TUCSON -- As a State Representative, I'm glad to get thousands of emails and calls this week from Arizonans outraged with some GOP legislators plans to deeply cut education funding.
My daughter is in first grade in Tucson public schools, and I'm in the schools every week listening to teachers. My mom was a public school teacher, and my sister is now. I strongly support protecting education funding at all levels (K-Univ.) and finding ways as soon as possible to increase funding. Severely cutting education would be unwise and unethical and would harm Arizona's economy, quality of life and future.
I do not support the appropriations chairs' proposed education cuts, and I'm doing everything I can to protect education, including talking about it directly to the new governor yesterday.
Good people of AZ, please feel free to keep contacting me, but know that I'm on your side.
Arizona's universities and college students have done a great job letting lawmakers know they want colleges protected, but K-12 advocates seem to have been much less aggressive.
Perhaps it is because they know they have my support, but I've heard nothing at the Capitol from K-12 public school districts, including TUSD and Sunnyside in my district 29, which has me concerned they may not get the relief they need. Superintendents, school board members and K-12 advocates need to be loud on this right now.
I am also very concerned about the chairs' plans to cut KidsCare, a critical program that provides health care for 74,000 at-risk kids and parents in AZ. I participated in the Children's Action Alliance event Thursday at the Capitol to celebrate 10 years of KidsCare, and call for keeping this essential human service.