Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility Marco Lopez Proposes $2.5+ Billion in Increased Education Funding, Bolstering Economic Growth  - Marco Lopez for Governor

Marco Lopez Proposes $2.5+ Billion in Increased Education Funding, Bolstering Economic Growth 

Today gubernatorial candidate Marco Lopez announced his support for maintaining the current 4.5% top marginal income tax rate and using at least $2.5 billion of the resulting $3 billion annual budget surplus¹ to fund education. By properly funding Arizona’s public education system and growing Arizona’s skilled workforce to compete for quality jobs, the state can bolster smart economic growth while supporting its students and working families. 

This announcement comes at a time when Governor Ducey and Republican legislators are gearing up to push through an accelerated tax cut for the wealthiest Arizonans, attempting to circumvent voter approval, just weeks after a district court struck down 2020’s voter-approved Prop 208. 

“Arizona voters recognized that our education systems are in desperate need of significant investments and voted to do just that. However, since the court struck down the voter-approved Prop 208, Governor Ducey and Republicans in the legislature seem to only care about cutting taxes for the wealthy even faster,” said Marco Lopez, candidate for governor. 

“Our state can continue to be tax-friendly while properly funding the education priorities needed to grow our economy — it’s not an either/or. That’s why I’m urging our legislature to reject accelerated tax cuts, retain the 4.5% top income tax rate, and dedicate billions of more dollars to meaningfully invest in Arizona’s economy. By assuring a robust public education system, we can prepare our kids and working families to compete for the jobs we want to grow and attract for the Arizona of tomorrow.”

The additional annual investments, which are on top of current funding levels and would require the overhaul of the outdated aggregate expenditure limit, could pay for many of the same priorities laid out in Prop 208 such as the below without raising further taxes and still leaving room to fund other important priorities:

  • $1 billion to close our massive teacher shortage, raising wages to recruit more teachers and lower classroom sizes 
  • $450 million for early childhood education and high quality child care
  • $400 million to hire more counselors, critical student support services personnel, and non-certified employees and increase their pay
  • $250 million for apprenticeships, vocational training programs, and partnerships that fill our economy’s growing need for skilled workers, as well as supplementary services such as college level courses, tutoring, mentoring, counseling, and mental health services
  • $250 million for higher education including universities, community colleges, and workforce development
  • $100 million for mentoring and retaining new teachers and professional development
  • $50 million to encourage more public school students to embark on the noble journey to become public school teachers themselves

Arizona education advocates are supportive of the proposal.

“I’ve known Marco for more than twenty years, and I’m confident that as governor he is going to be a champion for public education. Bold proposals like these invest in high-quality education for all Arizona students at every level, ensuring our talent pipeline will energize economic growth for years to come.” Christine Thompson, education advocate and Former Arizona State Board of Education Executive Director.

“Marco is filling in the leadership gap, even before he becomes our next governor, using common sense approaches to provide every child, no matter their zip code, with a quality education,” said Maria Harper-Marinick, longtime leader in education and former Chancellor of Maricopa Community College District. “As governor, Marco will put the needs of students and teachers first, and I’m very supportive of this proposal.”

Marco Lopez is a product of the Arizona public school system and as governor he will make properly funding education a top priority in order to grow an economy that allows all families the chance to succeed. As the campaign continues Lopez will further develop and detail his plans for an education system that will build a more robust Arizona economy.
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¹Joint Legislative Budget Committee, FY 2023 JLBC Baseline with Executive Comparison, 2022
URL: https://www.azjlbc.gov/budget/23baseline-execcomparison011722.pdf

Marco Lopez is running for governor because he believes in the Promise of Arizona – the promise that if you work hard, play by the rules, and treat people with respect then you can make it here in our state. It’s this idea that led Marco’s parents to immigrate to Arizona from Mexico nearly fifty years ago. They didn’t start out with much, but they dreamed that Marco and his sisters could do better than they did. That’s just what happened—Marco and his sisters were the first generation in their family to go to college. Once Marco graduated from the University of Arizona, he knew he had to give back. At just 21-years-old he ran for mayor of his hometown of Nogales and won, becoming one of the youngest mayors in the country. After winning two mayoral elections, Governor Napolitano asked Marco to serve at the state level as Director of the Arizona Department of Commerce where he oversaw critical trade relationships in the state. Next, President Obama asked Marco to serve at the national level, where he oversaw a $15 billion budget and 60,000 people. In 2011, Marco left the administration to start his own small business here in Arizona just like his parents had done 40 years before. Over the past ten years Marco’s company has brought high speed internet to 1 million low income families and is on track to create 15,000 jobs right here in Arizona. Marco Lopez is running for governor because he  believes the Promise of Arizona is still possible, but for too many people in our state today it’s out of reach. Marco has the leadership experience in the private and public sector to make that promise of opportunity that brought his parents to Arizona a reality for everyone. For more information, please visit www.marcolopez.com. 

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