Thursday, March 24, 2011

Hey CEOs, What About Education?

Posted By on Thu, Mar 24, 2011 at 10:35 AM

The Arizona Education Network has put together a letter campaign to ask the 60 Arizona CEOs who pressured state legislators to say no to crazy anti-immigration laws to use that same power to convince lawmakers to say yes to education:

When 60 CEOs asked legislators to back down on pushing through more bills targeting immigrants, the legislators listened. All five anti-immigration bills pending in the Senate failed.

In a letter to legislators, the executives argued that Arizona’s anti-immigration stance was hurting the state’s economy by causing a downturn in tourism (with losses up to $150 million statewide) and canceled contracts due to boycotts.

It’s time now to ask these same business leaders to stick up for education funding, which has an even stronger link to the state’s economy.

Our state needs strong schools, colleges and universities to create an educated workforce, to attract well-paying jobs, to keep property values from dropping further and to protect our military bases, which have warned they are at risk of closure if the state continues to de-fund education. ..

We’ve heard that business leaders are not collectively sticking up for education because some believe the education system is broken and that we shouldn’t throw “good money after bad.”

The problem with this logic is that we haven’t been spending “good money” on education. For the past decade, Arizona has chronically under-funded its schools. The state Legislature is now pushing through cuts that will permanently cripple our schools and prevent even those that are excelling under incredibly difficult circumstances from continuing to do so.

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