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Senate Passes State Budget, May 16, 2013

Last night the Senate passed a bipartisan state budget proposal that increases funding for the public education budget for the first time since 2008. Read AEA's analysis of Senate budget.

The original budget introduced in the Senate included a provision that would have permanently cut nearly $240 million annually from our schools. Read about AEA’s summary of the original budget proposalRead news article about original budget proposal.

AEA was successful in amending this devastating cut out of the budget with the help of all 13 democrats and 3 republican senators. This is a major victory for Arizona’s public school students and schools! Read about amendments.

In addition, the budget includes the inflation increase of $90 million. This action is due to AEA’s victory in the Arizona Court of Appeals, challenging the legislature’s refusal to fully fund the inflation factor for the past four legislative sessions. An adopted amendment keeps local flexibility in use of the inflation funding.

Yesterday was a day for the history books. A very special thank you is due to all 13 of the Senate Democrats—Senators Ed Ableser, David Bradley, Olivia Cajero Bedford, Steve Farley, Steve Gallardo, Katie Hobbs, Jack Jackson Jr., Leah Landrum Taylor, Linda Lopez, Barbara McGuire, Robert Meza, Lynne Pancrazi, and Anna Tovar—as well as Republican Senators Rich Crandall, Steve Pierce, and Bob Worsley.  It was the block of these 16 courageous Senators that allowed pro-education amendments to get adopted to the budget bills when fierce debate and political pressure was occurring on the floor of the Senate yesterday afternoon.  Please take a moment to give your thanks to these senators for standing for our students and schools.

The fight is not over as the budget now moves over to the House. We will keep you updated as the budget battle progresses, but today is a day to celebrate. Not only is this a huge win for our students and for those who support public education, but it’s also a huge win for you, as an AEA member. Your dedication to your students, colleagues, profession made this happen. AEA is your voice for quality public education and yesterday it roared! AEA members and their time, effort, and collective action made it possible for us to pursue a lawsuit challenging the legislature’s action, to elect more pro-public education legislators, to lobby at the capitol and fight for great public schools.


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