The Truth About Teacher Pay in AZ

How Arizona School Districts Have Held Down Teacher Salaries, Blamed Lawmakers and Continually Captured Public Sympathy — By The Goldwater Institute

By Matt Geienburg

Overview

During the 2019-2020 school year alone, teachers received at least $170 million less from their school districts in salary increases than Arizona taxpayers provided for. In 2018, Arizona state lawmakers approved the “20×2020” plan to send hundreds of millions of new dollars to public school districts so they could raise average teacher salaries by 20%. But data revealed in Goldwater’s report suggests that most of that money never made it—at least, not to teachers. Unfortunately, school districts have established a decades-long pattern of this behavior. State lawmakers—and their constituents—may wish to rethink their participation in this cycle

BREAKING NEWS ON ARIZONA AUDIT

Major alert out of Arizona folks….

If you thought this was going to be just another audit that didn’t accomplish anything, you would be wrong.

We have major developments coming out of this thing and it looks like Biden did not win the State!

Kelly Ward just announced that legal action is imminent!

Quote:

Dr. Kelli Ward: The Democrat plan for reengineering our country starts with open borders and open elections. Forget the rules, anyone can enter our country illegally, and if you ask for voter identification or try to stop phony mail-in ballots from being counted, or try to stop those dead people from voting, well, that is what those Democrats call voter suppression. And at this very moment, while the hand-counting of ballots continues, there’s a lot happening behind the scenes and legal action is imminent… And now Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer has revealed in a letter to voters that he learned that prior to his term a breach of voter identification information occurred last election cycle and is now being investigated by law enforcement. If I were a Democrat I think I’d be in a frenzy myself.

And for the record, here’s what we have so far:

Gov. Ducey, Gov. Abbott: Biden Created Border Crisis

Washington Post: Arizona And Texas Governors: The Border Crisis In Our States Was Created By The Biden Administration
Governors Doug Ducey & Greg Abbott
Washington Post
April 14, 2021
The Biden administration recently made an astonishingly out-of-touch statement: “The border is secure.”

The president himself needs to take a trip to our states.

Unlike President Biden, we’ve both been to the U.S. border in our respective states, Texas and Arizona, and the situation is much different from what Washington politicians and bureaucrats are telling Americans.

The U.S. Border Patrol is overwhelmed. Local law enforcement and mayors are calling out for help. Citizens in border communities are concerned for their safety. And nonprofits, left to pick up the pieces of a broken federal policy, are trained.

In typical Washington fashion, the federal government has thrust this man-made crisis on states. But for the people we represent, this isn’t a political issue — it’s a real-life issue.

What’s happening at the border shouldn’t come as a surprise.

The president and Vice President Harris campaigned on a platform of relaxing border security. They supported health care for undocumented, illegal immigrants. Biden’s pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants offered amnesty for those who circumvented the legal process.

They also rushed to repudiate policies of the Trump administration, including repealing the Migrant Protection Protocols — a policy that required asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for their court dates and that we fought to uphold.

These actions have led to the unprecedented surge of migrants who are overwhelming the border.

ABC News’ Martha Raddatz visited both of our states recently. She aired footage last month of interviews with people attempting to enter the country illegally. “Would you have tried to do this when Donald Trump was president?” she asked. “Definitely not,” said one asylum-seeker. “So did you come here because Joe Biden was elected president?” Raddatz asked. “Basically,” said the man.

It’s no wonder Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has called Biden the “migrant president.”

The administration’s policies and communications have encouraged thousands of people to make dangerous trips to our southern border. This has caused a humanitarian crisis that is endangering the lives and welfare of U.S. citizens, as well as those attempting to come here.

Apprehensions at the border in March reached the highest monthly level in two decades.

Many of these migrants are kids.

In fact, Customs and Border Protection has more than 18,000 migrant children in custody — the highest number in the history of the agency. Many of these children are in overcrowded federal facilities and face a significant chance of contracting covid-19.

The crisis at the border has also threatened the safety of Texans and Arizonans.

Yet, aside from two trips by Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, the administration has been nowhere to be found. Biden showed his apathy for this crisis by passing control of the administration’s response to Harris. Her record includes voting against funding for border security, comparing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to the KKK and calling efforts to secure the border “a distraction from the real issues.” It’s clear that this administration does not take this issue seriously.

So how can America fix this crisis?

