Deportation, Arizona Department of Education IT, Scholarship


♪♪>>>COMING UP NEXT ON “ARIZONA HORIZON,” THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION ISSUES NEW ORDERS ON IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT.>>>ARIZONA’S TOP SCHOOL OFFICIAL IS WORRIED ABOUT THE LACK OF I.T. FUNDING FOR HER DEPARTMENT.>>>AND WE’LL TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT EDUCATION VOUCHERS IN ARIZONA. THOSE STORIES NEXT ON “ARIZONA HORIZON.”>>Announcer: “ARIZONA HORIZON” IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.>>>GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO “ARIZONA HORIZON.” I’M TED SIMONS. THE DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY TODAY ISSUED AN EXTENSIVE SET OF NEW ORDERS DESIGNED TO INCREASE IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT. THEY INCLUDE EXPEDITING DEPORTATION AND THE ENLISTMENT OF LOCAL POLICE. FOR MORE ON TODAY’S SWEEPING CHANGES, WE WELCOME LISA MAGANA, ASU SCHOOL OF TRANSBORDER STUDIES. THESE NEW POLICIES, GIVE ME AN OVERVIEW.>>AN OVERVIEW IS THAT MORE OFFICERS ARE GOING TO BE HIRED TO PROCESS THIS MEMO. IT’S PRETTY NEW, WE’RE ALL STILL ANALYZING IT AND TRYING TO UNDERSTAND IT. SO MORE BORDER PATROL AGENTS AND I.C.E. AGENTS. IT CHANGES PRIORITY OF THOSE THAT CAN BE DEPORTED OR REMOVED. PREVIOUSLY, THE PRIORITY WAS A SERIOUS, SERIOUS CRIMINAL. AND NOW IT’S — WE’RE STILL AGAIN TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT, BUT IF YOU’VE BROKEN THE LAW WHICH CAN INCLUDE A DUI OR, YOU KNOW, TRAFFIC VIOLATION. AND IT ALSO CHANGES THE PARAMETER OF WHERE YOU CAN IN FACT PICK SOMEONE UP. IT WAS PREVIOUSLY CLOSER TO THE BORDER. NOW THIS REFERS TO THE WHOLE UNITED STATES WHICH SPEAKS TO MORE URBAN IMMIGRATION SETTLEMENT. AND THERE’S ALSO USED TO BE A MINIMUM OF TWO WEEKS, WE’D EXPEDIATE DEPORTATION REMOVAL. THEY’VE TALKED ABOUT THIS NOT BEING A MASS DEPORTATION. WE’RE STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT GOES ON. IT DOESN’T TOUCH DEFERRED ACTION FOR CHILDHOOD ARRIVAL, KIDS BROUGHT HERE THROUGH NO FAULT OF THEIR OWN, HOWEVER, WE’RE NOT SURE IF THIS CAN BE SOMETHING AMENDED DOWN THE LINE. SO WE’RE NOT — HE SAID HE’S NOT TALKING ABOUT DACA RIGHT NOW, BUT WE’LL WAIT AND SEE.>>THIS SOUNDS A LITTLE BIT LIKE THE MESA MOM CASE AT LARGE.>>EXACTLY. FOR THOSE NOT FAMILIAR WITH A MOM THAT AGAIN — THE LAW THAT SHE BROKE WAS SHE HAD USED FRAUDULENT DOCUMENTATION IN ORDER TO GET A JOB, HAD TWO CHILDREN HERE AND WAS JUST CHECKING IN BECAUSE OF THAT PRIORITY THAT SHE WASN’T A SERIOUS CRIMINAL AND IN FACT DEPORTED. IS NOW IN MEXICO AND KIDS — HER CHILDREN HAVE NEVER BEEN TO MEXICO AS WHAT I KNOW RIGHT NOW. SO THAT’S THE OTHER PROBLEM WITH THIS PARTICULAR POLICY IS THAT THERE’S MIXED FAMILIES. YOU HAVE KIDS THAT ARE BORN HERE AND MOM AND DAD MAY NOT BE HERE LEGALLY. WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN IF MOM OR DAD ARE DEPORTED, WHAT’S GOING TO TAKE CARE OF THESE KIDS, WHAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. ALL OF THESE UNCERTAINTIES.