What does Proposition 207 do?
Proposition 207, the Invest in Education Act, is a ballot initiative that puts children first. It restores critical funding for education so that Arizona schools can keep and attract the best teachers and provide our children with the quality education they deserve.
Arizonans also understand good schools are the backbone of our communities. With Prop 207, our children and schools will get the resources they deserve. In addition, the economic future of our state depends on an educated workforce that will attract employers and better paying jobs. When our schools thrive, we all benefit.
There’s no time to wait -- we must invest in our children now for a strong, vibrant Arizona.
How much money will the initiative raise for education?
Proposition 207 is expected to raise $690 million annually which will be deposited directly into the Classroom Site Fund. This will be paid for by a small income tax increase on the wealthiest 1% of Arizonans. These much-needed dollars will allow our schools to raise teacher salaries in order to keep and attract the most qualified educators, reduce class sizes, and add valuable support staff like counselors, nurses, and social workers.
Why do we need Proposition 207?
Year after year, politicians have willfully ignored the needs of children, teachers and communities. Shamefully, Arizona ranks nearly last in the country for per-pupil spending. Reckless tax cuts and corporate giveaways have starved our school system of essential dollars, leaving our children woefully disadvantaged in today’s modern economy.
● Arizona spends almost 1 billion less on educating our children then it did in 2008.
● Students are forced to use outdated textbooks and technology, and learn in crumbling school buildings.
● Classroom sizes have ballooned, allowing little time for individual attention.
● Meanwhile, many qualified, passionate teachers are leaving Arizona for neighboring states that pay a livable wage of $10,000-$15,000 more per year.
There is no doubt about it - Arizona is in crisis when it comes to education. This initiative is the responsible route to a dedicated funding source to get needed resources into Arizona classrooms.
As we all know, a strong education is absolutely central to creating a strong future - for our children and our community. Proposition 207, the Invest in Education Act, makes an urgent investment in our children. Its passage is absolutely critical for the creation of a strong, vibrant Arizona.
Isn’t this the responsibility of our state legislature and governor to fix?
Make no mistake - this crisis exists because politicians have catered to corporate interests and failed policies at the expense of our children and teachers. They are completely out of step with what hard-working Arizonans want. Proposition 207, the Invest in Education initiative, is the culmination of the 75,000 parents, educators and community activists who showed up at the State Capitol in solidarity over the week-long walk out in frustration over the legislature’s inability to fix Arizona’s public school funding crisis, and the over 270,000 Arizonans who signed petitions in favor of the initiative. It is a grassroots movement like no other ever seen in our state because this is our children’s future we’re talking about. Our community has come together to say enough is enough.
Won’t a tax increase on Arizona’s highest earners hurt our economy and job growth rate?
99 percent of all Arizona tax filers will not have their taxes increased by this initiative. What this initiative will do is put an additional $690 million annually in new money into our public education system to pay for quality teachers in every classroom and ensure those classrooms have the resources needed to educate a skilled workforce for Arizona. When asked in an annual survey over the past three years, Arizona’s top business leaders have consistently stated that the lack of a skilled workforce and a strong public education system are the biggest challenges to Arizona’s economy. This initiative will provide the investments needed to strengthen both.
Will Proposition 207 hurt small businesses in Arizona?
Special interests, corporations and politicians use scare tactics to say this will hurt small business. It is false and we heard the same warnings about the dangers of raising the minimum wage in Arizona, yet jobs have continued to grow and mainstream economists say there has been no overall negative impact. Most small businesses don’t have taxable income anywhere near the amount this initiative relates to (the median income for Arizona small businesses is $48,898 according to the U.S. Small Business Administration). Small businesses that are large and profitable enough to be in the top 1 percent of income earners should pay their fair share too because they will benefit from having a stronger public education system and the skilled workforce that results.
How do new federal tax cuts impact Proposition 207?
The wealthiest one percent of Arizonans are receiving an average federal tax cut of $47,940, or 27% of the tax cuts going to all Arizonans. That’s almost twice as much as any tax increase from Prop 207. This initiative is a responsible way to ask those who are benefiting the most to help students and teachers.
How can we be sure that if Proposition 207 passes, that a future legislature will not use the new money for something else?
The initiative includes language to ensure that the revenue generated by this proposal cannot be used “to supplant, replace or cause a reduction” in other school district funding sources. If approved by voters this November, this initiative will create a guaranteed, sustainable funding source to solve our teacher shortage and classroom resource crisis in a manner that is voter protected and which the Arizona Constitution says cannot be taken away by the legislature.
Will Proposition 207 raise taxes on everyone?
No, when you hear that this will increase taxes on everyone it is yet another scare tactic aimed at deceiving voters. Proposition 207 will raise taxes only on couples earning over $500,000 or individuals earning over $250,000. According to the Arizona Department of Revenue, the tax increase would affect about 21,000 tax filers out of more than 2.6 million Arizonans who file state income tax forms each year.