Arizona Education Association

Fall 2015

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AEA Advocate | Fall 2015 9 In a letter to lawmakers this past July, state Treasurer Jeff DeWit outlined his opposition on Governor Doug Ducey's proposal in regards to the Permanent Land Endowment Trust Fund. "This Trust Fund is the one thing in Arizona Government that looks past today's needs and protects our children, and our children's children. The money in the more than 100-year old Trust is Arizona's to manage, not to give." In June, Governor Ducey laid out a proposal to increase payouts from the state's land trust fund to public education from 2.5 percent to 10 percent in the fi rst fi ve years and then drop to 5 percent in the next fi ve years, and expire in 2026. The governor states this will provide over $2 billion to schools over the next decade and increase per-pupil funding by $300. Currently, Arizona is last in per-pupil funding and $3,000 below the national average. In the letter, Dewit and past state treasurers Dean Martin and Carol springer oppose the governor's plan for the following reasons: 1. Creates nearly $1 billion fi scal cliff in 2022 for schools by dropping distributions from 10 to 5 percent during the same year that the Proposition 301 sales tax expires. 2. Threatens the "corpus" or principal of the fund by not protecting it from infl ation and assumes a highly optimistic and steady stock market return on investment. 3. Cuts $8 billion from future payments to schools 40 years after the governor's plan ends. While the governor's plan may increase money to students, it is temporary and does not address the needs our public schools have today because it will require passage by the Arizona Legislature next session and approval from voters in November 2016. In addition, the plan would not begin distributing money until 2017. Arizona's public school students need and deserve schools with enough teachers and resources to reach their full potential. That means a sustainable and permanent revenue source for education funding. That plan may include increased payouts from the state trust land, but only if it does not threaten the longevity of the trust and includes a permanent source dedicated to adequately funding our schools. AT ThE cAPITOL AT ThE cAPITOL AT ThE cAPITOL Arizona Treasurer and Past Treasurers Oppose Ducey's State Trust Land Proposal

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