We are teachers, students, parents and education supporters. We have come together because for too long, our students have been packed into crowded classrooms, our educators have had to buy their own basic supplies, and our children have watched as beloved teachers leave the profession, or our state, because they cannot afford to support their own family.
We need to get back to investing in our students and in our state's future – which means asking those who can afford it to start paying their fair share again. It is time for Arizonans to take the power into our own hands. We need to provide immediate solutions to our school funding crises. It is time for us to act.
The Invest in Education Act gives Arizona voters the chance to fix our teacher shortage and class size crisis and to ensure a dedicated funding source the politicians can't touch. The proposition is expected to raise $690 million which will be deposited into the Classroom Site Fund with 60% of the dedicated revenue directed to teacher salary increases and employment-related expenses and 40% directed to maintenance and operations of public schools, specifically for:
Class size reduction
Teacher compensation increases
Assessment intervention programs
- Full day Kindergarten
- Teacher liability insurance premiums
- Compensation increases for student support personnel, including food service staff, nurses, counselors, social workers, and librarians
Our solution is to ask those households with incomes over $500,000 to pay more in their state income taxes. And once passed by the voters, this funding cannot be taken away by the legislature. The new income tax rates will apply to married couples who file jointly or single heads of households with taxable incomes above $500,000 and to married couples who file separately and single person households with taxable incomes above $250,000 – that is income after subtracting deductions and exemptions. The higher rates are only paid on the income above those amounts and will apply to less than 1% of Arizona households.
We will need the help of education activists from all across our state to gather more than 150,642 verified petition signatures before the July 5 deadline to qualify for the ballot in November.