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It’s high time for school finance redesign

Funding Arizona’s K-12 public schools is on the mind of every educator, most policymakers, and business leaders — those who count on a ready workforce. The Arizona Business & Education Coalition (ABEC) presents a set of proposals to redesign the school finance system entirely, to support increasingly higher levels of learning in all public schools.

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How to buy the benefit of the doubt, for nothing

Several years ago I attended a government commission meeting where an appointed chairman openly rejected an assistant attorney general’s recommendation to convene an executive session.

“No, I don’t think we need an executive session to talk about this,” the chairman said, to the best of my recollection.

It’s not that every — or even most — public bodies are eager to shut their doors to the public. It’s that confidence is inspired in government when the doors remain open when the real decision-making process begins.

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Setting the record straight on sentencing

I am writing to correct a number of inaccuracies in the May 20 “special report” printed in your newspaper (“A push from the right: More conservatives joining fight to change sentencing guidelines”).  I am sure the reporter’s intention was to present a thorough examination of this important topic, but her final product was extremely one-sided and lacking in several important facts.  As the chief prosecutor for the 4 million residents of Maricopa County, I feel it is my duty to set the record straight.

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Matching funds: Remember the departed as they were

The big news this week is the U.S. Supreme Court striking down Arizona’s matching funds provision from Clean Elections. The ruling could be a game-changer for some who will seek legislative and statewide elected positions. But it also begs the question: What will we really be missing?

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It’s a problem for everyone when the well runs dry

Benjamin Franklin probably was not being literal when he wrote, “When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.” But the literal interpretation certainly applies to the approximately 25 million Americans who live in Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. People in these states don’t need Earth Day or Water Awareness Month celebrations to remind them of the worth of their water. They already know that their well — the Colorado River — is running dry.

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Change to Prop. 105 assault on accountability, education

Something’s gotten into the water at the state Capitol.

Republicans — specifically one out of southern Arizona — want more government control by taking power away from the people of Arizona. In the Arizona Capitol Times May 27 article “Fit to be tied: Republican lawmakers say Prop. 105 too restrictive,” Rep. David Stevens, R-Sierra Vista (District 25), said he is vying to put legislation back on the agenda next year to limit voters’ decision-making power.

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