Opinion: Writer expects to hear from state officials to improve Arizona education system

Joe Geusic

Facebook asked me what’s on my mind? Well, I sent Gov. Ducey, Senate President Yarbrough and Speaker Mesnard an e-mail earlier today.

If you know me at all I spoke to them about our Arizona K-12 education system. The last thing I asked them was for them to introduce me to the state employee who knows how our total budget works. I expect them to provide me an answer. I am done speaking just about the General Budget.

To solve our issues we should always discuss the total budget for everything at the state, county and local level. Look at page 19/BH-16 on the following link that states that out of the entire state budget our K-12 education system receives only 16 percent of the total state budget pie: https://www.azleg.gov/jlbc/18AR/FY2018AppropRpt.pdf.

Now Mark Twain said it best: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Time to have an honest, truthful, virtuous conversation. I am sure our Arizona K-12 education system is not 43 percent or even 16 of the total budget across all community enterprise services.

I shared with them since fiscal year 2010 through this  fiscal year 2018 our Arizona K-12 education system cumulatively lost $7 billion in buying power. That means we would have had to provide our schools $7 billion more for them to be funded at inflation.

I asked them if they were a Leapfrog Leader? I asked them if they were a United Problem Solver? I shared with them the following blog from United Parcel service: https://longitudes.ups.com/how-businesses-can-win-at-leapf…/. I shared with them that education is a community effort, always has, always will.

I expect all of our elected officials to work to be United Problem Solvers and Leapfrog Leaders to ensure we fund the right amount to our Arizona K-12 education system for the benefit of all Arizona residents.

“In the Fourth Industrial Revolution, these comprise not only technical prowess, but also the ability to continuously learn, creativity, emotional intelligence and other soft skills.” Read the blog by UPS and you will see the future.

You might just decide that we need to chart a different path going forward. I expect a conversation at the total budget level. I heard the district schools just talk about their maintenance and operations budgets when the discussion should have always been at the total level.

Yes, I understand there is a lot of encumbered dollars at all levels. Maybe we should put all the dollars on the table and make sure they are being spent wisely. Time to think differently. Time to be a United Problem Solver. Time to be a Leapfrog Leader.

I expect to be introduced to at least one state employee that understands the total budget. I am confident one of you that is tagged in this (Facebook) post will introduce me to just that state employee who understands the total budget.

There is nothing to be afraid unless you are afraid of the truth. Facebook that is what is on my mind this evening. Time to build and maintain the highest performing K-12 education system in the world, right here in Arizona. Education first, hence educate first.

If you think I left out the federal government budget. Trust me they are next on my list.

Joe Geusic
Gilbert, Arizona

Editor’s note: Joe Geusic posted the above opinion piece on his Facebook page on Jan. 15. He granted the Queen Creek Independent permission to print it.

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