Should Arizona community colleges be allowed to offer four-year degrees? I would like to hear your opinions on this. I am on the fence.
“COVID orphan” bill HB2523 would allow Arizona community colleges to offer four-year degrees. According to supporters, besides being cheaper (because students would be local and rates would be lower), expanded capabilities for community colleges would allow them to offer degrees in subjects not offered by the universities.
I asked the sponsor Rep. Becky Nutt what subjects they would offer, and she said it was up to them. The problem with that reply is that the Legislature eliminated the community college oversight board several years ago. The university system has the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) to oversee the system. Community colleges have no ABOR. I think they need oversight and coordination if they’re going to be allowed to expand like this.
Continue reading Should Community Colleges Offer 4-Year Degrees? (video)
For the politicians and businesses who are in a hurry to open up Arizona’s economy… SOON… the data, the computer models, and the small-government Arizona Way are not on your side.
Arizonans are suffering through a perfect storm of economic, ideological and medical circumstances that are working against us as our state government limply responds to the Coronavirus outbreak. First and most glaring, Arizona’s small-government Republican governors and legislators have been cutting taxes for corporations and the rich and balancing the budget on the backs of the people for decades. This has resulted in:
- One of the most volatile state budgets in the country
- An over-reliance on high sales taxes at state and local levels
- Extremely low corporate taxes
- Annual budgets riddled with corporate carveouts and tax giveaways
- Economic vulnerability when there are interruptions in retail sales
- Wages that are 85% of the national average
- Far too many residents holding multiple gig economy jobs
- Stingy social safety net programs (TANF, childcare subsidies, pre- and post- natal care, housing assistance)
- High poverty
- Underfunded public health, public education, and higher education systems
- Statewide healthcare provider shortages
- Counties declared as healthcare deserts
- The worst rate of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) in the US
- The least transparent state Legislature.
So… even before the novel Coronavirus hit the planet, many Arizonans were living on the edge economically, thanks to the Republican Party’s fixation with small, stingy government, privatization, deregulation, and tax giveaways. Add the state’s slow response to the COVID19 pandemic to the ideological economic mess we were already in, thanks to years of austerity, and it’s obvious why Arizona’s COVID19 cases are still increasing and getting “back to business” isn’t happening soon.
Continue reading Computer Models Predict Dire #COVID19 Conditions for #AZ Residents & Prisoners (video)
Now that I have your attention…
Who can resist babies doing yoga coupled with multiple exclamation points?
As many of you know, maternal and child health has been my focus for nearly a year now, ever since my strong, adorable, and intelligent granddaughter Selah was born with gastroschisis. Her three months in the Nursery Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Tucson Medical Center (TMC) in 2018 gave me a new appreciation for the human and financial costs related to adverse birth outcomes and high tech medicine.
When it comes to maternal and child health, I strongly believe that the state of Arizona can and should do better regarding:
- Increasing access to prenatal, perinatal and postpartum care.
- Decreasing the rates of premature and low birthweight babies.
- Reducing the number of unintended pregnancies and nonmarital births.
- Reducing toxic stress in and increasing opportunities for families and children by tackling chronic, systemic poverty in Arizona– particularly among single parent households.
Continue reading Maternal & Child Health! The Movie! (video)