>>THE IDEA OF STARTING THE PROCESS TO HIRE AT LEAST 10,000 MORE I.C.E. AND BORDER PATROL AGENTS TO START THE PROCESS OF EXPANDING DETENTION FACILITIES, CREATING AN OFFICE, I FOUND INTERESTING, TO ASSIST FAMILIES WHO HAD FAMILY MEMBERS KILLED BY UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS. THIS IS GOING TO COST MONEY.>>IT’S GOING TO COST A LOT OF MONEY. A LOT OF MONEY, I CAN SAY THAT. CAN I JUST BACK UP A LITTLE BIT?>>YES.>>IMMIGRATION AS WE KNOW HAS GONE DOWN. IT’S BEEN DOWN FOR A WHILE. YOU TALKED ABOUT A NET MIGRATION — ZERO NET MIGRATION WITH THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE LEFT AND THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE COMING IN. THIS IS NOT, I WOULD SUGGEST, A PRIORITY ISSUE. WE’RE NOW FOCUSING ON THE 11 MILLION PEOPLE THAT ARE LIVING HERE. SO THIS IDEA — YOU’LL HEAR THIS A LOT, WE’RE GOING TO SECURE THE BORDER, WE NEED TO DO MORE IN TERMS OF ENFORCEMENT. I WOULD SUGGEST THAT IS ONE OF THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS MEMO. IT STRICTLY FOCUSES ON ENFORCEMENT. SO I MIGHT HEAR, WHY DON’T PEOPLE COME IN THE RIGHT WAY. AGAIN, WE DON’T PUT MONEY TOWARD THE SERVICES OF IMMIGRANTS OR ALLOCATING MORE VISAS OR HELPING PEOPLE COME IN LEGALLY. THE EMPHASIS IS MORE ON ENFORCEMENT. IT’S GOING TO COST A LOT OF MONEY, JUST LIKE THE WALL. I DON’T KNOW, YOU KNOW, IT’S A MEMO. I WONDER HOW MUCH OF IT IS REALISTICALLY, HOW MUCH OF THIS CAN BE IMPLEMENTED. I WOULD JUST SAY, YOU KNOW, PART OF THE DANGER OF SOME OF THESE LAWS IS THAT SOMETIMES LAWS HAVE TO BE IMPLEMENTED, BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MISINFORMATION THAT IN MANY WAYS CAN BE JUST AS EFFECTIVE.>>YET THOSE WHO SUPPORT THIS MOVE AND I’M SURE PRESIDENT TRUMP WOULD SAY IT HIMSELF, IF THIS WORRIES YOU AND YOU ARE AN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT, GOOD. THAT’S THE IDEA.>>UH-HUH.>>AND THAT’S THE IDEA THAT IF YOU’RE THINKING OF COMING HERE, YOU SHOULD BE WORRIED.>>RIGHT. AND RESPECTFULLY, STUDYING IMMIGRATION, THE NUMBER ONE REASON PEOPLE COME IS FOR JOBS. AND SO LAWS, SUCH AS CAN’T GET A DRIVER’S LICENSE IN ARIZONA IF YOU’RE AN UNAUTHORIZED IMMIGRANT, DETERRENTS DON’T NECESSARILY ALWAYS WORK. THIS SORT OF — THESE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS, I THINK IN SOME WAYS BECOME MORE SYMBOLIC. I SAY THIS A LOT.>>I WAS GOING TO ASK ABOUT THE POLITICAL WILL AND FALLOUT FROM ALL OF THIS. EVENTUALLY, THERE ARE FOLKS IN CERTAIN INDUSTRIES, MEAT PACKING, SLAUGHTER HOUSES, AGRICULTURE, THESE SORTS OF THINGS COME FIRST TO MIND. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING ABOUT THIS?