Stranger Fruit

Cutting education funding in Arizona

Arizona Republicans have proposed that education – from kindergarten through university – should be the first thing to get the chop in a proposed budget. They are looking to cut $1.5 billion from education over the next 18 months with the K-12 system being hit for nearly $1 billion of that. I agree with our Board of Regents that the proposed $500,000 cut to the universities would be ?cataclysmic in the depth and breadth of devastation they will cause to our higher-education system in Arizona.? Even a short-term cut in funding will have serious implications for the competitiveness of Arizona. ASU alone pumps approximately $3.2 billion dollars each year into the state?s economy and creates tens of thousands of jobs. We have taken more than $37 million in state funding cuts in the last 18 months, leading to the loss of 500 staff positions and over 200 faculty associates, the disestablishment of two schools and a reduction in the number of nursing students. And that is just ASU.

(As an aside, one of the two proposers of the cuts – Russell Pearce – has featured here before. He had no problem making universities pay for flags in every classroom.)

Comments

  1. #1 crf
    January 16, 2009

    I wonder what John McCain thinks about this; since Arizona is his home state he should be interested.

    Even though he lost the presidential election, and it would be gentlemanly of him to not to tread too firmly in areas of new federal policy, wouldn’t it be good if he spoke up to ask that the federal government help protect state institutions from what are hopefully only to be short term cuts, but ones that will still cause long term damage to the institutions themselves and to the economy?

    Cutting university funding is not a rationalisation. It is a regression.

    http://mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.ContactForm

  2. #2 Michael Fugate
    January 16, 2009

    John, I am glad you are writing here again.
    We are facing the same issue in California. The University of California is cutting freshmen enrollments and freezing hiring and salaries. We have already let class sizes grow to enormity – short-term gains lead to long-term losses.

  3. #3 chas
    January 16, 2009

    New Mexico government is considering education cuts as well even though Gov. Richardson and state congress provided tax rebates to citizens last year.

  4. #4 Gridman
    January 16, 2009

    I’m not sure which is the bigger injustice.

    Cutting money from K-12 education directly disadvantages children who simply have no choices in where they go to school.

    Cutting from higher education limits students’ opportunities, but – as adults- at least they might have alternative places to go to school in other states.

  5. #5 Lorax
    January 17, 2009

    iirc from my time living in Tucson, AZ spends more on prisons than schools. We are getting hit in MN as well, but at least our governor (Pawlenty) wants increased spending on K-12 education, kind of surprising since he’s striving to be a leader of the republican party. Hope you can get the people of the state to appreciate the importance of education to the society as a whole, but based on my experience there, this is a sisyphus undertaking.

  6. #6 DLC
    January 18, 2009

    I will never understand cutting funds for education.
    In my opinion, an educated populace of vital importance to the nation.

  7. #7 Michael
    April 18, 2009

    Well, what about the Obama stimulus package which he is planning on giving to the States? The focus of Obama stimulus package is to create more government jobs and repair the infrastructure in the United States with more on the way including health care for the entire world if they can cross the US border, meaning illegals would be entitled to free health care. Now couldn’t it be possible to divert some of that money in the Obama stimulus package to education abroad in various States or are you just trying to blame the Republicans?

    You say taxes haven’t been raised in AZ in 20 years, but we haven’t had a worldwide economic recession in those 20 years either like we do now! So by raising taxes on residents and business taxes in tough economic times is not a viable option!

  8. #8 John Lynch
    April 19, 2009

    The focus of Obama stimulus package is to create more government jobs and repair the infrastructure in the United States with more on the way including health care for the entire world if they can cross the US border, meaning illegals would be entitled to free health care.

    Wow. You *actually* believe that, don’t you? I guess you feel a little out of it now that Palin isn’t in the limelight.