Letter To The Editor
Instructions: Arizona offers unique opportunities for direct democracy based on initiative power. The Arizona voters, for example, have recently rejected the Proposition 204 initiative that sought to convert a temporary sales tax that funded education into a permanent tax.
In a 500-750-word “Letter to the Editor,” propose an initiative for an educational issue that you feel needs to be addressed. Include a plan about how this issue could become an initiative under Arizona law.
Your letter should be written to persuade others to agree with your position. Support your position with examples from case law, the U.S. Constitution, or other readings.
Dear fellow Arizona voters,
I am proposing an initiative that I believe is crucial to addressing a significant educational issue in our state: the lack of funding for public schools. As you may know, Arizona ranks near the bottom of all states in terms of per-pupil spending on education, which has led to overcrowded classrooms, outdated materials, and inadequate support for students and teachers. This is not only detrimental to the quality of education our children receive, but it also puts our state at a disadvantage in terms of attracting and retaining top-quality educators and ensuring that our students are prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.
To address this issue, I propose an initiative that would increase funding for public schools by implementing a small tax on certain luxury goods, such as high-end automobiles and designer clothing. This tax would be temporary, lasting only for a few years, and would be specifically earmarked for education funding. This would allow us to invest in much-needed resources such as updated textbooks, modern technology, and professional development for teachers, while also keeping the overall burden on taxpayers reasonable.
Under Arizona law, an initiative such as this one can be proposed through the process of citizen initiative. This allows citizens to propose a new law or amendment to the state constitution by gathering signatures from a certain percentage of voters. If the required number of signatures is obtained, the initiative is placed on the ballot for voters to decide. In this case, I believe that with the right combination of grassroots organizing and public education about the benefits of increased education funding, we can gather the necessary signatures and give voters the opportunity to make a real difference for our schools.
I urge you to support this initiative and join me in the fight for adequately funded public education in Arizona. As the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized, education is a fundamental right for all children, and it is our responsibility as a society to ensure that all students have the resources and support they need to succeed. With your help, we can make Arizona a leader in education and give our students the bright futures they deserve.
Sincerely, [Your Name]
MORE MONEY FOR ARIZONA SCHOOLS
Letter To The Editor
Citing the recently collapsed initiative that wanted to convert temporary tax into a permanent tax that helps in the support of schools, I have reasons to believe that we can come up with the initiative that increases the funding for the Arizona schools without necessarily having to increase the rate of tax or making it permanent. One thing that is commonly known about the school funding problem in Arizona is the fact that, the state funds the well-performing schools more than it funds the less performing campuses. As such, a plan has to be developed that ensures the schools are funded with the extra money that will be found. The main aspect of the initiative is that it will use the available information about the temporary tax that was used to fund the schools the different will be, the initiative will look at the other organs of the government that the education sector can gain money from and not the imposition of the permanent tax.
The initiative does not just rest its eyes on more funding for the schools, but also to be in line with the 14th amendment. In summary form, the 14th amendment requires that is the state has a developed education system then, every child should receive what is offered on equitable terms. It is in that regard, that the initiative will, first of all, develop a system and a formula that seek to give out the available funds for the schools in an equitable manner. The things that will be considered include; the population of the schools, the courses or the different fields that are under the schools and more importantly, the need for funding that will be judged in accordance to what the school may have or may lack. The second phase of the initiative will be the additional funding that will be got from the available funds from the temporary tax and a percentage of the surpluses from the budget. It is known that in 2015 there was a surplus of $266 million from the budget. Education is a main issue for the state and as such, the funding of the schools should be at the top of the list that surpluses go to if achieved. There is no clear indication of where the money will be used. As such, the initiative will present a proposal to the government and the budget committee to receive nearly 50% of the surplus that will help in attaining the additional amount of funding that is required for the schools. Although the surplus is not enough, it is a better method of getting the extra funding that making the citizen dig deeper into their pockets regarding tax.
Arizona is bound by the No Child Left Behind Act, but the way that the funding of the schools is done today brings a question of how well the state adheres to the act since schools that deserve funding may be left behind by using the current formulae. One thing about my proposal is the fact that it adheres to the act, it also looks at equity of the schools. My plan is after you have read my proposal, conduct a trial about the proposal. The trial may include a simulation not necessarily a real factor. The results of the simulation will tell if the proposal can become a reasonable initiative. I am confident it will and as such, its success may guarantee support in the Arizona House as a bill that will later become an Act under law that correctly stipulates how the schools will be funded and the formulae that will be put in place to ensure that the funding correctly represents the needs of the different schools.