>>THAT’S A GREAT QUESTION. THERE’S BEEN SEVERAL EXCELLENT STUDIES IN ARIZONA LOOKING AT THE COST AND BENEFITS OF IMMIGRANTS ON THE ARIZONA ECONOMY. OVERWHELMINGLY, IMMIGRANTS ARE A NET — CONTRIBUTE TO THE ECONOMY, OVERWHELMINGLY. EVEN MORE SO, MORE THAN UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS CONTRIBUTE MORE THAN LEGAL IMMIGRANTS BECAUSE THEY DON’T GET MONEY BACK. SO, YES, ABSOLUTELY. IF WE HAVE PEOPLE LEAVING THE ECONOMY, IT ABSOLUTELY HURTS. AGAIN, THE POLICING ASPECTS OF IT GOING TO TAKE TO ACTUALLY START TO FIND AND LOOK AND APPREHEND THESE PEOPLE –>>AND LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. WE’RE VERY FAMILIAR WITH THIS. WITH THE MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT BASICALLY TAKING ON FEDERAL IMMIGRATION DUTIES.>>PART OF THIS MEMO HAS A — TO EXPAND 287G. FOR THOSE OF YOU THAT DON’T KNOW, IT’S A PROVISION THAT SAYS THAT POLICE OFFICERS — AND REMEMBER NATIONALLY NOW, CAN BE SPECIALLY TRAINED TO HELP WORK WITH IMMIGRATION ACTIVITIES. WE’VE GOTTEN INTO SOME PROBLEMS HERE IN ARIZONA AS YOU KNOW WITH MARICOPA COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE AND RACIAL PROFILING BECAUSE THEY DID NOT CARRY OUT PROPERLY 287G. THIS MEMO HAS PROVISIONS FOR THAT TO BE EXPANDED NATIONALLY. AND SO THAT’S REALLY SCARY IN TERMS OF HOW — A LOT OF MISINFORMATION AGAIN ABOUT WHAT IN FACT POLICE OFFICERS CAN DO. IF I CAN ADD, MAYBE GETS INTO THIS TOPIC ABOUT SANCTUARY CITIES AS WELL. BUT POLICE ACTIVITIES AND IMMIGRATION ACTIVITIES, WE LIKE TO KEEP THEM SEPARATE. THE REASON IS IF I’M AFRAID TO CALL THE POLICE FOR FEAR I MIGHT DEPORTED, IT KIND OF RUINS HOW YOU FEEL ABOUT THIS. BUT POLICE OFFICERS LIKE TO KEEP AT LEAST THEIR RELATIONSHIP WITH THE COMMUNITY THAT THEY FEEL SAFE THAT THEY CAN CALL THE POLICE. SO MANY WAYS, THESE TYPES OF POLICIES REALLY HURT THAT RAPPORT WITH IMMIGRANTS.>>I KNOW DHS SAYS SOME OF THESE PROGRAMS WILL ROLLOUT SLOWER THAN OTHERS. WE’LL GET INCREASING INFORMATION ON THE FALLOUT.>>OH, YEAH.>>GREAT TO HAVE YOU HERE.>>>YOU’RE WATCHING “ARIZONA HORIZON.” UP NEXT, CONCERNS REGARDING A LACK OF FUNDING FOR COMPUTER SYSTEMS IN THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.>>>ARIZONA SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION DIANE DOUGLAS IS RAISING CONCERNS OVER THE LACK OF FUNDING FOR DATA SYSTEMS AT THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. SHE SAYS THE LACK OF FUNDING COULD HAVE SEVERE CONSEQUENCES FOR PUBLIC AND CHARTER SCHOOLS THROUGHOUT THE STATE. WE WELCOME DIANE DOUGLAS.>>GREAT TO BE BACK, THANK YOU.>>LACK OF FUNDING FOR I.T. SYSTEMS. WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?>>UNLIKE ANY OTHER STATE AGENCY, WE HAVE NO MONEY IN OUR BASELINE BUDGET TO RUN THE COMPUTER SYSTEMS FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION WHICH RUNS BASICALLY EVERY SINGLE SYSTEM EDUCATION-RELATED THROUGHOUT THE STATE. THE LAST TIME I WAS HERE, I BELIEVE WE WERE TALKING ABOUT MY ARIZONA KIDS CAN’T WAIT PLAN AND A 5% SALARY INCREASE FOR OUR TEACHERS. WELL, IF WE CAN’T RUN AN I.T. SYSTEM, TEACHER SALARY DECREASES WILL BE 100% AND WE CAN’T HAVE THAT HAPPEN.