$500 million. That’s the amount that could be cut from Arizona school budgets next year. “The [state government] budget crisis equals gloom and doom for K -12 education funding” according to Chuck Essex of Arizona of Association of School Business Officials. (See http://kjzz.org/news/arizona/archives/201011/hn_statebudget)
$500 million. That’s the amount of revenue Arizona lost because of SB1070. At least that was just reported on KJZZ, our NPR affiliate, this afternoon, 11/18/10. I believe the station was reporting on a study completed by the Center for American Progress —http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2010/11/az_tourism.html . The report concludes that about $141 million has been lost in lodging and food/beverage industries because of cancelled conventions. The study estimates that in the next two to three years, $250 million plus $86 million will be lost in economic output and wages.
Don’t get me wrong. I realize that illegal immigration is a huge problem here and that providing social services to non-tax-paying non-citizens is costing our state quite a bit. But really, if you lived in a cardboard box in a trash dump in Mexico City, wouldn’t you try to find a better life for yourself, too? Rather than spending so much money on virtual fences and border patrols, why don’t we hire more people in the immigration departments to speed up the process of making illegals legal?
If our beef is all about people being here ILLEGALLY, then why don’t we make becoming LEGAL easier? Working so hard at keeping people out smacks of bigotry and hatred. But obviously Mexicans would rather risk death coming across the border than take the necessary steps to apply for citizenship. Something is wrong with this picture.
It seems that keeping people out of our state is more important than investing in our future. I moved here 3+ years agoto teach because Mesa and Gilbert are so well-known across the nation for their orchestra programs. What do you think will be the first program to be cut from the schools in light of the choices that have to be made? Our class sizes are already huge. It’s programs like orchestra that will be the first to go.
When I hear that SB1070 has caused $500 million in economic damage right after finding out that $500 million is what will be cut from education, all I can think is that Arizonans would rather hate illegals than educate their own citizens.