PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - Red for Ed leaders said the state budget proposal laid out Tuesday is now going against what they fought for last year.

They’re talking about millions of dollars in tax cuts.

But teachers specifically called for no tax cuts until education funding could get back to where it was before the recession in 2008.

[WATCH: Red for Ed says new proposed budget doesn't fund schools enough]

Republicans said it's not fair to call them "cuts" but more an offset to state tax increases.

“I am 100% disappointed,” said Arizona Education Assoc. vice president Marisol Garcia.

Garcia has been a staple in the Red for Ed movement and is also mom to a seventh-grade son.

She said this new budget proposal is only going to make students suffer from underfunded classrooms more than they already do.

“What tends to happen is our legislators and governor continue to give tax cuts to places that aren’t needed, and so then when it comes time to fund schools, there is no money left over,” said Garcia.

[RELATED: Red for Ed supporters to lawmakers: We're still fighting for the cause]

The $11.9 billion plan laid out in budget legislation Tuesday includes $386 million in cuts to fees and taxes, which is the exact opposite of what teachers asked for when thousands of them protested last year.

[RELATED: AZ teacher walkout ends, but not all students go back to class (May 4, 2018)]

Garcia said she was told voting starts Wednesday morning at one of the worst times for teachers to be able to get to the Capitol.

“We’re putting as much pressure as we can. We’ve put an all call out to get educators down here. Unfortunately, it’s the worst time of the year because teachers are at graduations and promotions,” she said.

But Republican lawmakers said the cuts offset the state tax increases triggered by the 2017 federal tax cut law.

[RELATED: Arizona teachers elected amid wave of activism turn to governing]

Rep. T.J. Shope defends the cuts because he said there will be more money for schools.

“We are also in the process of hiking up our district additional assistance dollars. I’ve spoken to several superintendents in my district over the last 24 hours. They’re very excited about that. The money is going to be going not even at the 20 by 2020 clip, but at a faster clip than 20 by 2020, so we are pretty excited about that. And I think most of the folks at home are pretty excited as well,” said Shope.

Yet Garcia said that windfall money that taxpayers already paid could have been used for education funding.

If this budget proposal passes, she said students and teachers lose.

In a statement Tuesday night, the Governor's Office told Arizona’s Family in part the plan makes the tax codes simpler and fairer, while "protecting the substantial investments we've made in priorities like raising teacher salaries and protecting public safety."

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

Recommended for you

(6) comments

AZFirst

Time to take the labor unions out of the government sector.
Every teacher I know own homes (some more than one), have RV's, health insurance, and pensions and only work half the year.
I chose to work the private sector and have lived paycheck to paycheck my whole life.
My spouse is retired now and has to pay income tax on the pension from another state, PLUS the SS payment one of us gets. We do not have health insurance since the UN-affordable health care act. My spouse will be getting on Medicare this month.
I'm having trouble getting hired due to my age.
Sorry but I am sick and tired of hearing about how hard teachers have it. They got what the 20% they wanted but it never be enough.

YoureAnIgnoramous

Step One: Elect corporate shills to PUBLIC office. Step Two: Promote Charter Schools. Step Three: Cut funding to PUBLIC schools. Step Four: Point out how PUBLIC schools are failing (but don't mention they're underfunded). Step Five: Divert PUBLIC money to PRIVATE schools... Rinse and repeat...

MyOwnMind

You sound like a teacher. A mindless drone that can only repeat what you've been told to repeat.

YoureAnIgnoramous

Does the pot call the kettle black? I'm pretty sure my grandpa sent me that chain email about how "teachers are the devil!", lol and all that. All i'm trying to say is Public Schools and Teachers deserve to be properly funded. There is a direct and substantiated correlation between School/Teacher performance and State Funding and Arizona has been diverting PUBLIC money to PRIVATE schools since the austerity cuts of 08'.

MyOwnMind

They are properly funded. The district squanders the money. don't like it, get out or better yet, pull your kids and homeschool them. They'll be better off than listen to these overpaid idiots.

TRUMP supporter

Taxpayers should not support private schools.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.