ARIZONA NEWS

Invest in Ed submits required signatures for Nov. ballot initiative

Jul 3, 2020, 6:00 PM

(Facebook Photo/Invest in Education)...

(Facebook Photo/Invest in Education)

(Facebook Photo/Invest in Education)

PHOENIX – Invest in Ed turned in more than the required number of signatures Thursday to the Arizona Secretary of State’s office to see their initiative on the ballot in November.

The Invest in Education Act would impose a 3.5% tax on income for individuals who make more than $250,000 a year or couples who earn more than $500,000 a year.

The surcharge would raise an estimated $940 million each year for schools.

“It’s never been more clear that schools and teachers need our support,” Rebecca, Gau, Executive Director of Stand for Children Arizona, said in a press conference Thursday.

“The closures of schools statewide and the uncertainty about what schools will look like when they reopen has proven that Invest in Ed is more vital than ever before.”

The group turned in 435,669 signatures, well over the 237,000 signatures needed to qualify for ballot access.

It is the latest outgrowth from a teacher strike two years ago that highlighted low wages for educators and a slow rebound from budget cuts enacted during the Great Recession.

The walkout secured higher wages for teachers, but many education interest groups said it fell short. Half of the new tax would be devoted to raises for credentialed teachers, 25% to boost wages for cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other support staff, and the rest for teacher training, vocational education and other initiatives.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Invest in Ed submits required signatures for Nov. ballot initiative