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Increasing the Performance of Arizona Schools
Arizona public schools suffer from administrative bloat and poor
management. We need competitive schools that reward good
teachers, give parents real choices among schools and prepare
students for today’s knowledge economy. Arizona needs
to learn from its charter schools and private
schools, which spend less money than district schools and
achieve higher student performance. Specifically,
- give Arizona parents a scholarship for each child yearly,
to be spent at any school—public, private,
or charter—with any money they save going
into a family education account for tutoring,
after-school help, or college tuition
- expand Arizona’s successful scholarship tax credit
to allow corporations to contribute to student scholarships, a
reform that District 15’s incumbent representatives have
- combat racial discrimination in special education
and mislabeling of students as learning disabled
by giving a full scholarship to any child who
has been labeled by his or her district as learning disabled,
enabling that student to transfer to a public, private or charter
Making Neighborhoods Safer
1) Allow Neighborhoods to Hire Professional Security Services
The police do their best to serve and protect us, but there are
not enough of them to provide true security, especially in less
affluent neighborhoods. Arizona should give each property
owner a property tax credit of at least $100 per
$100,000 of value to be used for the provision of security services.
By pooling these tax credits, neighborhood associations, HOAs and
apartment owners can provide 24-hour security personnel
to patrol our neighborhoods. By patrolling our neighborhoods,
private security personnel will free up the police to arrest criminals
and investigate crimes. Wealthy neighborhoods already have private
security guards—we should all have that kind of security.
2) Focus Law Enforcement Resources on Reducing Violent
Arizona must focus its criminal justice resources on the murderers,
rapists and child molesters who threaten
our neighborhoods. Arizona’s prisons are overcrowded and the
state’s police officers, prosecutors and
judges are overworked. In Maricopa County, 300
prosecutors must handle over 30,000 cases. 11,000
of those cases are drug-related. The arrest, prosecution and imprisonment
of nonviolent drug offenders are burdens the system
cannot afford, especially when violent criminals are paroled and
returned to the streets to prey on society.
3) Make Homeowners Secure Against Violent Crime
We must support the right to keep and bear arms,
and the right of homeowners to defend themselves and their
families from violent predators. Under current Arizona
law, a gunowner who defends his home is presumed to have committed
a crime and is at the mercy of prosecutors—a case of guilty
until proven innocent. That law must be changed. No
one should be treated like a criminal for defending his or her home
or family from dangerous intruders.
Reforming Arizona Government
1) Stop Out-of-Control Government Spending and Pass-the-Buck
In the face of record budget deficits, the Governor and the Arizona
Legislature have increased spending and increased debt. It is time
to recognize that Arizona’s politicians have a spending
problem and to take corrective action. We need a Colorado-style
Taxpayers’ Bill of Rights that will slow
the growth of government to the rate of population growth plus inflation.
Government should not grow faster than the state’s economy.
Further, we must encourage our legislators to vote against
spending increases or debt increases that pass the buck
to future legislatures and future generations of taxpayers. Arizona
families must set their budgets according to how much income
they have, and state government should do the same. Remember: it’s
our money they’re spending!
2) Help Small Businesses by Reducing Burdensome Regulations
Prospective entrepreneurs, charities and social
service providers are hampered by bureaucratic red tape.
Some state regulatory boards act as protection rackets,
keeping prices high and preventing people from starting businesses
and climbing up the ladder of success. Last year, the State Board
of Cosmetology barred an experienced African-American hairbraider
from practicing her trade, telling her she needed to complete 1,600
hours of cosmetology training at a cost of more than $10,000.
In February, the Arizona Structural Pest Control Commission told
a 17-year old entrepreneur that he could not earn
money for college by protecting the homes of his elderly neighbors
against roof rats. Instead of punishing ingenuity and creativity
with regulatory barriers and licensing fees, we must make Arizona
a place where people are free to start businesses
and free to make a living.
3) Protect Private Property Rights
If government regulations diminish the value of your property,
you should be compensated for your loss. Government should
not take your home or business and give it to the politically connected.
Also, bar and restaurant owners should not be forced
to ban smoking in their own establishments.
4) Promote Growth by Reducing Taxes for All Arizona Taxpayers
Arizona competes with Colorado, Nevada and Texas to attract
investment dollars and create jobs. All
three states have lower tax burdens than Arizona does, and Nevada
and Texas do not have income taxes. Arizona’s industrial
property taxes are the third highest in the nation.
We must eliminate or dramatically reduce
Arizona’s income taxes and help businesses by reducing
the assessment ratio for business property taxes. A vibrant
Arizona economy depends on letting people earn, save
and invest for the future.