Saturday, January 24, 2009

Working to protect AZ education and health care

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Phoenix Suns Gorilla celebrates AZ kids with me at Capitol Jan 22. Arizona Guardian photo.

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.

5 comments:

J. Ernesto Ibarra said...

Thank you for being on our side! If the Republicans in the Legislature don't listen to us and do away with their plan of cutting more than $200 million dollars for our universities, believe me, they're going to have a tough time when running for reelection. Thanks and God bless!

Framer said...

So Daniel, if nothing is subject to cuts, how are you going to balance the budget?

Sometimes it is important to be a leader and not a rock thrower. Funny, I kind of had you pegged as the former.

DRP said...

'Framer' -- No one, including me, has said 'nothing is subject to cuts' as you suggest. There will be cuts, but the draconian cuts proposed to education and health care are unacceptable, and resisting this is leadership for the common good.

There are budget solutions, which include serious consideration of all options, not just the 'cut only' approach the out-of-touch Republican Approps. chairmen have proposed.

The GOP chairs target education and health care, while avoiding prisons, when even the Goldwater Inst. suggests cutting nearly $100M from prisons, which I agree with and have discussed here.

The House Dems and I are leading the way toward bipartisan budget and economic solutions in the public interest, starting with the bipartisan vote Thurs. in House Approps. to go with the Dems proposal for $850M in immediate savings and to keep all budget options on the table.

shrimplate said...

Arizona of course ranks last among the 50 states in per-pupil education spending. I have been saying that if it were solely up to Russell Pearce we would rank 51st or even 52nd.

I suspect he might not get the joke.

shrimplate said...

Arizona of course ranks last among the 50 states in per-pupil education spending. I have been saying that if it were solely up to Russell Pearce we would rank 51st or even 52nd.

I suspect he might not get the joke.