To start, the administration needs to immediately reinstate the Migrant Protection Protocols, which disincentivize migrants from making the dangerous journey to the border by ending the policy of “catch and release” for those seeking asylum. Law enforcement officials and leaders in border communities are concerned that repeal of these protocols is a major factor behind the surge in illegal border crossings. Reinstating them would go a long way toward alleviating the crisis at the border.

Next, administration officials at all levels should state clearly that our country’s borders are not open and that immigrants seeking a better life or more economic opportunity should not be attempting to utilize the asylum process. The State Department should be heavily engaged in this strategy, as the Mexican president’s continued statements blaming this crisis on Biden are concerning.

We’ve already begun to activate our states’ National Guards to the border to assist, but border enforcement is a federal responsibility. So we are requesting federal reimbursement to support this mission to resolve a problem of Washington’s creation.

We continue to support legal immigration. But what’s happening now is not legal, and it needs to end.

The president and his team should resolve these issues as soon as possible — for the protection of Arizonans, Texans, these migrants and our entire country.

New Arizona Law Bans Outside Money to Help Run Elections

By Rachel del Guidice, The Daily Signal

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has signed significant election integrity legislation into law.

“With public confidence in our elections in peril, it’s clear our elections must be pristine and above reproach—and the sole purview of government,” Ducey said Friday in a signing letter.

Arizona’s new law prevents private funding from going into elections, such as the $419 million in donations made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan.

The Zuckerbergs gave a total of $350 million to the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a left-leaning technology group, that in turn issued grants to 2,500 election offices in 49 states. The spending included $5 million for Arizona, according to preliminary data from the Foundation for Government Accountability, The Daily Signal reported March 23. 

In a statement to The Daily Signal, Arizona state Rep. Jake Hoffman said that “the passage and signing of House Bill 2569 makes Arizona the first in the nation to fully ban billionaires from influencing the administration and management of Arizona elections.”

Hoffman, a sponsor of the bill, referred to donations such as those made by the Zuckerbergs before the presidential election.  

“In 2020, our nation saw a concerning new political tactic wherein big tech billionaires spent nearly half a billion dollars influencing the administration of the general election through a series of nonprofits operated by Democrat political operatives,” Hoffman said, adding:  

Arizonans don’t want Democrat billionaires or Republican billionaires influencing the process of our elections. 

We have sent a clear message that it doesn’t matter how much money you have, Arizona elections are not for sale. 

State Sen. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, said outside funds are used because Arizona does not have adequate funding for elections, The Associated Press reported. 

“It’s easy to make a boogeyman out of billionaires. I don’t like them either. But we put ourselves in this situation,” Mendez said of the Legislature’s budgeting decisions. “Our elections are so underfunded we’ve got counties out there asking for money to do voter outreach.”

In a statement provided to The Daily Signal, Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, said the new Arizona law will help keep the state’s elections free of outside influencers. 

“Arizona lawmakers, including Gov. Doug Ducey and [state] Rep. Jake Hoffman, have been hard at work securing Arizona’s elections,” Anderson said, adding:

The latest bill signed into law, HB 2569, will prevent outside groups and individuals from pouring private money directly into Arizona’s election systems. Arizonans deserve elections free from outside interference, and this law will help restore voters’ trust in their state’s elections.

Heritage Action is the lobbying arm of The Heritage Foundation, which is the parent organization of The Daily Signal.

Back Off! Arizona Governor Warns NFL Not To Mess With His State’s Election Bills, Super Bowl

By Jay Maxson, Newsbusters

Calling all sports bullies to back off, Arizona’s governor says they shouldn’t even think about pulling a “Georgia” and blackmailing his state over voting legislation reform. Critics of pending state legislation on election integrity are already starting a drumbeat to remove major sports events from Arizona, just as Major League Baseball did in removing the All-Star Game from Atlanta.

Multiple election reform laws are being debated in the Arizona Legislature, potentially placing the state in the same crosshairs that subjected Georgia to hysterics about “voter suppression.” Gov. Doug Ducey, an Arizona Republican, said he will not be intimidated by any threats from the NFL to remove Super Bowl LVII (in 2023) from State Farm Stadium in Glendale.  

NBC Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reports that the owner of the Arizona Cardinals, Mike Bidwill, is turning up the heat on Ducey. Thirty years ago, the NFL took a Super Bowl away from Arizona over the state’s balking on an MLK Day holiday declaration. In 2014, the NFL intimidated Republican Gov. Jan Brewer into vetoing a religious liberty bill so the state would not suffer the loss of a Super Bowl for the second time. Lying media and LGBT pressure groups distorted the bill as “anti-gay”, and the NFL got in line with them.

