A new report assessed the needs of Arizona’s schools and concluded that the state must spend an additional $2 Billion to upgrade its schools. 

Arizona ranks 49th in the nation for teachers’ salariesand dead last for per-pupil spending.

“The Grand Canyon Institute (GCI), an independent, nonpartisan think tank, conducted its analysis based on educational goals defined in the Arizona Education Progress Meter. The goals were established by Expect More Arizona and The Center for the Future of Arizona….

“It’s been nearly 30 years since Arizona’s state legislature approved a tax increase. Individual tax rates have tumbled downward, and exemptions have increased. Meanwhile, corporate tax cuts have drastically reduced the revenue collected from businesses.”

Sadly, the Republican leadership is deeply indebted to ALEC and the Koch brothers, whose gospel is low taxes and low spending on public services. Last year, the rightwing bill mill ALEC rated Arizona the top-performing state in the nation, despite its abysmal teachers’ salaries and high poverty. On its annual report card, Arizona received a B-, the highest score awarded by ALEC, mainly because of its many school choice programs.