Arizona Interfaith Proves Vital in Petition Drive Against Lowest Flat Tax in Nation
Arizona Interfaith Network and their education coalition partners have halted the lowest so-called “flat tax” ever enacted by a state. By demanding a referendum on Senate Bill 1828, the coalition stopped the destructive reworking of Arizona’s tax code that would have reduced revenue by over $1 billion annually, putting future generations of Arizonans at risk. Instead the tax cut proposal will be referred to the 2022 ballot.
National anti-tax groups see Arizona’s tax legislation as a path to replicate, as evidenced by op-eds by the likes of Grover Norquist touting Arizona as a “national model”. This puts AIN’s fight into a larger context of citizens demanding responsible stewardship and preservation of state budgets that should be put to work for the good of their state, even in the face of well-funded outside interest groups.
The utter lack of political will to invest in future generations has got to stop.
Rev. Jeff Procter Murphy, a leader with Valley Interfaith Project, said at the press conference, “This has got to stop – this utter lack of political will to invest in future generations has got to stop. For too long we have neglected our responsibility to future generations. …
"They’ve decided to radically restructure our tax code to reward the very wealthy on the backs of everyone else. They did so on the narrowest of margins, and they thought we wouldn’t notice. This is an affront to the voters of our state. It’s an insult to our teachers, and it’s a direct attack on the very people that all of us, people of faith, are instructed to protect: children, the vulnerable, those who live on the margins and who have suffered the most in this pandemic.”
[In photo, Rev. Jeff Procter Murphy; photo credit InvestInAZ Campaign video]
Education Advocates File Signatures to Force Vote on Ducey’s Tax Cuts in 2022, Arizona Mirror [pdf]
School Advocates Turn in Petitions to Overturn Arizona's $1 Billion Tax Cut, The Arizona Republic [pdf]
Petitions Turned in, Apparently Will Force Public Vote on Arizona Tax Cut, Arizona Daily Star [pdf]
Foes of Massive Arizona Tax Cuts File to Block Them, Associated Press [pdf]
Tax Cut Likely to Go to Voters, Arizona Capitol Times [pdf]
Jersey City Together Secures the First Fully Funded Budget for Jersey City Public Schools in Over a Decade
The Jersey City Together (JCT) Education Team led the charge for a huge win for public education in Jersey City. For the first time in more than a decade, the Jersey City Board of Education voted for a fully funded schools budget. The 6-3 vote is historic progress for a district that just a few years ago was $125 million underfunded according to the state funding formula. JCT leaders participated in this and previous meetings, testifying for the increased budget.
At their March action, Jersey City Together highlighted the history of underfunding in Jersey City Public Schools and called for a fully funded budget.
Jersey City BOE approves fully funded $814M budget at uncharacteristically brief meeting, Hudson County View [pdf]
Jersey City BOE hosts hearing on $814M budget, parents call for fully funding spending plan, Hudson County View [pdf]
After great debate, Jersey City BOE narrowly approves 1st reading of amended $814M budget, Hudson County View [pdf]
History of Underfunding in Jersey City Public Schools, Jersey City Together [video]
Arizona Interfaith Network Leverages Hundreds of Millions of Dollars for Arizona Schools in Passage of Prop 208
Through an intense mobilization campaign that engaged voters across the state, Valley Interfaith Project, with Pima County Interfaith, Northern Arizona Interfaith Council and a coalition of education allies, leveraged passage of Prop 208 which will restore millions of dollars to K-12 education funding.
[Excerpts from Jewish News below]
“Quality education is at the core of who the Jewish people are and how we have survived for thousands of years,” said Rabbi John Linder of Temple Solel, a member of the Arizona Interfaith Network Clergy Caucus. “And we look at quality education as reflecting the common good of the community.”
AIN was among five organizations that worked for the last four years to pass the Invest in Ed initiative. Other coalition organizations include the Arizona Center for Economic Progress, the Arizona Education Association, Children’s Action Alliance and Stand for Children.Read more
AIM Wins $34M to Renovate South Lake Elementary
In September 2023, 900 children at South Lake and 600 children at Burnt Mills Elementary Schools will walk through the doors of new, safe, and welcoming buildings, heads held high and proud. 1500 children who have usually been left behind because they are Black, brown, and immigrants. Their teachers will be able to teach in classrooms without leaking ceilings, without cleaning rodent droppings, without overcrowding in a sea of trailer classrooms.
Over the past 10 years, Montgomery County has invested more capital dollars in the wealthiest district- Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Potomac- than any other district. Action in Montgomery's congregations and public schools fought together over the past two years to ensure that the children of South Lake and Burnt Mills were not once again neglected. Hundreds of parents and AIM congregations worked for over two years to tell the story of a dilapidated structure that wasn't good enough. They successfully got South Lake and Burnt Mills prioritized by the Superintendent and the Board of Education in the fall of 2019 only to have the County Council renege on their commitment to AIM. In May 2020, the Council voted unanimously to delay South Lake because of COVID even while other schools in wealthy districts remained on schedule.Read more