Bidwill signed onto a letter by the Greater Phoenix Leadership group calling Arizona legislation “‘solutions’ in search of a problem. They are attempts at voter suppression cloaked as reform — plain and simple. . . . Arizonans already have confidence in the integrity of our elections and, by and large, find it easy to vote.”

This assertion is flat-out bogus. Confidence in Arizona’s election integrity is actually very low. That’s why a court is allowing the GOP-controlled Arizona Senate to audit 2.1 million votes in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous county.

Gov. Ducey said, “I think Major League Baseball made a big mistake … . I’d like to keep politics out of baseball. . . . I report to the people of Arizona, not a major sports league. And I’m going to make decisions on the policies that are put in front of me. And if good policy’s put in front of me, I’m going to enthusiastically sign it.”

The three voting laws in play in the Grand Canyon State would require voters to go to the polls to cast votes if they haven’t cast their absentee ballots in two consecutive elections. The number of days someone could obtain an early ballot would be reduced. Early voting would require an affidavit with a birth date or voter ID number.

According to Florio, the NFL “has given no indication that voting reforms in Arizona will jeopardize Super Bowl LVII. After dealing with strong criticism that arose from the national anthem controversy in 2016 and that has flashed from time to time since then, the league would surely prefer to keep its head low on matters of this nature.”

Nevertheless, the media likes to dangle these carrots in front of Big Sports. It worked for the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times, both of whom last month demanded that baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred pull the plug on Atlanta. The city now stands to lose $100 million in revenue from seeing the MLB All-Star Game moved to Denver.

The Arizona Cardinals are clearly willing to use scare tactics to torpedo the pending legislation in their state. “Whether the NFL would do the same by repositioning the Super Bowl to be played in early 2023 remains to be seen,” Florio wrote.

The NCAA also has a very bad habit of sticking its nose into the politics of state legislation opposed by the radical Left. In 2016, it took postseason events away from North Carolina merely for protecting women and girls from predators in public restrooms.

Arizona is hosting the 2024 men’s Final Four and the 2026 women’s Final Four, and it could meet the same ridiculous fate that befell North Carolina. Ducey is term-limited out in 2022, and if he doesn’t bend a knee to the blackmailers now, his successor could do just that prior to NCAA and NFL events.

INSANE! New Report Says Zuckerberg Donations May Have Swayed Arizona for Biden

By Kayla Sargent, Newsbusters

A Facebook-funded organization may have actually swayed Arizona to then-candidate Joe Biden in the civic disaster known as the 2020 presidential election, according to a new report.

Thousands of underfunded and unprepared counties across the nation turned to financial support from nonprofit groups. One such group was the Center for Technology and Civic Life (CTLC), funded heavily by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Now, a report from the Foundation for Government Accountability (FGA) has found that the so-called “Zuckerbucks” from the organization may have helped swing crucial Arizona counties to Biden. 

“CTCL’s election grants—or ‘Zuckerbucks’—were advertised as additional resources to help election jurisdictions ‘safely serve every voter’ amid the COVID-19 public health emergency. Indeed, the grants themselves are called ‘COVID-19 response grants,” the FGA reported. 

The FGA calculated that nine Arizona jurisdictions received “more than $5 million” from CTCL, with $2,995,921 sent to Maricopa County alone. Maricopa County is the most populous county in Arizona, and helped secure Biden’s win in the state, according to the Associated Press

Rather than funding voter safety measures, however, “the funds were largely requested for get-out-the-vote efforts, influenced voter turnout in favor of Democrats, and may have impacted the results of the election in some states—including in the critical swing state of Arizona,” the FGA reported. In fact, “only a fraction of the funding was requested for personal protective equipment (PPE),” while “[o]ther election jurisdictions spent absolutely nothing on PPE and COVID-19-related items whatsoever.” 

These massive expenditures may have had a significant impact on the election. “On average, counties that received Zuckerbucks saw the Democratic presidential candidate’s share of the vote increase compared to the 2016 election,” the report concluded. 

