Arizona Corporations - GIVE IT BACK!!!!!!
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April 28, 2018
Dear Arizona Corporate and Business Leaders:
Arizona teachers need your help! We are responsible for educating your work force yet for years now we have watched Arizona cut its funding for education to the lowest levels in the country. We are asking for your help to resolve this problem and to help us restore education funding.
Arizona’s corporations have been the recipients of some $4 billion dollars in tax cuts and credits in recent years. In fact, in 2017, Arizona corporations paid only $368 million in taxes out of a state budget of $9.8 billion. Corporations bore less than 3.7% of the state’s operating costs. Further, you have chosen to move your tax dollars to support Arizona’s private schools at the direct expense of the public education system. There are approximately 80,000 students enrolled in private schools in Arizona and there are well over a million students enrolled in Arizona’s public schools. Yet, Arizona corporations chose to donate $72 million last year alone to help send students to private and parochial schools, rather than put that money into the state coffers.(3)
In fact, beginning in 2027, Arizona Corporations are expected to pay NO state taxes. My question for you is who is educating your workforce? Who is responsible for teaching today’s youth how to read,write and do math? We are. Who benefits the most from our best efforts? YOU DO! We educate your work force. We are asking you to become our partners in education, not a primary funding source for parents to send their students to very expensive private and parochial schools.
You have a responsibility to your shareholders, your employees, your consumers, and to Arizonans as a whole to pay for your fair share of educating Arizona’s youth. It is time for you to speak up about your fundamental responsibilities for educating Arizona’s youth and start giving back all the money you have transferred to both private schools and to your own bottom line.
Arizona’s teachers are asking you to take two specific actions: 1) Immediately release a statement of support for the Red for Ed movement and the need to fully fund Arizona’s education system; and 2) Contact state legislators and Governor Ducey and demand that Arizona not only provide a teacher raise, but also restore funding to 2008 levels and provide raises for our support staff.
As the primary recipients of spending on Arizona’s education system, you are in a unique position to stand up for public education in the state of Arizona. We hope that you will add your voice to this discussion. We do not have a seat at the table or a voice in this discussion. You do. You and your well-paid lobbyists have the ear of the Legislature and the Governor. It is time for you to speak up!
 https://www.vox.com/2018/4/25/17276284/arizona-teacher-strike-tax-cut-funding-data and see http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/arizona/politics/senate-ready-to-cap-tax-credits-tied-to-non-public/article_1c5dd7c8-f0d9-11e7-8bf1-bbe288212180.html
 Arizona’s poorest residents foot the biggest portion of the income tax burden. The bottom 20% provides 12.5% of the state’s tax revenues. https://www.vox.com/2018/4/25/17276284/arizona-teacher-strike-tax-cut-funding-data
Photo credit: Ernesto Somoza, Teacher, Pueblo High School
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