>>YOU’RE ASKING FOR $17.6 MILLION FOR THIS DATA SYSTEM. WHAT EXACTLY WOULD THAT PAY FOR?>>WELL, IT’S BEEN A SYSTEM THAT’S BEEN OVER CREATION FOR SEVERAL YEARS NOW. IT REPLACES A SYSTEM THAT WAS BASICALLY AT THE END OF ITS LIFE AND CRASHING ROUTINELY. WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON IT. $10 MILLION WOULD PAY FOR THE ONGOING MAINTENANCE TO MAKE SURE THAT SYSTEM STAYS UP AND RUNS AND SUPPORTS ABOUT 100 — BETWEEN 100 AND 150 OTHER SYSTEMS THAT OUR SCHOOLS USE. AND THEN WE NEED ABOUT $7 MILLION TO CREATE WHAT’S THE SYSTEMS THAT PAY THE MONEY OUT TO THE SCHOOLS. $5 BILLION IN STATE FUND AND $1 BILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDING. SO WITHOUT THAT, CHILDREN WON’T GET THEIR FREE AND REDUCED FUNDING TO HAVE MEALS.>>I WAS GOING TO SAY, IF THIS FUNDING DOESN’T HAPPEN, ARE WE TALKING ABOUT MONEY THAT SHOULD BE GOING TO SCHOOLS AND SUCH NOT GOING THERE?>>THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT BASICALLY THE DEFUNDING OF PUBLIC EDUCATION IN ARIZONA BECAUSE WE WILL BE UNABLE TO GET THE MONEY TO THE SCHOOLS, TO THE DISTRICTS, AND TO THE CLASSROOMS.>>HOW DID THE AGENCY GET TO THIS SITUATION?>>THERE WAS NOT A RECOMMENDATION MADE IN THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET TO FUND THIS I.T. PROGRAM. BUT I AM ENCOURAGED THAT I WAS ABLE TO SPEAK WITH THE GOVERNOR TODAY. AND ALTHOUGH WE DON’T HAVE A NUMBER AND I DON’T HAVE ANYTHING THAT I CAN BE ASSURED OF AT THIS POINT, WE WILL KEEP WORKING AND KEEP THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE ABLE TO GET THIS CRUCIAL FUNDING FOR OUR STUDENTS.>>BUT AGAIN, I’M WONDERING HOW WE GOT HERE. IT SEEMS LIKE IT WOULD HAVE JUST HIT A WALL. WAS THIS GRADUALLY BUILDING? WE’RE GOING FROM DISTRIBUTING FUNDS TO WE MAY NOT BE DISTRIBUTING ANY FUNDS. THAT SEEMS LIKE A PRETTY STEEP CLIFF.>>WE HAD NOT QUITE $8 MILLION IN THE BUDGET LAST YEAR. IT’S ALWAYS A BIT LESS THAN WE ASK FOR TO REALISTICALLY FINISH THE PROJECTS AND THIS YEAR IT WAS ZEROED OUT. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY. WE HAD HOPED IT WAS AN OVERSIGHT. WE WERE TOLD BY STAFF IT WASN’T AN OVERSIGHT, IT WAS A CONSCIOUS DECISION. AS THEY LOOK AT OTHER AREAS OF THE BUDGET, I REALLY CAN’T EXPLAIN IT, BUT I AM OPTIMISTIC THAT WE WILL KEEP WORKING TOGETHER TO GET A RESOLUTION, BECAUSE WE MUST.>>IF I’M NOT MISTAKEN, OTHER AGENCIES GOT I.T. UPDATE MONEY.>>YES. THE ONE — THE TWO SYSTEMS THAT I JUST MENTIONED APOR AND CHAR. THOSE SYSTEMS WERE CREATED IN 1999. WE HAVE VERY FEW CHILDREN THAT ARE EVEN IN OUR SYSTEM THAT WERE ALIVE WHEN THEY WERE CREATED. WE HAVE AGENCIES THAT ARE BEING GIVEN FUNDING THAT ARE REPLACING SYSTEMS THAT ARE A FRACTION OF THAT AGE AFTER FIVE OR SIX YEARS AND WE’RE TRYING TO REPLACE ANTIQUATED SYSTEMS.