Bills Propose Proposition 301 Extension

The House Education Committee on Monday will hear HB2158, sponsored by Representative Doug Coleman. HB 2158 is the mirror bill to SB 1390, which was introduced by Senator Kate Brophy McGee, with 56 Senate and House co-sponsors.

The bills propose the extension of Proposition 301 set to begin after the proposition’s original lifespan which ends in 2021. An amendment will be offered to sunset the new statutory extension eight years after it takes effect, concluding in 2029. The amendment will also convert the Classroom Site Fund to dedicate all dollars allocated to the Fund for teacher pay. Using FY 2017 numbers as an example, $384 million would be dedicated to teacher pay.

Because administrators like those in the Tucson Unified School District used Proposition 301 to shore up their finances, Prop 301 supporters would like to see the bills amended to include a “use it or lose it” Provision. The provision among other matters, would require schools to pay teachers their earned incentive pay in the year the state awarded it including all of their base pay and menu options. Currently, a lack of transparency and less-than rigorous requirements for Proposition 301 money allocations allowed TUSD to build up a $20.8 million cumulative surplus in recent fiscal years.

Similar provisions should be amended and adopted for proposition 123 as well.

Jose Borrajero, the founder of the Arizona People’s Lobbyist said his objection to HB2158 is that it “claims that the money will have to be used for teacher salaries, but somehow past promises to that effect have not materialized. It is difficult to be enthused about another tax increase when we already spend nearly 50% of the state budget, over 66% of property taxes, and about 10% of sales taxes on education. This is especially troublesome since we are spending on average just barely over 50% of the education budget on teacher salaries and other classroom related expenses. We have raided the land trust fund via Prop 123 and continue to approve numerous budget overrides, but the teachers are still getting the short end of the stick.”

4 Comments on "Bills Propose Proposition 301 Extension"

  1. TUSD Taxpayer and Voter | February 12, 2018 at 5:40 am | Reply

    This should be a no brainer for public education and districts across the state. Unfortunately TUSD continues to be the poster child for all that ills public school districts. Undoubtedly too much of the money awarded Tusd finds its way into central administrators payroll and other administrative costs. Leaving other AZ districts who manage their finances according to spirit of the law, to scratch their heads and explain the 800 pound elephant in the room. EIther tie it 109% to teachers and classrooms or allow it to sunset. All sides argue the poor teacher pay scales in Aruzona but the State takes the blame when legislation is passed full of loopholes.

  2. Archie Dicksion | February 12, 2018 at 1:30 pm | Reply

    This action violates the Enabling Act of 1910 as well as Title 10 Section 1 and 2 of the Arizona Constitution. Neither The Office of the
    Governor of Arizona nor the Arizona State Legislature has any jurisdiction over the State Schools Land except in its legal capacity of Trustee. This attempt to pass a Bill changing the method of payout of earnings by trust land and funds exceeds the jurisdiction of the Legislature and basically constitutes a theft of public property.

  3. Well, well. Who would have thought that the stupid politicians want to continue to rape the state land fund. Taxes once put in place will never sunset, the politicians will see to that. If the money would go to the teachers and not administration it might be OK but unfortunately idiot school boards will take care of that one. Just look at TUSD as the poster child for what is wrong with the bill the way its written. Take the choice away from the boards and administration and put it in the hands of the voters. This is where the power should lie.

  4. 301 did NOT rape the state land fund, that was Prop 207! Actually, TUSD does spend the 301 money on teacher salaries. Every TUSD teacher would lose $3,600/year, if Prop 301 isn’t extended. The TUSD teacher salary schedule has 3 columns. If 301 money goes away, teachers would get only the first column. The second and third columns come entirely from 301 fund 11 and 13. TUSD teachers also get additional performance money from 301fund 12. The performance money is not shown in the salary schedule. The amount varies, but it can be another $3,000 or $4,000 for teachers who qualify.

    Under the Sanchez administration 301 Fund 12, the teacher performance money, was held back & used to cover over spending of other funds. (301 Fund 11 and Fund 13 were paid to teachers.)

    After Sanchez’s subterfuge was revealed, TUSD paid out the 301 performance money in 2016-17 that had been withheld. Unfortunately, teachers who retired or left the district during the first year or two of Sanchez’s tenure, were for the most part, not able to participate in the payout.

    When the Board majority changed after the last TUSD Board election, the new majority fired Sanchez over the objections of Ms. Foster and Ms. Grijalva. The Board replaced Sanchez with Dr. Trujillo. Dr. Trujillo has the challenging task of cleaning up the mess left by Sanchez and years of mismanagement. He’s also having to deal with Mr. Clodfelter’s and Vail School District’s attempt to grab Santa Rita High School.

    The next Board election is very important, because if Mr. Hicks isn’t re-elected, the old majority that supported Sanchez for 4 years, regardless of what he did, will be back in power.

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