Props to alter K-12 funding

Amir Adib / Arizona Daily Wildcat Proposition 401 and 402 offers to raise taxes to give more money to the Tucson Unified School District. Tucson schools have outdated technical equipment and are in need of several changes to stabilize after massive cuts.

Lack of state funding in public schools around the UA could affect the caliber of professors hired.

The ballot for next month's general election will include propositions 401 and 402, both of which propose budget increases in Tucson Unified School District schools. The results of these propositions may affect the UA community in a number of ways.


Proposition 401 aims to fund full-day kindergarten classes — one of the first programs to go after state budget cuts were issued — and improve Internet connections in schools.

Proposition 402 would provide around 10,000 new computers in classrooms, replacing outdated technologies incapable of sustaining adequate resources for students. 

It's crucial that we support these propositions given the state cuts in Arizona and the effects they could have on so many different aspects of education, said Rachana Kamtekar, a UA professor of philosophy and parent of a TUSD student.

""Education funding for the state of Arizona has fallen to 50th among all 50 states in spending per pupil,"" said Mark Stegeman, an economics professor. ""Professors and private business that are interested in coming to Tucson will think twice if public education for their children will be poor.""

Professors look at many different aspects of the community before deciding to move to Tucson and teach at the UA, one of the most prominent being public education around campus.

""Public school funding is very desperate here in Arizona,"" Kamtekar said. ""When I first came here, I had no idea how bad public schools were. I would have had second thoughts about being a professor here if I would have known.""

When offered a job, professors look at the quality of life the job has to offer. As educators, their children's education plays a prominent role in accepting the position, said Bruce Johnson, department head of the College of Education.

""The results of these propositions will affect the quality of faculty the UA attracts,"" said Susan Crane, a professor of history. ""When I first moved here I wanted to live near UA and send my children to public schools near UA. That's what's most convenient as a professor, and something you look for when you're considering a job.""

Propositions 401 and 402 will also have an effect on the college of education and its students.

""This is particularly important for College of Education students, because they work so closely with the surrounding schools. They do their research outside of the UA community, most often in TUSD,"" said Johnson. Although propositions 401 and 402 are very limited in what they can fund, community members hope they will encourage more state funding in public schools.

""It's true, going to school so close to TUSD, it's very relevant to us as education majors who volunteer there,"" said education junior Marisol Posada. ""And perhaps, if this is passed, it may open up the possibilities for more state funding and create more jobs for us once we graduate.""

Voting on propositions 401 and 402 will be part of the state's general election on Nov. 3.


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