Four hundred Valley Interfaith Project leaders crowded into Scottsdale United Methodist church Nov. 5 to discuss state school finance with four area legislators.
This action came on the heels of a much publicized legal settlement to reinstate a portion of the inflation factor funds that were withheld from schools during the budget cutting of the recession. VIP sought commitments from legislators to move the needle and push Arizona per pupil funding up to the national average. The state ranks 49th in student spending, and the recently announced settlement will move the state up to … 48th.
Legislators in attendance were Representatives Kate Brophy McGee and Eric Meyer, along with Senators John Kavanagh and Adam Driggs.
VIP leaders also launched a voter education campaign that will extend into the spring and summer of 2016.
Valley Interfaith Project leaders challenged Arizona legislative candidates for Districts 23 and 28 to commit to supporting Medicaid expansion, schools, and increased funding for education and workforce development in a meeting that drew 250. District 23 includes most of Scottsdale, Fountain Hills and Rio Verde. District 28 covers much of northern Phoenix, Paradise Valley and sections of Scottsdale. [Photo Credit: Edward Gately, The Republic]
Most of the candidates committed to supporting VIP’s three-point agenda. Those that participated in the assembly include: Rep. John Kavanaugh (District 23), Jeff Schwartz and Paula Pennypacker; Effie Carlson, Jay Lawrence, and Bob Littefield; and Michelle Ugenti. District 28 candidates included Senator Adam Driggs and Kelli Butler; and House candidates Rep. Eric Meyer, Rep. Kaye Brophy-McGee and Mary Hamway. See article below for specific responses.