Sunday, January 18, 2009

Crash Course On School Finance - Public invited

From the sidebar of an AZ Republic article on successful traditional educational programs at public schools -
What: Rep. David Schapira, ranking Democratic member of the House Education Committee, and Rep. Rich Crandall, House Education Committee chairman, invite the public to a Crash Course on School Finance, a presentation focused on educating legislators on the financing of Arizona schools.

When/where: 9-11 a.m. Thursday at the House of Representatives, - House Hearing Room 1, 1700 W. Washington St., Phoenix.

Details: The forum, hosted by Arizona Business and Education Coalition Executive Director Susan Carlson and moderated by Chuck Essigs, director of governmental relations for the Arizona Association of School Business Officials, will focus on the business side of schools and school-finance reform.

House Hearing Room 1 is accessed via the main lobby in the House building.

On a related note, over at Blog for Arizona, David Safier has been doing stellar work covering the state's budget crisis and the intention of the lege's Republican caucus (aka - the Arizona Chapter of the Flat Earth Society) to use the budget deficit as political cover to shred funding for public education...while protecting funding for things such as prisons. (Safier references an Arizona Guardian article here)

I'd just like to point out one thing to those that think that Arizonans' tax money is better invested by imprisoning people than by educating them -

Arizona spending per prisoner, FY2001 - $22476
US average for that year - $22650
No rank listed in the linked report, but you can see AZ was nearly average in this regard, so the rank was probably in the mid-20s.

Arizona spending per student, School year 2000-2001 - $5100
US average for that year -$7284
Rank: 49

Arizona crime rate rank, 2001 - 1

So could someone explain to me how solidly funding prisons while cutting, even destroying, public education funding, is cost effective in the long term?

Note: I used 2001 figures to compare apples to apples as 2001 was the most recent year that I could find reliable figures and ranks for all three areas (prison spending, education spending, crime rates)

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