>>YOU WANT $17.6 BILLION. THE GOVERNOR ZEROED YOU OUT. LET’S SAY HE THROWS BACK 6 OR $7 MILLION. IS THAT STILL GOOD ENOUGH?>>THAT IS GOING TO GREATLY HAMPER THE SERVICES THAT WE CAN PROVIDE TO SCHOOLS. I MEAN, ONE OF THE REASONS THAT WE’RE ASKING FOR THIS NOW, I APPRECIATE THE BUDGET IS A NEGOTIATION AND THAT TAKES TIME. WE ARE IN A MARKET WHERE I.T. IS VERY HOT RIGHT NOW. WOULD YOUR STAFF, IF THEY KNEW THEY HAD ZERO SALARY ON JULY 1st, WOULD THEY STILL BE HERE? I THINK THEY’D BE LOOKING FOR OTHER JOBS. EVEN IF WE GET THE FUNDING IN MAY, WE STILL GREATLY HARM THE SYSTEM BECAUSE WE’LL LOSE A LOT OF CRUCIAL PEOPLE THAT WE NEED TO KEEP THERE FOR OUR CHILDREN AND FAMILIES.>>WITH THAT IN MIND, HOW LONG CAN THE DEPARTMENT WORK WITH WHAT YOU GOT?>>WELL, WE HAVE THE FUNDING FOR THIS YEAR, AND WE CAN WORK WITH THAT. BUT WE WILL BE AT ZERO ON JULY 1st. WHICH MEANS OUR SYSTEMS WILL SHUT DOWN AND THAT DOESN’T TAKE INTO ACCOUNT PEOPLE THAT MAY NOT WAIT UNTIL JULY 1st TO LOOK FOR POSITION.>>AS FAR AS PEOPLE SAYING I’M NOT GOING TO STICK AROUND HERE.>>WHO WOULD ROLL THE DICE WITH THEIR FAMILY?>>YOU SAID THE GOVERNOR IS LISTENING?>>WE HAD A DISCUSSION TODAY, SO THAT’S ENCOURAGING. I REACHED OUT ON FRIDAY AND WE WERE ABLE TO ACTUALLY SPEAK TODAY. I’M TOLD THERE WILL BE SOME ONGOING DISCUSSIONS, BUT WE NEED TO KNOW WHAT WE CAN ENSURE OUR PEOPLE OF. AND, YOU KNOW, ONE OF THE OTHER PROBLEMS IS — THAT HURTS US IS THAT THE LEGISLATURE ALWAYS PASSES NEW BILLS AND OFTEN THEY IMPACT THE CODING FOR OUR COMPUTER SYSTEM LIKE CURRENT YEAR FUNDING LAST YEAR.>>RIGHT.>>WHICH WE HAD TO MAKE THAT ADJUSTMENT WITH NO FUNDING TO DO IT.>>YEAH. THEY’RE MOVING THE GOAL POSTS AND NOT PAYING YOU FOR THE NEW GOAL POSTS.>>EXACTLY.>>WE’LL SEE WHERE THIS GOES. $17.6 MILLION AND THAT’S THE MAGIC NUMBER FOR YOU, I GUESS. WE’LL KEEP AN EYE ON THIS ONE.>>APPRECIATE YOU DOING THAT. THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN FOR YOUR TIME.>>GOOD TO SEE YOU.>>THANK YOU.>>>THE STATE LEGISLATURE IS LOOKING AT EXPANDING EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS, ESAs. WHAT ARE THEY AND HOW DO THEY WORK AND WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF ALLOWING ALL ARIZONA PARENTS TO PAY FOR PRIVATE SCHOOLS WITH TAXPAYER MONEY? FOR THE ANSWERS, WE WELCOME CHUCK ESSIGS AND CHRIS KOTTERMAN, DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS FOR THE ARIZONA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION. GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US. LET’S GO REALLY BASIC HERE, WHAT IS AN EMPLOYMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNT.>>EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS THAT PARENTS CAN APPLY FOR. THAT GIVES THEM A DEBIT CARD FOR ANYWHERE FROM $5,200 TO $5,900 TO USE FOR A VARIETY OF OTHER EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS FOR THEIR CHILDREN.