Today, the Arizona Education Association joined Ron Barber to denounce Tea Party candidate Jesse Kelly's plan to eliminate the Department of Education, which would risk nearly $1 billion in funding for Arizona schools. Kelly's education plan would slash Pell Grant funding for college students, job training, teacher grants, special education and school improvement grants. While Kelly wants to eliminate the Department of Education and shift the costs to Arizonans, he's called for lowering corporate tax rates to zero percent and wants to protect taxpayer subsidies for Big Oil companies making record profits.
"Jesse Kelly's pro-corporation agenda puts the interests of the wealthy and of big, out-of-state corporations ahead of Arizona's children," said Andrew Morrill, President of the Arizona Education Association. "Students don't need that extreme agenda; they need committed individuals who will build real reforms around what's good for children."
In recent weeks, even a group backed by Republican Leader Eric Cantor called a Republican who wanted to abolish the Department of Education "too extreme" in their paid advertising.
Morrill offered full support for Ron Barber, saying that, "the Arizona Education Association and its members across CD8 are proud to support Ron Barber. Ron shares our members' commitment to building great public schools for every Arizona student. Ron will promote effective reforms that begin with what's best for students. He understands that we are all accountable for educating students, and he will push for the things that we know work: access to computers and technology, putting a caring, competent teacher in every classroom, and preparing students for a dynamic, changing world."
"We must ensure that Arizona's students always have access to an education that strengthens Arizona's ability to compete in the global economy," said Ron Barber. "Education is key to growing jobs here in Arizona but Jesse Kelly wants to gut the Department of Education, and sacrifice our education funding. There's no question that Jesse Kelly is too extreme for Arizonans when his priority is more tax breaks for big companies while shortchanging our children and schools."
Supported Eliminating the Department Of Education. In 2010, Kelly told the Tucson Weekly that he supported eliminating the Department of Education. [Tucson Weekly, 7/08/10]
2009: Department of Education Provided Nearly $1 Billion to Arizona. According to the United States Census Bureau, in the 2009 Fiscal Year, the State of Arizona received $957,607,000 from the federal Department of Education. [Federal Aid to States, US Census Bureau, 8/2010]
Nearly 200,000 Arizona Students Received Federal Pell Grants between 2009 and 2010.According to the US Department of Education, 158,989 Arizona students received federal Pell grants between 2009 and 2010. [US Department of Education, 2009-2010 Federal Pell Grant Program End-of-Year Report, accessed 4/17/12 Table 22]
Said Corporate Tax Rate Should Be "Zero." In January 2010, "The corporate tax rate should be zero. Corporations do not pay taxes they pass those taxes onto the individuals, we just pay more for the products we buy. We must get the corporate tax rate to zero." [Saddlebrooke Republican Club Debate, 1/07/10]
Republican Leader Eric Cantor-Allied Group Called Eliminating the Department of Education "Extreme." In April 2012, the Young Guns Network sent out a mailer that claimed eliminating the Department of Education was an "extreme" stand to take. The Young Guns Network is a Cantor-allied group. [Politico, 4/27/12]