Thursday, February 8, 2018

A Radical-Sounding Education Funding Proposal From an Un-Radical Source: Arizona Town Hall

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 4:05 PM

A billion dollars. That's on the high end of the figure you hear when people talk about increasing Arizona's K-12 funding.

Governor Ducey came in at one-tenth of that, $100 million. At the latest Koch brothers summit, Ducey said to the assembled multi-millionaires and billionaires, “I didn’t run for governor to play small ball. I think this is an important idea.” But that "important idea" in his pitch for campaign cash wasn't public education. It was private school vouchers, which are near and dear to the Koch network's hearts and wallets. When it comes to increasing public school funding, Ducey plays the smallest ball he can manage and still call himself "the education governor" with a straight face.

But education groups and a sizable number of business leaders say, if we're going to give our teachers a reasonable wage and provide the needed resources for our students, it's going to take an extra billion dollars in this budget and every budget in the future.

So who is this radical group that recommends we add $2 billion a year to the school budget? And a one-time allocation of $1.3 billion to make up for past budget shortfalls? And get rid of the law requiring a two-thirds majority in the legislature to increase taxes so all it takes is a simple majority to add to our revenue base?

All those radical proposals come from a not-so-radical group of participants in the 110th Arizona Town Hall held last November. The Arizona Town Hall's topic changes each year. For 2017, it was "Funding preK-12 Education." Community town halls were held in 15 locations around the state, each attended by a few dozen to a hundred participants, and each group submitted a report with findings and recommendations. Then in November, about a hundred people representing community members, business people and educators gathered for three days at the Hilton Hotel in Mesa. (The Hilton venue is an indication of the un-radical nature of the organization, as is the makeup of its executive committee, which includes wealth advisors, realtors, engineers, and even Lea Marquez Peterson, recent CEO of the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and current Republican candidate for the CD-2 House seat occupied by Rep. Martha McSally.)

The Town Hall produced a 17 page report explaining why Arizona's current education funding is inadequate and what needs to change. The crowdsourced set of recommendations does a better job of recognizing what it will take to meet the financial needs of our K-12 public schools than just about any other document I've read, including its understanding that we need to get rid of the two-thirds majority the legislature needs to get a tax hike through the legislature.

 Here's the short version of the report's recommendations.
"In simple terms, we need to invest at least $1.3 billion (to be updated to reflect the current need) on a one-time basis – and at least $2 billion annually, with annual increases for inflation in the future – to position our preK-12 education system to meet the educational goals that we have identified for it."

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The Tip-Off: On Parker Jackson-Cartwright's Improved Confidence, UCLA's Mettle and Arizona's Lackluster Defense

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 2:29 PM

Senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright is averaging 7.3 points per game and 5 assists for Arizona this season. - STAN LIU | ARIZONA ATHLETICS
  • Stan Liu | Arizona Athletics
  • Senior Parker Jackson-Cartwright is averaging 7.3 points per game and 5 assists for Arizona this season.
The course of the Pac-12 conference season swung on a blocked shot by Arizona freshman Deandre Ayton.

The block, which came in the waning seconds of Arizona’s road game against Washington on Saturday night, careened toward the far sideline, right into the hands of junior forward Dominic Green.

Green, who entered Saturday’s contest averaging a paltry 5.7 points per game, calmly set his feet, cocked his long arms and fired the ball toward the net. His shot was pure, arching past the outstretch arms of Arizona guard (and Seattle native) Allonzo Trier—giving the hometown Huskies a hard-fought, 78-75 upset of the ninth-ranked Wildcats.

The loss, the second of Arizona’s 11-game conference season, injected life into the teams chasing them in the Pac-12—none more so than the hard-charging UCLA Bruins.

Those very same Bruins survived a last-second shot of their own on Saturday, beating crosstown rival USC, 82-79, to move within two games of Arizona in the conference title race.

The Bruins and Wildcats, coincidentally enough, square off under the blinding spotlight of the McKale Center at 7 p.m. tonight—in what might be the game of the year in the Conference of Champions. The Bruins, who somehow lost three of seven conference games between Dec. 29 and Jan. 20, suddenly find themselves with a swaggering level of confidence, ready to take down the conference’s alpha dog.

