Arizona Town Hall and School Funding
On Oct. 17, the Arizona Town Hall visited Prescott with a topic near and dear to our hearts: PK-12 Funding in Arizona.
PUSD had many leaders present, including 10 Prescott High School students. Hosted by Embry-Riddle, the Town Hall organization had gathered pages and pages of data, as well as offering several presentations.
Many people know that Arizona continues to rank in the lowest states in the nation for funding our children’s education. Still, the data presented was staggering, overwhelming, and downright upsetting. Arizona has defunded education through tax cuts over the last 20 years. With the data in hand, the groups of leaders present went through a problem solving and brainstorming process to make recommendations regarding the crisis. Take a look at the Arizona Town Hall website to see results: www.aztownhall.org. The general consensus was this: Arizona must invest in its future. We must find a way to invest in PK-12 education adequately, for the sake of Arizona’s future success.
Prescott was just one stop on a statewide tour of the Town Hall. There will be a culminating Arizona Town Hall event in the Valley, where selected leaders are invited to pull all of these PK-12 funding ideas together. Inspired by the urgency at the Prescott Town Hall, a donor offered to fund a team from PUSD to represent Prescott in this State Town Hall. On Nov. 12-15, we will send a team of five adults and five students to represent in Mesa.
We are very excited to have a voice in this event that will be shared on a state level. Polls have showed again and again that Arizona voters see PK-12 Education as one of the most concerning problems in the state. I have been asking for nearly a decade: is everybody OK with continually being at the bottom of the nation in funding our children’s future? When does this become important to the State of Arizona?