by David Safier
State Senator Steve Yarbrough has been sucking at the public teat for years, making loads of money with his various School Tuition Organizations (STO) and related businesses, all of which get their funding from Tuition Tax Credits — aka backdoor vouchers. The courts say the tax credits are legal even though state supported vouchers are unconstitutional, because the money goes straight to the STOs. But at tax time, the taxpayers get 100% of their "donations" back as refunds, making it a distinction without a financial difference, especially to Yarbrough who is living large off these publicly-funded programs.
Now Yarbrough is working actively to cut public schools' already scandalously low funding with three bills which would make it harder for school districts to pass bonds and overrides — SB1182, SB1254 and SB1287.
I co-host a cable access TV show, Education: The Rest of the Story, with Ann-Eve Pedersen, who is President of the Arizona Education Network and understands school finances better than anyone I know. The 5 minute video above is a terrific tutorial on the bills and how they will hurt schools if they pass.