Kids’ letters press group’s claim that GOP, Ducey budget cuts are too deep

Mar 6, 2015, 7:46 PM | Updated: 7:53 pm

An advocacy group delivered letters from children to Gov. Doug Ducey’s office Friday to press its claim that the budget agreement between Ducey and GOP legislative leaders cuts too deeply.

“I can tell you very clearly that there is a large gap between the values in this budget plan that legislators are looking at today and the aspirations, and dreams and questions and needs expressed by these children,” said Dana Wolfe Naimark, CEO of the Children’s Action Alliance.

Over the past several weeks, Wolfe Naimark’s group invited students across Arizona to write letters to the governor and picked a selection for a book titled “Dear Governor Ducey, Letters from Arizona Children to Governor Doug Ducey.”

She said there was no immediate response from Ducey, and a reporter’s message left with Ducey’s press office wasn’t returned by mid-afternoon Friday.

Wolfe Naimark said that while the students who wrote the letters featured in the book hadn’t seen Ducey’s budget plan, the difference between what they need and what the new budget will give them is large.

“These letters are full of inspiration and dreams,” she said. “They talk about love and trauma in children’s families. They talk about excitement for learning but also missing pieces in school.”

The subjects of the letters vary, with students focusing on topics they said meant the most to them and their families.

Liliane, a fourth-grader at John Jacobs Elementary School in Phoenix, said her school is outdated and needs improvements to its bathrooms, playground equipment and classrooms.

“Our school is 35 years old and we would like to improve our school facility,” her letter said.

Mya, a fifth-grader at Quail Run Elementary School in Phoenix, suggested Ducey visit her school so he can see for himself what’s needed.

“I think you should help kids get more supplies for their schools so they could work and be creative,” she said. “You should see kids at poor schools to see how to help.”

As the legislature considered the budget proposal on Friday, Wolfe Naimark and others held a news conference to criticize the plan.

Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, the state’s largest teachers union, said tax cuts proposed in the budget will do nothing to help the economy.

“If tax cuts were the answer to building a strong Arizona economy, Arizona would certainly know it by now. We’ve been doing it for more than 20 years,” he said.

Roger Freeman, president of Arizona School Administrators, said it’s clear from the proposed tax cuts that Ducey doesn’t want to provide more funding for schools.

“I believe it is what the people of Arizona want. And certainly for us to be effective in educating kids it’s what we need to see happen in our public schools,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Colleen Nussnaumer (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Peoria woman who went missing overnight

PHOENIX – A Silver Alert was issued Thursday for a missing West Valley woman, authorities said. Colleen Nussnaumer, 85, was last seen in the area of 71st Avenue and Thunderbird Road in Peoria around 10 p.m. Wednesday. Nussnaumer most likely is driving a black four-door 2013 Cadillac CTS bearing Arizona license plate KWS96, the Peoria […]
7 hours ago
Gary Moddrell (Photo via Peoria Police Department)...

Silver Alert issued for Peoria man with memory problems

A Silver Alert was issued for a Peoria man who has been missing since Tuesday, authorities said.
7 hours ago
Angela Pike watches her fourth grade students at Lakewood Elementary School in Cecilia, Ky., as the...
Griselda Zetino

Where are the teachers? A look at Arizona’s struggle to fill positions

Elementary teachers are some of the hardest jobs to fill for schools in Arizona, according to a recent survey.
7 hours ago
(City of Phoenix Photo)...
Kevin Stone

Hundreds of weapons seized since start of Phoenix crackdown on gun crime

More than 700 firearms have been taken out of the wrong hands since Phoenix implemented its Operation Gun Crime Crackdown last month, the city said Wednesday.
7 hours ago
A doctor shows a monkeypox sore on a patient´s foot at the Arzobispo Loayza hospital in Lima, Peru...

Arizona health department launches monkeypox resource page

Arizona health officials launched a monkeypox web page with information and resources to help the community better understand the outbreak.
7 hours ago
(Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Mythical Games)...
Danny Shapiro

The Chainsmokers to headline final night of Birds Nest at 2023 WM Phoenix Open

The Chainsmokers will headline the fourth and final night of the concert series at the 2023 WM Phoenix Open.
7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Sanderson Ford

Don’t let rising fuel prices stop you from traveling Arizona this summer

There's no better time to get out on the open road and see what the beautiful state of Arizona has to offer. But if the cost of gas is putting a cloud over your summer vacation plans, let Sanderson Ford help with their wide-range selection of electric vehicles.
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
(Courtesy Condor)...
Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines shows passion for destinations from Sky Harbor with new-look aircraft

Condor Airlines brings passion to each flight and connects people to their dream destinations throughout the world.
Kids’ letters press group’s claim that GOP, Ducey budget cuts are too deep