Dollars, Flexibility, and an Effective Education: Parent Voices on Arizona’s Education Savings AccountsPosted on October 03, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher
Arizona’s education savings accounts are the most innovative way for parents to find a great education for their child. The Arizona Department of Education deposits 90 percent of an eligible child’s funding from the state funding formula into a parent’s private bank account. Families then use a debit card or an online payment service such as PayPal to pay for such expenses as textbooks, private school tuition, online classes, and tutors. Each account results in a cost-savings to the taxpayer, demonstrating that a high-quality education can be provided for less than what taxpayers pay for public schools.
Moving Forward: A Road Map for Choice and CompetitionPosted on July 15, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Andrew N. Kleit
Choice and competition can drive Arizona’s electricity market to produce more power at a lower cost—with greater economic efficiency propelling greater economic growth and job creation. This article provides a road map with specific recommendations tailored to Arizona's unique market conditions to ensure reform is a success.
Arizona Charter Schools: A Vision for the Next 20 YearsPosted on May 22, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher
Over the past 20 years, Arizona teachers, parents, and community leaders have created more than 500 charter schools—independent, tuition-free public schools that operate with fewer regulations in exchange for higher levels of transparency. Some of these schools are among the highest-achieving schools in the nation, with their students routinely topping nationwide comparisons.
States Can Fix the National Debt: Reforming Washington with the Compact for America Balanced Budget AmendmentPosted on April 23, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Nick Dranias
The Compact for America proposes that state legislatures use an interstate compact, which is a cooperative agreement among the states, to advance a Balanced Budget Amendment. 26 state legislatures would be required to cosign on the federal government’s credit card. But unlike the status quo of national debt brinkmanship, the BBA is designed to force Washington to prepare a budget to make the case for more debt long before the midnight hour arrives. It requires the president to start designating spending cuts when spending exceeds 98 percent of the debt limit. If Congress disagrees with the cuts, it must then override those cuts within 30 days. By forcing both the executive and legislative branches to show their cards long in advance of hitting a constitutional debt limit, the BBA would ensure no game of “chicken” can hold the country’s credit rating hostage.
No More Rainy Days: How to Make State Revenue Estimates More AccuratePosted on April 09, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach
Revenue forecasts matter for planning and policy purposes. When revenues are underestimated, surpluses encourage government growth and swings in tax policy that might be ill-conceived. When revenues are overestimated, governments typically resort to financially damaging gimmicks, debt, and raids on reserves, just delaying the politically disruptive controversy that comes with prioritizing less spending. By not confronting reality, states can be led to impose otherwise unnecessary and ill-conceived tax increases.