Editorial: Support of education plan is vital to future

News Release

August 21, 2015

Robin Layton
Prescott Valley Tribune
August 20, 2015

Read the full article here.

Arizona public schools need money. That's a fact. No good news for school funding has emerged from the legislature in recent years. Also a fact.

Gov. Doug Ducey's plan may just change both those facts.

As we recently reported in our Arizona Chamber of Commerce article, Ducey's plan is to increase the distribution percentage from the state's Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. The fund, which draws its money from the sale and lease of trust lands given to Arizona at statehood, is tied to 9.2 million acres of public lands managed by the Arizona State Land Department and now stands at $5.1 billion.

The money from the fund is meant to be held in trust to support K-12 education. Schools already receive money from the endowment at 2.5 percent per year. The governor's proposal would increase that percentage to 10 percent for five years, then reduce it to 5 percent for the next five years.

It sounds like the governor is recognizing the state's educational pinch and is trying to find creative ways to ease it.

Supporters believe it will come up early in the 2016 legislative session. Getting the word out to your reps in a few months is a good way to do your part.

The Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry is also stumping for support of the plan.

I was impressed to see the chambers of commerce in the state unite as a fledging political force. It gives small business owners a statewide voice that has been lacking. The more voices, the better the results.

Stand up for education, Arizona. Those children will be running the country when you are in your rocking chair ... invest in them now.