Friday, April 23, 2010

It's Important

100 reasons to vote yes on Prop 100

1. It's not about politics, or a tea party, being Republican or Democrat, or about some bureaucrat getting fat off of the profits, or even about an election year. It is about the state of education in one of the most under served states in the nation. Proportionately, Arizona's budget crisis is the worst in the nation. As is their education ranking and per pupil spending.

2. The bill is a constitutional amendment and protected by voter rights. The first paragraph clearly states 2/3 of the money generated will go directly to primary and secondary education. The other 1/3 goes to public safety. The second paragraph states the tax will be repealed on May 13, 2013. No smokescreens. It is a 1% sales tax increase for a three year term.

3. The 1% tax increase will affect families grocery bill $1 for every $100 spent. A bottle of water costs more than that.

4. The Arizona Tax Research organization, the MOST conservative watch dog organization in the entire state has come out in support of Prop 100 because they recognize the impact on schools without it.

5. PE, Art, Music, and Reading specialists have received their RIF (reduction in force) notices in many districts in the state. Ironically, legislation was also recently passed stating that if is child is considered illiterate in the 3rd grade, they will be retained until they are proficient in reading. Who will teach them?

6. Teachers are being asked to take furlough days (unpaid days off) and a reduction in salary and benefits. Currently, the pay for teachers in Arizona starts at approximately $32,000 a year. A six percent pay cut would be $1920, leaving teachers with a salary of $30008 before taxes. These are the people educating America's future.

7. One district in the state projects an additional $26 million in cutbacks if Prop 100 fails. This number is in addition to the $17 million in cut backs that have been made in the last two years.

8. Capital funding will be completely cut from school budgets. This includes items such as desks and chairs for students, as well as textbooks and technology.

9. Class sizes are projected to increase by at least 3 students in every classroom. This means an average 1st grade classroom could have 27 students. If even 7 of them struggle with reading, there will not be enough classroom resources to support them, and reading specialists will be cut. A students chance at success significantly decreases, as does their projected likeliness of graduating high school.

10. This bill is expected to generate $918 million annually for education and public safety.

11. Response times for police and fire will go up by approximately 4 minutes. The average brain can only go without oxygen for 4 minutes before brain damage occur. Those additional four minutes of response time will cost thousands of lives.

12. The medivac helicopters for use in Northern Arizona will no longer receive funding. Response times for those helicopters coming from the south will be more than an hour.

13. Schools will be told to absorb the rising cost of utilities into their own budgets. In some parts of the state Arizona American Water is asking for 100% rate increases. These increases will create further cutbacks in the schools.

14. Pay to Play could be implemented. Any student wishing to play in school athletics will be required to pay. This will impact many low income families.

15. This is for the child who's favorite part of the day is Music because it is a part of the day they feel successful.

15. This is for the child who's favorite part of the day is Art because it is there they hear "Well Done!" regularly.

16. This is for the child that cannot afford playing club sports but got a scholarship to college playing high school football, basketball, or soccer.

17. This is for the child who struggles to read and needs more help than one teacher alone can give.

18. This is for my first grader who loves her teacher who taught her to love school.

19. This is for my fourth grader is inspired by his teacher to go to college.

20. This is for my toddler who wants to grow up and be a big kid that goes to school.

21. This is for the students I tutor.

22. This is for the the gifted students and future inventors of the world.

23. This is for the school librarian who took a significant pay cut just so she could stay with the children, and yet may still lose her job.

24. This is for the 23 first graders and 26 fourth graders I see every Friday in class.

25. This is for the Advanced Placement students in High School.

26. This is for all of the students attending Charter schools and Montessori's who's education will be impacted in many of the same ways.

27. This is for the firefighter called to rescue a drowning child in a swimming pool.

28. This is for the firefighter called to rescue a mother or father in a car accident.

29. This is for the parent who must call an ambulance and pray they get there fast enough.

30. This is for the police officer who jeopardizes his own life to safe another.

31. This is to ensure our children get an education which will allow them to compete in a global market.

32. This is to ensure our public safety.

33. This is for my brother who is a teacher.

34. This is for my neighbors who want the best for their children

35. This is for the reader who has a dream for their child that starts with a proper education...

There are indeed 65 more reasons and budget cuts I could list. There are 65 reasons you might give to refute it. No more taxes is one I hear often. But me, I will gladly pay the extra one dollar in one hundred to see my daughter's face light up when she shows me the picture she drew at school, or when she passes a sign and says, "Look mom, that sign says Best Friends. My best friends at school are Anna and Alexa." I will gladly pay that one dollar in one hundred to see my son carrying his trumpet to band next year. I will pay it over and over again to ensure that if I ever needed an ambulance, they would respond fast enough to save my life, or the life of someone I loved.

For more information on Prop 100 please visit Early ballots were mailed yesterday, and the vote is May18th. However you exercise your right, please get out and vote.

If you live in the state of Arizona, or have a gallery of readers that do, please consider giving your 100 reasons to vote yes on Prop 100, or re-post these. Please help get the word out.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Oh S...

On April 4, 2010 the sugar world lost a dear friend.
Funeral services were held in Glendale Arizona on April 5, 2010
It is survived by food like substances including lettuce, carrots, cucumbers, and other members of the dull food family

There were many fond memories over dessert at the dinner table
At the ice cream store
Standing in front of the candy section at the corner drugstore
In line at the drive thru
Over a shared Slurpee
Judging people on reality TV

Sugar has always been a dear friend
It never talked back like the kids
It tasted better than therapy
It called to me when the the caller I.D. showed no missed numbers
Goodbye chocolate covered pretzels
Goodbye Frosted Mini Wheat's
Goodbye Cadbury Mini Eggs, I shall miss you the most.

Sugar passed away in a bitter fight to the end. The battle was messy and included horrific details. But in the end, sugar had to lose, and let me tell you why...

I have 12 weeks to lose ten, got that 10, pounds. If I do not lose ten pounds in these 12 weeks, my brother has in a sealed envelope a very terrible picture and the passwords to both my Facebook account and my blog account.

Is this really what weight loss has become? Am I really that unmotivated by money, or the love of beauty, or even health, that this is what it takes?

Before some of you get all crazy and say, "Oh geez, you can totally do that," remember this. I am the girl that worked with a personal trainer for six months, three times a week, for two hours, and only lost 5 pounds. Remember that I am the girl who weighs more at the six week follow up check than I did at the last appointment before I had the baby.

This is war. So forgive me if I seem a little edgy in the coming weeks. I have a terrible photo that must be kept confidential!