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1:25 AM Sun, Nov. 18th

Friday Catchall: State budget is first step for education

Backed by members of the #RedForEd movement, Noah Karvelis details why educators have decided to return to their classrooms on Thursday if lawmakers approve the budget and teacher pay plan they are currently considering. (Howard Fischer/Courtesy)

Backed by members of the #RedForEd movement, Noah Karvelis details why educators have decided to return to their classrooms on Thursday if lawmakers approve the budget and teacher pay plan they are currently considering. (Howard Fischer/Courtesy)

The Friday Catchall:

• BUDGET — We all learned Thursday morning lawmakers in the Arizona Legislature approved the state budget including a lot of education funding.

It contains the first step in Gov. Doug Ducey’s plan of 19 percent raises over the next three years. It also funded some of the items cut from public schools in recent years.

It is a good first step.

Still, despite my support for public education, I have three points to make:

First, not all teachers walked out. In fact, the images you saw of protests in Phoenix and those locally — Humboldt teachers on Highway 69 and others, including Prescott teachers, on the courthouse plaza in downtown Prescott — paled in numbers.

Seriously. Those were not all of the teachers. A good number of teachers stayed behind to help run the schools, such as in Prescott. Many reported back to work on Monday and Tuesday. Yet, many readers are negatively grouping all teachers into the walkout numbers, like how small newspapers are grouped into the horrible (liberal) “media,” when the truth is 180 degrees different.

Secondly, when I look back at the big picture of the past 10 or more years of school funding and the cuts they dealt with in Arizona, I understand why teachers walked out and/or protested.

Some readers, however, looked down on the teachers. The teachers were seen as greedy, for not merely accepting the governor’s pledge.

They were concerned about the other people they work with who have suffered under the cuts as well. They also were worried the promised raises may not materialize.

Finally, I look at all of this like I do someone who goes bankrupt. It takes time to stop digging that hole and to fill it back up.

The state of public education in Arizona will not be fixed overnight. The lawmakers have delivered some meaningful fixes, but this is not over yet.

Think of it like our weather: we received some rain in the past two days; that does not fix the drought of the last eight months, nor does it get us out of the 20-year drought we are in.

Patience, folks.

• SCAM CALLS — Here’s a twist on those phone calls you receive from “local” phone numbers that are either a scam (real person) or a recording.

Thursday morning at my house the phone rang and a man on the other end asked why we just called him. Apparently, our phone number is one the “scammers” are now using in their caller ID.

My wife told him we did not call him, and from their conversation he learned about this “spoofing,” which uses local phone numbers to get people to pick up the phone. In fact, recently she had called a number back and the person there also knew nothing and had not called us.

The tricksters out there are getting bold and creative. These are the people who do not care about the Do Not Call list.

Reminder: don’t give out your personal information over the phone. They may have your phone number, but don’t give them anything else.

• PICK OF THE WEEK — (Proving there’s always something good to do in the Prescott area that’s cheap or free): the Prescott High School Talent Show, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in the Ruth Street Theater Auditorium, 1050 N. Ruth St.

Tim Wiederaenders is the senior news editor for The Daily Courier and Prescott Newspapers, Inc. Follow him on Twitter @TWieds_editor. Reach him at 928-445-3333, ext. 2032, or twieds@prescottaz.com.