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Arizona Gov. Ducey urges voters to reject Invest in Ed ballot initiative

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos observe a classroom setting Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020, at the Phoenix International Academy in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is telling voters to vote no on Proposition 208, a ballot initiative that that would provide more education funding by imposing an extra 3.5% tax on annual earnings over $250,000.

“Arizonans need to know Prop. 208 would be the largest tax increase in Arizona’s history,” Ducey said.

The governor supports more funding for schools, but he claims out-of-state interests funded the initiative for November’s ballot that will cost his state in the long run.

“All the pipeline of people and opportunities that are coming to Arizona would be hurt if people voted for Prop. 208,” Ducey said.

Supporters say Invest in Ed, as the initiative is known, would boost teacher salaries beyond the 20% pay raises they received last year.

At a roundtable Thursday at the Phoenix International Academy, a public charter school, Ducey highlighted his “Arizona: Open for Learning” plan which dedicates $440 million from federal sources to the Arizona Teachers Academy, rural broadband, and high-need schools, among other programs.

Ducey was joined by U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and she took notes from educators, parents and students.

“We share the same goal of every single student being able to go to a place of learning that works for them, where they feel loved, cared for, and safe,” DeVos said.

Students’ safety is front of mind for educators as more Valley schools report coronavirus outbreaks. According to guidelines from the Arizona Department of Health Services, they’re supposed to close.

DeVos says she’s comfortable with schools remaining open.

“With proper protocols in place, it can happen,” she said. “It can happen safely and it is happening safely.”

Arizona open and hiring: If you’re looking for job openings, visit ktar.com/arizonahiring.

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