Monday, April 30, 2018

BREAKING: In New Ducey #20x2020 Proposal, Koch-funded "Freedom Schools" A Big Winner, Tucson Unified's Taxpayers A Big Loser

(UPDATE, 4pm: We have published a 13-page summary of the new budget reconciliation bill's provisions and an 8-page spreadsheet, at the bottom of this article. These come from the Legislature's website.)

Arizona's House Democratic Caucus had a chance to pick through Governor Doug Ducey's (R-AZ) new #20x2020 budget proposal designed (in part) to end the #RedForEd mass teacher walkout, and they uncovered some interesting items.

Arizona's Politics monitored a good portion of it through the Legislature's video feeds, and confirmed these news items with the lawmakers. They were receiving the briefing from Stephan Shephed, the Joint Legislative Budget Committee's Fiscal Note Manager. (If we receive a response from the Governor's Office, we will pass it along.)


The 2 schools were already set to receive $5.5M from the state. The new proposal adds $2.0M. Rep. Kirsten Engel (D-LD10) told Arizona's Politics "This is outrageous."

Further, Rachel Leingang from the Arizona Republic had earlier shared this Associated Press report about how the Koch-funded freedom school at the publicly-funded George Mason University gave the Charles Koch Foundation a say in hiring and firing of the professors at the university.

Rep. Clark (D-LD24) replied to our reporting by saying "It’s been a long-time goal of he GOP to cut Deseg. This would effectively force those school districts that suffer the most from segregation to pay for desegregation. This is the Victim Blaming Budget in so many ways."
Rep. Friese (D-LD9) notes that the new provision will shift $18M from the state to the effected districts' taxpayers, and that 90% of that amount - or, approximately $16.2M - will be borne by TUSD's taxpayers.

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