>>EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP. SO — I MEAN, IT’S SO COMPLICATED AND WE’VE GONE THROUGH SO MANY ASPECTS OF THIS. WHEN IT STARTED, NOW, THESE ESAs WERE DESIGNED FOR A SPECIFIC GROUP OF CHILDREN, CORRECT?>>YES, THEY WERE ORIGINALLY DESIGNED FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES FIRST. SO THEY COULD TRANSFER OUT OF THE DISTRICT SCHOOL, THEY HAD TO HAVE ATTENDED A DISTRICT SCHOOL FOR A HUNDRED DAYS PRIOR. THAT’S THE MAGIC NUMBER THAT GENERATES THE FORMULA FUNDING. THEN LATER YEARS, WE ADDED FOSTER CHILDREN, STUDENTS ATTENDING D OR F SCHOOLS AND EXPAND STUDENTS OF MILITARY FAMILIES. AND NOW WE’RE AT A PROPOSAL TO EXPAND IT TO EVERY STUDENT NO MATTER WHAT.>>EVERY STUDENTS’ PARENT WOULD GET $5,200.>>FOR ELEMENTARY AND $5,900 FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS.>>TO DO REALLY WITH IT WHAT THEY CHOOSE TO A CERTAIN DEGREE.>>THERE’S CERTAIN PARAMETERS THAT THEY MUST USE THE MONEY FOR, FOR SOME EDUCATIONAL TYPE PROGRAM. I THINK ABOUT 85% OF THE PARENTS CURRENTLY USE IT FOR PRIVATE SCHOOL TUITION.>>THE GOAL WAS TO HELP POOR KIDS, PARENTS, DISADVANTAGED KIDS, ESCAPE FAILING SCHOOLS. IS THAT NOT A GOAL THAT COULD STILL BE ATTAINED?>>WELL, THERE’S A LOT — AS CHRIS SAID, THERE’S A LOT OF SPECIFIC PROGRAMS THAT ARE AVAILABLE NOW. YOU KNOW, THEY ALWAYS TALK ABOUT THE CAMEL’S NOSE UNDER THE TENT. THIS EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP EXPANSION PASSES, THERE’S NO LONGER A TENT. THE WHOLE HERD OF CAMELS TAKE OVER.>>WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WHOLE HERD OF CAMEL TAKE OVER?>>A LOT OF TALK IS GIVEN TO STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND HOW BENEFICIAL THE PROGRAM’S BEEN FOR THEM. WE’RE NOT TALKING ABOUT STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES HERE. THEY ALREADY HAVE THE ESA. NO ONE’S GOING TO TAKE IT AWAY FROM THEM. WE’RE TALKING ABOUT EXPANDING IT TO ALL STUDENTS. ONCE YOU DO THAT, YOU’RE PLACING A LARGE BURDEN ON THE STATE GENERAL FUND BECAUSE PROPERTY TAXPAYERS SHARE IN THE COST WHEN THE STUDENT IS ATTENDING THE DISTRICT SCHOOL. ONCE THEY GO TO THE ESA, THE STATE GENERAL FUND HAS TO PICK UP THE WHOLE $5,200. IF TOO MANY STUDENTS GET ON THE PROGRAM, THE STATE ENDS UP PAYING A LOT OF MONEY IT DOESN’T CURRENTLY HAVE.>>WE’VE LOOKED AT EVERY SCHOOL IN THE STATE AND EVERY ESA STUDENT GETS MORE MONEY UNDER THIS PROGRAM THAN WHAT THE STATE’S PROVIDING TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT. AVERAGES 1,000 FOR AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL STUDENT.>>YOU SAY.>>COST THEM $1,000 ON AVERAGE FOR EVERY ELEMENTARY AND $1,200 FOR EVERY HIGH SCHOOL. THAT’S ALL AN EXPENSE ON THE STATE GENERAL FUND.>>I WOULD IMAGINE SOME OF THE STATE LAWMAKERS WOULD SAY, OKAY, I GUESS WE MAY HAVE BEEN WRONG REGARDING THE COST OF ALL THIS, IT’S STILL BETTER BECAUSE IT GIVES PARENTS A CHOICE.