Teachers to wear vests in support of investing in education

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TUCSON, Ariz. – On Friday, August 10, teachers from across Arizona will be donning vests as they show their support for investing in education.

Marea Jenness, a biology teacher at Tucson High Magnet School, was an active member of the Red for Ed movement, she said she’ll be putting on a vest in support on Friday.

“The point we wanna make is we haven’t lost any of our passion or any of our commitment,” Jenness said.

She stressed that even though as a teacher she can’t tell people which way to vote when it comes to the Invest in Ed ballot initiative, she encourages everyone to be well informed and vote their conscience.

The Invest in Ed initiative got the required amount of signatures in order to appear on the ballot back in July.

While the initiative has garnered support throughout the state there still are those who don’t stand behind it.

The Arizona Small Business Association’s public policy committee released a statement saying while they want to see education in the state thrive they do not stand behind the Invest in Ed initiative as it is currently written.

Their full statement is below.

ASBA’s Public Policy Committee has been discussing the proposed “Invest in Education” (also known as Invest in Ed) proposition that looks like it has received enough signatures to appear on the November ballot. The committee believes that quality of education in Arizona is vital for our children’s future as well as attracting businesses to our state. This includes paying our teachers appropriately as well as funding classroom needs and improving the education infrastructure. The Public Policy Committee does not support this act (as written) and the committee, as well as the ASBA Board of Directors, would like to hear what you (our small business community) think. Below is some information regarding the proposed act.

The potential consequences of the proposed Act to the small business community are significant because many small business owners filed their business taxes through pass-through entities accounted for in the personal income tax code.

The initiative establishes two additional personal tax brackets for certain earners and small businesses with a dramatically higher rate. Currently, Arizona’s highest personal income tax rate is 4.54%. The Act proposes an increase to 9% in the new top bracket, and for filers in the second bracket, an increase to 8%. The Act would take Arizona’s top income tax rate from 38th highest in the country to 5th highest. There is no guarantee that this proposed tax increase will provide adequate sustainable funding. Additionally, individuals that earn this level of income may change their domicile to other states with reduced income tax.

We do not want to see Arizona’s healthy economy slowed – it is competitive and growing and needs to sustain it’s momentum. Arizona’s income tax structure is a key aspect of this competitiveness. ASBA legislative guidelines, published the last 6 years, oppose these segmented taxation initiatives.

ASBA recognizes we have some significant challenges with the current state of our education. Any approach to resolve these challenges needs to be sustainable. This Act (as written) puts this unfair burden on a small percentage of the people of Arizona. Supporting education is a responsibility we all share. ASBA encourages our elected leaders to develop a revised, more balanced and more sustainable solution.

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