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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: The Range: The Tucson Weekly's Daily Dispatch: Today

Re: “Results-Based Funding Violates the Spirit (If Not the Letter) of Arizona's 1980 Funding Equalization Law

You forgot to mention, David Safier, that individual schools within districts -- not just districts as a whole -- have ways to supplement and skew the supposedly "equitable" distribution of funds to public schools.

Within TUSD, for example, you could use your internet research skills to compare the amount of tax credits accrued by University High School or Sam Hughes or Fruchthendler, for example, with the amounts accrued by the schools in TUSD that lost their magnet status under the Sanchez administration. You might want to make some inquiries, too, about how much these tax-credit-enriched TUSD schools raised privately on top of the inequitably distributed publicly funded tax credits they accrued. Here's one very odd example: the previous TUSD Superintendent, Sanchez, gave UHS a $10K private donation and, as though that wasn't enough inequitable favor for him to bestow on an individual school within the district he administered, made sure they were the first school in the district to receive new band uniforms paid for by some district-internal funding source he had available. This to the school that in recent years has had more public school tax credits designated to it than any other school in the district. UHS also has its own private Foundation, though last time I checked they didn't amount to much. Are they waiting until UHS gets its separate site, perhaps, before they'll call on their network to donate larger amounts?

Lots of talk about equity from certain folks when it serves them to talk about it. But start looking at the various funding quirks and exceptions-to-the-rules associated with the supposedly "equitable" public schools that just happen to be utilized by the players in the local Democratic party, and the story gets "curiouser and curiouser," as Alice would say.

But David Safier's concerns with funding "equity" and other sorts of equity always seem to stop somewhat short of turning over rocks in his own political garden and looking at what's wriggling underneath. If it didn't, he might have devoted some reporting to the Fruchthendler-Sabino plan twice put forward by the TUSD Board majority and Superintendent he supported 2013-2016 and twice denied by the authorities in the desegregation case. This district keeps creating and reinforcing inequitable conditions within itself, but when families want to use vouchers, tax credits, or ESAs to exit some of the not-on-the-A-list-of-influence schools in the district like Utterback, for example, this is called, "Welfare for the rich."

"Welfare for the rich," indeed. If the shoe fits, the constituents in certain public schools should start to wear it.

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Posted by Could we be equitable in our concerns with equity? on 05/26/2017 at 1:29 PM

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