>>SURE. I MEAN, THERE IS THAT ARGUMENT. AND FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION’S PERSPECTIVE, PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE NOT AFRAID OF CHOICE. WHAT WE BELIEVE FUNDAMENTALLY IS THAT THE STATE’S FUNDAMENTAL OBLIGATION FIRST IS TO FUND ADEQUATELY PUBLIC SCHOOLS. DISTRICT SCHOOLS AND THEN OBVIOUSLY IN ARIZONA WE HAVE CHARTER SCHOOLS. BUT WITHOUT FUNDING ADEQUATELY DISTRICT SCHOOLS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS WHICH WE’RE NOT, WE’RE CURRENTLY OPERATING WITH A $1 BILLION ROLLOVER, $4 MILLION REDUCTION IN FORMULA FUNDING, NOW IS NOT THE TIME TO SHIFT FUNDING FROM DISTRICT SCHOOLS AND CHARTER SCHOOLS TO ESA AND PRIVATE OPTIONS.>>AGREE WITH THAT.>>JUST THE CUT TO DISTRICT CAPITAL FUNDING AND DISTRICTS ONLY HAVE 15% OF WHAT THEY SHOULD BE GETTING FROM THE STATE AND CAPITAL FUNDING AVAILABLE TO THEM. THEY’RE IN DIRE STRAITS ACROSS THIS STATE.>>I KNOW THERE’S A CAP. TALK ABOUT THE CAP THAT EXISTS RIGHT NOW AND WHERE THAT CAP WOULD GO.>>THE CAP ALLOWS 5,500 NEW STUDENTS TO COME IN EACH YEAR OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. AFTER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, CAP’S GONE. SO THE CAP IS NOT — IT’S KIND OF LIKE YOU DRIVING DOWN THE ROAD AND YOU GO THROUGH TWO STATES AND GET TO THE THIRD STATE, THERE’S NO LONGER A SPEED LIMIT. THAT’S KIND OF WHAT HAPPENS WITH THIS. WHEN YOU GET TO THAT THIRD YEAR, THERE’S NO CAP. IT COULD BE WHATEVER NUMBER APPLIES AND GET APPROVES FOR.>>THIS EXPANSION KIND OF PHASES ITSELF IN TO WHERE IT’S FINALLY IN THERE FULLY, CAP A ADIOS.>>EXACTLY. THE BIG THING TO WATCH OUT FOR, IT PHASES IN, BUT THERE’S A CURRENT PROVISION FOR STUDENTS WHO MEET THE ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS IF YOU NEVER HAVE ATTENDED PUBLIC SCHOOL BUT YOU’RE ELIGIBLE TO ENROLL IN KINDERGARTEN, YOU CAN COME IN STRAIGHT AWAY. PARENTS WHO ARE GOING TO SEND THEIR CHILDREN TO PRIVATE SCHOOL ANYWAY, CAN START THEIR STUDENTS IN KINDERGARTEN ON ESA AND SUBSIDIZE THEIR STUDENT’S EDUCATION.>>IF THE CAP WERE EXTENDED, MORE PALATABLE?>>FROM OUR PERSPECTIVE, WE DISAGREE ON A FUNDAMENTAL LEVEL. BUT GIVEN IF WE WERE FORCED TO ACCEPT THEM, THEN YES A CAP IS MANDATORY.>>IF YOU’RE GOING TO CAP IT, KEEP IT WHERE IT IS TODAY UNTIL YOU WANT TO EXPAND IT AND ALLOW SIGNIFICANT MORE NUMBERS TO BE INCLUDED.>>WHAT DO YOU REALLY THINK IS GOING ON HERE?>>I THINK THERE’S A LOT OF PEOPLE WHO WANT TO SEE PUBLIC SCHOOLS DIMINISHED. THEY EITHER DON’T LIKE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND THE WAY THEY’RE RUN OR THEY WANT TO GIVE PARENTS CHOICE. WE’RE ALL IN FAVOR OF CHOICE, BUT YOU NEED TO HAVE — 85% OF ALL THE STUDENTS IN THE STATE CURRENTLY GO TO TRADITIONAL PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THE STATE SHOULD BE FUNDING THOSE FIRST, FUNDING THEM ADEQUATELY, NOT AT 48th IN THE COUNTRY BUT AT A HIGHER RATE THAN WHERE WE CURRENTLY ARE, BEFORE YOU START LOOKING AT OTHER OPTIONS TO EXPAND PROGRAMS TO OTHER AREAS.