Take, for instance, UCLA’s oft-soft spoken big man Thomas Welsh, who hit a crucial three-pointer to give the Bruins a lead they’d never relinquish against the Trojans.

Welsh, who scored 21 points against USC, expressed a level of confidence and swagger that speaks volumes about the program’s suddenly surefooted standing in the conference race.

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XOXO...: Where To Rock Tonight: Fetty Wap, Chuck Prophet, Mac Sabbath & More!

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 1:32 AM

“Fetty means money,” explains rapper Fetty Wap. Something he apparently is quite good at making. “Trap Queen”—the third song he ever recorded—soared to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. After his self-titled debut album blew up—certified platinum—Wap said, “My mission isn’t to become more famous.” Instead, he wanted to use his fortunes to help his community rise above hardships. Solid. Known for mashing up trap with R&B, Wap has humbly referred to his music as "ignorant R&B." One could beg to differ. At downtown's Rialto Theater… During the 1980s, Californian Chuck Prophet became an adopted son in the hearts of many Tucsonans as a member of first-wave of desert rockers Green on Red. On his latest, Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins (Yep Roc Records), Prophet explores lingering mysteries and the tension between romance and cynicism. At Club Congress… Now imagine Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar and Mayor McCheese rockin’ “the absolute fuck” out while covering Black Sabbath tunes. Bear witness to this bizarre spectacle when Mac Sabbath take you into the void at 191 Toole… Then, put your bibs on and come feast upon Krab Legz at The Flycatcher. With San Francisco’s Bear Call and Jeff Lownsbury’s JL6… This is not a musical event. Nonetheless, its sheer awesomeness cannot go unrecognized. A fantastical evening of epic myth and legend awaits when the Drunk Drag Queen Storytellers take over the party room at Welcome Diner… According to mythology, Andras was Grand Marquis of Hell with the head of a raven and winged body. OK, not that guy. Rather, the Australian music producer/DJ. Andras spins deep house/ambient at Club Congress…

The Three Best Ways To Have Fun Tonight: Dance, Drag Queens and Beer, Beer, Beer

Posted By on Thu, Feb 8, 2018 at 1:24 AM

Beer Week! A few highlights as Beer Week kicks off: Pueblo Vida celebrates with a spirit of friendliness and teamwork by releasing a brand new beer. The "Just Friends," a pale ale, is the product of a collaboration with Wren House Brewing. 4-10 p.m. Meanwhile, at downtown's Thunder Canyon, two of the biggest and most active local breweries are joining forces like the Power Rangers to release a delicious Pineapple Gose beer. What better way to start off the week than that? 5 p.m. to midnight. If you just can't get enough of those sweet, sweet carbs, consider pairing them together in two of their greatest forms: beer and pan dulce! (That's Mexican sweet bread). 1912 Brewing and Rancho Preciado are teaming up to give you some of the best of both worlds. You might never go back to pretzels to accompany your brews. 5 p.m. 2045 N Forbes Blvd, suite 105.

UA Presents: Straight Outta Philly.
Phildanco, the dance group founded by Joan Myers Brown in 1970, is bringing its innovative, traditional African American dance-influenced, barrier-breaking performance to Tucson. Rennie Harris Pure Movement, founded by Harris himself and expanding the boundaries of hip hop, will take the stage as well. Both dance institutions will fuse hip-hop and ballet for a show that will have you bopping and reflecting in equal parts. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb 8. Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd. 8. $20 to $55+.

Drunk Drag Queen Storytellers. Sometimes you just need a night at the diner with some friends. Sometimes you just need to hear some stories from drunk people. Sometimes you just gotta hang out with your fave local drag queens. But did you know you could get all of these pleasures in one place? Head over to Welcome Diner to enjoy all of the above, plus $1 PBRs, $4 well drinks, half-off bottles of wine, and-of course-food to fuel you through the night. 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8. Welcome Diner Tucson, 902 E. Broadway Blvd.

Complied by Emily Dieckman and Jeff Gardner

Staff Pick

Carnival of Illusion: Magic, Mystery & Oooh La La!

This top-rated illusion show is "Revitalizing Magic" by blending an international travel theme with all the charms… More

@ Scottish Rite Grand Parlour Saturdays, 7:30-9 p.m. Continues through April 27 160 South Scott Ave

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