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Arizona Superintendent Says Education Should Count On Economy

Diane Douglas
Alexandra Olgin /KJZZ
file | staff
Superintendent Diane Douglas.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is discouraging Arizona's teacher movement from pushing forward with a statewide ballot initiative aimed at stabilizing school funding.

Referencing economic outlooks, Douglas said raising income taxes on the highest earning households isn't necessary and warned pushing for an additional tax hike could backfire.

"Strong economic growth is based on the very people that this budget initiative will tax," Douglas said, "And, I think that could potentially undermine the whole budget plan that's been laid out to support our teachers and education."

Her chief opponent in the upcoming elections, former Sen. David Schapira, sees the tax as decades overdue and a threat of high earners moving away as hype.

"[The tax] would still leave us a much lower than income taxes in many other states, including some of our surrounding states," Schapira explained, "I kind of doubt that someone who has a home in Orange County is going to start claiming income tax there, because they're going to pay higher taxes there than they do in Arizona."

The proposal, dubbed the Invest in Education Act is estimated to generate $690 million annually by tacking on an additional 3.46-percent to the 4.54-percent state income tax for Arizona residents earning more than $250,000 a year.

Holliday Moore is a native Arizonan and veteran journalist who joined KJZZ’s news team in January 2017.Moore graduated from Arizona State University after double majoring in mass communications and marketing/management. She spent her first two decades reporting for television news, beginning in small markets and working up to congressional correspondent in Washington, D.C., for a political news service.Family commitments in Arizona brought her back to the Southwest, where she covered legislative and court beats for Albuquerque’s KRQE-TV and the infamous Four Corner Manhunt as KREZ-TV’s managing editor.Back home in Phoenix, she developed ABC15’s “Democracy Project,” now instituted at all Scripps’ news stations nationwide. Her work garnered “Best Practices” recognition by the Poynter Institute and the prestigious Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Television Political Journalism.Her television reports, from sports to cultural issues, earned her multiple Emmy and Associated Press nominations, including a Rocky Mountain Emmy for her Hopi Partition Land Act coverage.As she started a family, Moore started her own media production agency, producing magazine-style travel stories for the Emmy-winning Arizona Highways Television show while working part time for a Valley radio station. She is convinced radio is where visual, sound, and print are merging through deeper storytelling. In her relatively short time with radio network affiliates, she has won four Edward R. Murrow Awards and multiple nominations from other professional news societies.Moore now teaches advanced broadcast writing to the next generation of reporters at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, where a high percentage have gone on to receive national awards for their work in her class. She enjoys being back home near childhood friends and sharing the beautiful Arizona desert with her husband and young son.