>>WOULD THAT 80 PLUS PERCENT RATE STILL EXIST IF PARENTS DID HAVE THESE EMPOWERMENT SCHOLARSHIP ACCOUNTS AND DID HAVE THE EXTRA CHOICE?>>WE ARE CONFIDENT THAT OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL OPTION COMPETES FAIRLY WELL FOR MOST PARENTS WITH ALL OTHER OPTIONS WHICH IS WHY WE’RE NOT AFRAID OF CHOICE. THE IDEA HERE IS THAT BY ALLOWING STUDENTS TO — ESPECIALLY ALLOWING STUDENTS WHO HAVE NEVER BEEN ENROLLED IN PUBLIC SCHOOL WHOSE PARENTS PLAN TO SEND THEM TO PRIVATE SCHOOL ANYWAY, TO TAKE PUBLIC MONEY AND USE THEM FOR A PRIVATE OPTION, WE’RE PHILOSOPHICALLY OPPOSED THAT THAT. IT JUST SIPHONS RESOURCES AWAY FROM THE STATE’S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY. WE WANT TO PAY TEACHERS A MARKET COMPETITIVE SALARY, RENEW SCHOOLS AND NOT HAVE TO KICK STUDENTS OUT LIKE THEY DID IN GLENDALE FOR SIX WEEKS BECAUSE THEY HAD TO REPAIR THE BUILDING. IT’S JUST NOT THE TIME TO DO THIS KIND OF THING.>>SAME QUESTION I ASKED CHUCK, WHAT DO YOU THINK IS REALLY GOING ON HERE?>>I THINK THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT ARE LEGITIMATELY COMMITTED TO THIS IDEA THAT ALL SCHOOLS, ALL EDUCATIONAL OPTIONS SHOULD COMPETE ON A LEVEL FREE MARKET PLAYING FIELD. BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THE SYSTEM IN ARIZONA ISN’T RESOURCED TO MAKE THAT POSSIBLE. THERE IS NO EQUAL COMPETITION WHEN ONE SCHOOL CAN TAKE STATE MONEY AND STILL CHARGE TUITION ON TOP THE PRIVATE SCHOOL AND ONE SCHOOL IS OBLIGATED TO BE THERE 24/7, 365 TO EDUCATE ALL COMERS IN A HIGH QUALITY FASHION. IT’S JUST NOT AN EQUAL PLAYING FIELD.>>AGREE WITH THAT?>>WE LEAD THE NATION IN CHOICE, BUT WE ALSO ARE WAY AT THE BOTTOM OF HOW WE FUND THE CHOICES THAT PARENTS HAVE. WE NEED TO LOOK AT PROVIDING ADEQUATELY FUNDED CHOICES FOR PARENTS.>>REAL QUICKLY. BEEN AT THE LEGISLATURE A LONG TIME. YOU THINK THIS IS GOING TO PASS?>>I THINK THERE’S — HOPEFULLY THERE’S SOME LEGISLATORS, ONCE THEY SEE THE COST, SAVINGS ARE NOT THERE, THEY REALIZE THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO MAKE THIS TYPE OF MOVE. THAT’S MY WISH. WHETHER THAT WILL COME TRUE OR NOT, THAT WOULD BE MY WISH.>>GENTLEMEN, GOOD TO HAVE YOU BOTH HERE.>>>WEDNESDAY ON “ARIZONA HORIZON,” ARIZONA REPUBLICAN CONGRESSMAN JOINS US IN STUDY YOU TO DISCUSS A NEW DEPORTATION RULES AND OTHER ISSUES AND STATE LAWMAKERS WILL JOIN US FOR OUR WEEKLY LEGISLATIVE UPDATE. THAT’S ON THE NEXT “ARIZONA HORIZON.” THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I’M TED SIMONS. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.>>Announcer: “ARIZONA HORIZON” IS MADE POSSIBLE BY CONTRIBUTIONS FROM THE FRIENDS OF ARIZONA PBS, MEMBERS OF YOUR PBS STATION. THANK YOU.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *