by David Safier
Here's a quote by Ed Supe-elect Diane Douglas from a media release:
"The courts have ruled that Arizona schools were deprived of increases guaranteed to them by a vote of the people."
What does she mean exactly? I haven't seen the whole media release (Gotta get on that email list!), and from the reporting I've read, Douglas is short on specifics, but it looks like Douglas is saying the lege should cough up the dough it owes the schools. Another quote:
“Funding is not the only factor in the success of education, but it is clear that Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks."
Here's what's missing — in a good sense — from that statement: the phrase "throwing money at schools." I agree with Douglas, "Funding is not the only factor in the success of education." But lots of conservatives take it a step further and contend that schools deserve less money because they're doing such a terrible job, why reward them for bad behavior by "throwing money at them"?
Douglas states her disagreement with the "throw money at education" crowd by stating, "Arizona schools are suffering due to years of frugal budgets and cutbacks." Yes, indeed they are.
Credit where credit is due. The superintendent has no direct control over the size of the state's education budget, but if Douglas is making statements that move the conversation in a positive direction, she's doing the right thing.