The CTCL’s “Key Funders and Partners” page reads like the who’s who of leftist organizations. The CTLC was funded by liberal Big Tech platforms Facebook and Google and multiple liberal nonprofits. Rock the Vote, for example, listed “voter ID laws” as a method of “voter suppression.” The Knight Foundation is a “left-leaning private foundation that sets a primary emphasis on funding media-related projects,” according to Influence WatchDemocracy Fund was founded by liberal eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, and “contributes to center-left and left-wing media organizations,” according to Influence Watch. The Rockefeller Brothers Fund has an entire program dedicated to climate change called “sustainable development” that suggested “[h]uman activity is causing global warming.” 

The CTCL was also funded by Democracy Works.  Democracy Works “is a member of Bridge Alliance, a left-leaning social welfare coalition that supports numerous left-of-center election reform policies and is partnered with the left-of-center PAC Unite America,” according to Influence Watch.

While Zuckerberg donated money to left-wing get-out-the-vote organizations, the platform itself ran rampant with censorship. During the 2020 election cycle, Facebook constantly added new rules for election posts, froze political ads, and censored hashtags like #sharpiegate and #stopthesteal. Facebook’s Vice President of Integrity Guy Rosen bragged about the fact that the platform removed 180 million election posts in a Nov. 19 call with reporters.

Impeach Biden Rally Coming To Arizona

The Impeach Biden Rally will be held April 3 at 10 AM at Lake Pleasant, just south of Happy Valley Road in Peoria. Organizers say they hope all who believe in the America First Policies of President Trump will attend and push forward this movement that will begin in Arizona and then spread across the nation. Featured speakers and all those interested in speaking what’s on their hearts will be heard. The goal is to restore the Republic and the God-granted freedoms given us.

 

Gov. Ducey Makes A Run For The Border

Governor Doug Ducey on Friday traveled to Douglas to get a first-hand view of the security and humanitarian situation at the U.S.-Mexico border. After taking an aerial border tour, the governor received a briefing and held a press conference and a border security roundtable.

He was accompanied by U.S. Senator Rick Scott of Florida, a member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee; state lawmakers; and community leaders from Cochise County.

“This isn’t just a border security problem — it’s a humanitarian problem,” Governor Ducey said. “Here in Arizona, we’re doing our part to keep our border safe and secure.”

“But we need more leadership from the federal government to keep our borders safe,” he added. “The Biden administration’s immigration policy decisions directly impact our state, and we’re left to pick up the pieces. Our number one priority is keeping Arizonans safe, and we want to keep these migrants safe too.”

The Governor participated in an aerial tour of the border and received a briefing from federal and state officials on border security and the influx of migrants crossing into the state. After the tour, Governor Ducey and Senator Scott held a press conference at the border wall. The Governor then held a border security roundtable with Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels, Arizona Department of Public Safety Director Col. Heston Silbert and other officials.

This week, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas announced our nation is on pace to reach the highest number of apprehensions at the border in the last 20 years. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection currently has the highest number of migrant children in custody in the history of the agency.

The Governor met this week with Federal Border Officials to discuss the escalating crisis on the border where he raised concern over the dramatic increase in illegal immigration in recent weeks, as well as the strain it’s putting on law enforcement and Arizona’s border communities. Border Patrol also shared concerns about increases in apprehensions and illegal immigration across the board. 

As the crisis pursues, the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) continues to deter and dismantle illegal activity to keep Arizona safe thanks to the Arizona Border Strike Force, a highly-trained group of state troopers. The Border Strike Force has been helping to disrupt and dismantle transnational organized crime along the border and in Arizona communities, enhancing DPS efforts to protect Arizonans. See the latest data on its operations HERE

Additionally, Governor Ducey on February 17 wrote a letter to Secretary Mayorkas outlining concerns he has for the situation at the border.

FOR MORE NEWS ON THE BORDESR CRISIS, SEE https://ourrendezvouswithdestiny.wordpress.com/

FRC: Trans Debate Hits Too Close to Noem

There are defining moments in every political career — decisions that have the power to rewrite a person’s future. They can take a no-name conservative to celebrity status, or send a rising star cratering back to earth. Everyone with big dreams stands at those crossroads eventually — and for Kristi Noem (R-S.D.), that time is now. The popular governor, who made a name for herself bucking COVID restrictions, has had her eye on bigger things in the Republican Party for a long time. But if she fails this test — if she can’t find the courage to stand up to the Left — that’s all she’ll be remembered for.

