Increased state funding is urgently needed,” the reported states in order for Arizona’s preK-12 educational system to achieve the goals expected of it. The report identifies several sources for increased educational funding including:
- renewal and expansion of Proposition 301 from the current 0.6% sales tax to at least a 1.0% tax rate;
- repeal the limitations on Legislature-approved tax increases which were created by Proposition 108
- making all nicotine delivery devices subject to the existing tobacco tax;
- consider the creation of excise taxes on such commodities as energy production sold out of state;
- and closing existing corporate tax loopholes.
Many of the recommendations from the Flagstaff Community Town Hall and Flagstaff Future Leaders Town Hall were reflected in the final statewide report, an indication that “other communities across the state have shared values and concerns as do residents here in Flagstaff,” said Kulpinski.
Read the entire 110th Arizona Town Hall Report by clicking here.
Read the entire Flagstaff Community Town Hall Report by clicking here.
Read the entire Flagstaff Future Leaders Town Hall Consensus Statement