March 12, 2022

Victory! Times two! As Washington lawmakers try to impose trillion-dollar tax hikes on Americans, the Goldwater Institute is setting an example for the rest of the nation by leading the fight against government over-taxation—and we’re winning! On Friday, we defeated Proposition 208—an unconstitutional leftist power grab that would have massively increased income taxes, led to staggering job loss, and turned Arizona from one of the lowest-taxed states in the country to one of the highest—when a Maricopa County judge barred enforcement of the measure. Today’s decision puts a nail in the coffin of the unconstitutional, job-killing Prop. 208, and it cements Arizona’s position as the national leader in lower taxes and building a stronger economy.

Goldwater scored another huge win for taxpayers’ rights in the Arizona Supreme Court on Tuesday—the Institute’s seventh victory before the state’s high court—when the court struck down Pinal County’s illegal transportation tax. In violation of state law, which sets out a carefully designed set of tax categories, county officials had created a convoluted and illegal sales tax scheme that hammered lower- and middle-income taxpayers while exempting purchases over $10,000.

In tough economic times, the last thing Arizona needs is for government to impose burdensome tax hikes that take more of people’s earnings away and kill jobs. We’re proud to have fought these tax hikes every step of the way, and we’re proud of these massive victories on behalf of taxpayers.

Read more about our victory over Prop. 208 here, and read Goldwater Vice President for Litigation Timothy Sandefur’s analysis of our AZ Supreme Court win here.

Media Manipulation Fuels War on Parents

A powerful institution—the news media—has thrown in with deeply entrenched special interests who oppose parents’ demands to know what’s being taught in public school classrooms. 

State-based “news” outlets across the country are working in lockstep with teachers unions, school boards, and the federal government to fight the academic transparency movement, Goldwater’s Matt Beienburg and Joe Setyon write in The Washington Times. In one particularly egregious example, The Arizona Republic surreptitiously edited its own work after getting the basic facts of Goldwater’s academic transparency reform wrong. Then, the Republic doctored a quote from a teacher opposed to the reform to make it fit the outlet’s anti-transparency slant.

News outlets in states like North Carolina, Kansas, Florida, Colorado, Iowa, and Illinois are parroting this same narrative, “distorting parents’ fight for their rights as an attempt to suppress student learning and to add more weight to teachers’ workloads,” Beienburg and Setyon write. But polling shows “the vast majority of Americans support academic transparency,” they add, calling on lawmakers to “take heed and stand behind parents.” That’s why Goldwater is working to pass this common-sense reform—which is under consideration in more than two dozen state legislatures—nationwide, while also defending parents’ rights in court.

Read the rest of the op-ed at The Washington Times.

Teacher: Here’s Why I Support Academic Transparency

Lawmakers should act to pass Goldwater’s academic transparency reform, Arizona public school teacher Jessica McDermitt writes in national news outlet RealClearPolicy.

“In the face of increasingly polarizing curriculum, and in the face of parents—often rightfully—becoming more alarmed at the content in classrooms across the country, it behooves us to place some sort of safeguard upon [controversial] discussions. Parents deserve to know what their children are hearing, discussing, and learning at school—where they spend half of their day and often more,” she says.

Academic transparency protects parents’ role as the “arbiters of their children’s educations,” McDermitt notes, but it also protects teachers from the ire of parents who feel blindsided by what their kids are learning. And making curricula publicly available fosters collaboration between educators by improving teachers’ access to the rigorous materials from their colleagues at other schools. “If collaboration is a virtue, and if we value real engagement with complex, multifaceted issues in the formation of our students, then we ought to take steps to expedite and protect our ability to engage in both,” McDermitt adds.

Read her full op-ed at RealClearPolicy.

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