Zona Politics With Jim Nintzel: Mcleod And Paton Look Ahead To 2016 | The Range: The Tucson Weekly’s Daily Dispatch | Tucson Weekly

Do you think there’ll be further debate at the legislature? (Paton) There’s always going to be further debate, but I also would say I’ve never heard an educator come into my office and say, or they never would say this, whether it was true or not, they would never say, “Well, we have too much money.” That, no bureaucrat has ever said that to me. I don’t think they’ve ever said that to any politician ever. So I don’t know when that number, what that number will be, and you have the example of Washington, D.C. has had an enormous amount of money spent on it and has one of the worst school systems in the country, so that there isn’t necessarily that nexus that Rodd is making, but I will say that probably what you’re going to see on tap for next year is going to be a big discussion about higher ed and how to deal with that. They’re the ones that took the biggest haircut in the last session. I think that is going to be dealt with as we start to get more of a surplus in the state. (Nintzel) A hundred million dollars cut from higher ed in the last legislative session. (McLeod) Well you have a constitutional problem here, because Arizona’s constitution says that our public universities should be, these are the exact words, quote “as nearly free as possible.” And we’ve seen tuition jump again and again and again because the legislature has taken money out of the funding of our three excellent state public universities. So, that’s a real issue, but you know, the situation with K-12 education is dire. I mean we are in a bad situation.

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