For Noem, protecting girls’ sports isn’t a heavy lift. The one-time athlete and mom of three doesn’t need to look far to find enormous support for the battle her state is waging. Thanks to Joe Biden, who started a gender war on day one, bills like the one South Dakota is considering have caught fire — fanning out across almost 30 states and becoming law in two. Across gender, party, and generational lines, Americans have come out in force, demanding an end to the transgender agenda that’s destroying girls’ competition. In a state that Donald Trump won by 26 points, the idea of keeping biological boys off the girls’ teams isn’t radical — it’s practical.

Noem herself seemed to be on board with the idea at first, tweeting that she was “excited to sign this bill very soon.” Two weeks later, after meetings with the Left’s top critics, the Chamber of Commerce, and Amazon, the governor suddenly changed her mind. On Friday afternoon, to the astonishment of everyone, she announced that she was vetoing HB 1217 — caving to the mob in spectacular fashion. She tried to tamp down the outrage by scheduling a Monday press conference. Damage control, people assumed. But the damage was a lot more than she counted on.

Over at Alliance Defending Freedom, Kristen Waggoner was speechless. “Governor Noem had an opportunity to protect women and girls… but instead she pandered to the demands of special interests… We are shocked that a governor who claims to be a firebrand conservative with a rising national profile would cave to ‘woke’ corporate ideology.” Others, like American Principles Project Terry Schilling, made it clear that Noem had just thrown away her chances for a spot on the big stage. “If you can’t stand up to the Chamber of Commerce, how will you stand up to China?” he wanted to know. Matt Walsh was equally frustrated. “Republicans who don’t stand up to the Left’s gender madness are useless. This is a hard line issue. No capitulating. No compromise. Our side is 100 percent right. The other side is 100 percent wrong. They should get no concession and no consideration.”

Unfortunately, not everyone was surprised by the governor’s cowardice. Groups like FRC and Republicans on the ground were already well acquainted with Noem’s bad track record on transgenderism. Most people never knew it, but Kristi Noem was responsible for killing a much better bill that would have protected kids in February of last year. Right before the virus exploded, South Dakota was on the verge of becoming the first state in the country to put an age limit — 16 — on gender reassignment surgery and cross-sex hormones. Very quietly, after the legislation passed the House, Noem started working behind the scenes to kill it. Publicly, she said she was “concerned” about the idea. Privately, Republicans in both chambers told us, her message was much stronger: make it disappear. If she couldn’t be bothered to stand with parents then, it was probably foolish to think she’d start now.

And unfortunately, what Noem has done by bowing to the phony power of the NCAA and the corporate Left has implications for a lot more than her career. In this morning’s media event, the governor did tremendous damage to the entire effort by suggesting this debate over girls’ sports can be solved with a meaningless Title IX pep rally. As far as she’s concerned, all conservatives need to do is hold hands, sign a petition, and hope this whole thing blows over. “Once we have enough states on board, a coalition big enough where the NCAA cannot possibly punish us all, then we can guarantee fairness at the collegiate level,” Noem said Monday. That’s not a serious strategy, and she knows it. That’s a full-blown, white-flag surrender. It’s political theater, Waggoner fired back. “Empty words.” The only thing that will stop this lunacy is for states to pass laws — and, if necessary, fight for those laws in court.

In a desperate attempt to justify her decision, Noem resorted to the Left’s talking points, claiming that South Dakota “would face retaliation” if they passed the bill, “and that would be a cost to taxpayers.” It’s the same tired argument we’ve heard from the other side for years. If the NCAA pitches a fit and pulls their tournaments from her state, so be it. If Amazon decides to take its 1,000 jobs away from Sioux Falls, then you know what? That’s a small price to pay for a generation of women’s scholarships and opportunity.

North Carolina’s Republicans did a much harder thing by passing a privacy bill five years ago, and they were fed the same baloney about financial ruin, boycotts, and the collapse of their collegiate sports. As usual, none of the Left’s prophecies of doom ever materialized. In fact, North Carolina went on to top Forbes’s Best States for Business List three years running! Job growth, gross state product growth, hospitality were among the strongest — if not the strongest — in the entire country in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Even the state’s population grew twice as fast as the U.S. average. North Carolina didn’t just weather that storm, they thrived.

Someone once asked then-Lt. Governor Dan Forest what he would tell other states who were on the corporate hot seat over social policies. His advice? “Don’t be bullied. When these fights come to you, you need to stand up and fight.” South Dakota’s daughters deserve a fighter and a leader. So far, in Noem, they have neither.