This just in:



Arizona education supporters, led by the state’s Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh and Valley Interfaith Project (which is the local affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation), will launch an effort this Thursday, May 19, to signal to the public and to policy makers that the abysmal lack of education funding in Arizona is not acceptable.


The rally, called #NowItStarts, will be held on the Arizona State Capitol grounds at 4 p.m. in Phoenix to draw attention to the nearly $2 billion in cuts to Arizona public schools, which have stymied teacher pay raises, slashed classroom spending, and left the state’s aging school facilities in disrepair.


The rally comes in the aftermath of a controversial ballot proposition being voted upon today.  Proposition 123, a lawsuit settlement brokered by Gov. Doug Ducey, would end a protracted lawsuit filed when the state withheld voter approved inflation funding from Proposition 301, a voter approved measure from 2000 that legislators ignored during recession budget shortfalls. 


The measure, which has deeply divided supporters of public schools, would replace 72% of the funding due to the schools and would draw largely on the state’s land trust fund to resume inflation funding.  If it passes, the state would still rank 48th in per pupil spending, spending $3,000 less than the national average.


“Regardless of whether Proposition 123 passes or fails, it’s not OK that Arizona education is so underfunded and undervalued by the powers-that-be,” said Marsh, an AP English instructor in Scottsdale.