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Letter to the Editor: For local, denying education means denying freedom

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On Jan. 2, Arizona Daily Sun reported that “Republicans eye repealing, replacing AZ tax cuts,” a tactical maneuver to avoid the >163,000 citizen referendum signatures that would stop the tax cuts and have more state money go to public schools. By repealing their own tax cuts -- and then passing higher tax cuts along party lines -- Republican leaders would:

• negate Arizona’s citizens will and block citizens from voting on a tax bill in 2022;

• “sidestep a tax on wealthy [who use more state resources] that voters approved in 2020” that specifically funds public schools;

• avoid a court rejected challenge on the citizen approved referendum;

• decrease taxes paid by wealthy, a quid pro quo for more donations to Republicans;

• continue decreasing funding for public schools, thus lowering future voters’ quality of education, while wealthy families use state vouchers to pay their child’s private school tuition;

• reduces overall AZ state revenue by $1.9 billion. This comes when our infrastructure is collapsing, healthcare is over-stretched, and parents and children are stressed/exhausted due to ineffective education on COVID vaccinations.

The Republican leadership referendum dance enables yet a more insidious future. By underfunding education, a historic trend in Republican administrations, kids from hard-working families are denied the critical skills to earn a livable income in the world economy. Being able to read and understand directions, evaluate information and its sources, navigate websites without getting hacked, balance one’s income and expenses, or apply for programs or loans are all part of the critical-thinking skills necessary to gain and hold quality employment. Cutting education means shackling people in poverty, regardless of their race, religion or political beliefs. However, if you want a dictatorial government that fears your right to vote, chastises different yet safe lifestyles, or otherwise denies the basic human rights our country was built on, then denying education funding is a good place to start.

BRYAN BATES

Flagstaff

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