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New TV spot touts Arizona education as ‘making progress’

PHOENIX — A newly-formed lobbying organization has launched a television campaign in an effort to portray Arizona’s K-12 education situation as “making progress.”

According to KJZZ, the Arizona Education Project made a “six-figure” buy in the Phoenix-area to counter the “negative voices” that surround the state’s education.

“For too long, the debate in this state on education has been dominated by negative voices and by organizations and entities that see some kind of political advantage in tearing down our teachers and our schools,” Matthew Benson, a spokesman with the group, said.

Related: Arizona schools chief says K-12 education in state is ‘improving’

“We’re just not going to stand for that anymore.”

The commercial highlighted several points, including that education funding has increased by nearly $1.5 billion in the past three years.

But, according to KJZZ, that doesn’t tell the whole story:

However, that total includes what the state is legally mandated to fund, plus inflation increases and the more than $300 million a year going into K-12 education as a result of Proposition 123.

Some other points included Arizona leading the nation in math and reading improvement since 2009 and opening a teacher’s academy in an effort to fill empty teaching positions across the state.

According to The Arizona Republic, the Arizona Education Project has been supported by many allies of Gov. Doug Ducey — such as the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Pinnacle West Capital Corp. — who will soon face re-election.

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