SALC Supports a YES vote on Prop 481

Leadership Group Strongly Supports the Change in PCC’s Expenditure Limitation

TUCSON, AZ (Sept. 21, 2020) — The Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), the area’s foremost CEO, business, and community leader organization, announced that its Board of Directors recommends a “yes” vote on Proposition 481. Prop 481 will increase the Pima Community College expenditure limit and will appear on the November 2020 ballot. A YES vote will allow PCC to expend its revenues more effectively and direct them towards students, teachers, and technology in the classroom while not raising taxes.

“Business organizations such as the Southern Arizona Leadership Council have continuously emphasized that the quality and quantity of our workforce will lead directly to our region’s ability to attract new business and grow current employers,” said Ted Maxwell, President and CEO of SALC. “Pima Community College is a critical part of training, or retraining, our future workforce. Prop 481 will allow the college to make a greater investment in the students, the technology, and the classroom. This will lead directly to opportunity for investment in our communities from growing or relocating businesses. And most importantly, the opportunity for members of our communities to improve their standard of living and quality of life.”

Proposition 481 is seeking voter approval to permanently increase the 1979-80 expenditure limitation that is used each year to determine the maximum amount the College may spend to fund operations. The needs in the classrooms and teaching technologies have significantly changed in the last forty years. Flexibility of investment is critical in today’s education and working environment, especially with the impact of the current pandemic which has demonstrated the need for educational institutions to evolve how they deliver their courses. Currently PCC’s base limit is the lowest per-full student equivalent (FTSE) of all the community colleges in Arizona yet the College is in the second largest district in the state. Prop 481 proposes increasing PCC’s Base Limit to the average of the state’s ten community colleges, without increasing taxes. With greater flexibility in how the College can use its funds, PCC can more fully advance and fulfill its mission to train and educate the community’s workforce. Approval of Prop 481 will secure funds for student services like career counseling, tutoring, tuition assistance, scholarships, and student access to childcare. In addition, Prop 481 will allow the College to expand programs it currently offers in aviation, automotive technology, advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT, cybersecurity, as well as adding new ones.

SALC has been a staunch supporter of Pima Community College and the role it plays in the economic vibrancy of our region. Under the leadership of Chancellor Lambert and the College’s Governing Board, PCC has undertaken bold new practices and initiatives with an emphasis on aligning its programs and course offerings with the business community in the greater Southern Arizona area to prepare students for advancement in the workforce and providing them the opportunity to secure well-paying jobs. In addition, the College has remained steadfast in its commitment to educate students for further higher education to transfer to a four-year institution.

“SALC supports Pima Community College’s ambitious and visionary plans for the future of its students and our future workforce. SALC strongly urges a YES vote on Prop 481,” Maxwell said.

About Southern Arizona Leadership Council
The Southern Arizona Leadership Council was founded in 1997 by senior business and community leaders in the Tucson region. Its goal is to use the collective leadership of its members to engage strategic issues facing the community. The mission of SALC is to improve greater Tucson and the state of Arizona by bringing together resources and leadership to create action to enhance the economic climate and quality of life in our communities. For more information visit salc.org.

SALC Makes Rare Endorsement of Education Candidates

Leadership Group Strongly Supports Ravi Grivois-Shah for TUSD, Ethan Orr for PCC

TUCSON, AZ (Sept. 21, 2020) — The Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), the area’s foremost CEO, business, and community leader organization, announces the endorsements of Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah for the Tucson Unified School District Governing Board and Ethan Orr for the Pima Community College Governing Board.

As a nonpartisan public policy organization, SALC does not typically endorse candidates running for office, but its board of directors makes an occasional exception in non-partisan races of significant importance to our community.

“We made this decision because we profoundly believe education is vital to the successful future of this whole community. TUSD is the second largest district in Arizona and we see this non-partisan Governing Board race as critical to our children and our region. Dr. Ravi Grivois-Shah will make a positive impact on TUSD,” said Ted Maxwell, President and CEO of SALC. “And because Pima Community College plays such a pivotal role in creating our region’s workforce and the opportunities for future generations, SALC feels strongly about the importance of a quality Governing Board to provide guidance and direction for the future of the college. Ethan Orr will provide that leadership.”

Steve Lynn, SALC’s P-20 Education Co-Chair, commented on the endorsement, “Dr. Grivois-Shah’s understanding of, and his vision for, TUSD will help create greater opportunities for students to excel. He understands that businesses, and the greater Tucson community, need TUSD to be successful. Tucson’s ability to recruit and retain high quality workers will ensure our region’s future prosperity. Ravi knows TUSD must play a major role in this effort.”

Grivois-Shah believes TUSD’s key issues are to safely educate our children, particularly during the current pandemic; to improve trust in TUSD through financial accountability and transparency; and to reduce disparities inherent throughout our district. His experience as a TUSD parent as well as serving on the TUSD Audit Committee gives him an important perspective on the district’s strengths and needs, particularly on how the district’s budget and financial information can be more readily accessible, comprehensible, and functional for its stakeholders, Maxwell added.

Bruce Dusenberry, co-chair of SALC’s Strategic Initiatives committee, stated, “Ethan Orr has a strong grasp of the importance and role the college plays in both providing opportunity for the citizens of Pima County to improve their quality of life as well as developing the workforce for the future. His vision for PCC will help create greater opportunities to improve the skills and capabilities of our region’s workforce.”

Orr is a native Tucsonan whose life was dramatically changed for the better as a result of his personal experience at Pima Community College, which set him on the path to educational attainment and leadership. Formerly a Representative of LD9 in the state legislature, Orr seeks to help guide the college as it builds upon its current successful trajectory to ensure that it can help meet the current and future workforce needs of our region.

“SALC applauds both Ravi Grivois-Shah and Ethan Orr for their willingness to serve the region’s current and future generations,” Maxwell concluded.

About Southern Arizona Leadership Council
The Southern Arizona Leadership Council was founded in 1997 by senior business and community leaders in the Tucson region. Its goal is to use the collective leadership of its members to engage strategic issues facing the community. The mission of SALC is to improve greater Tucson and the state of Arizona by bringing together resources and leadership to create action to enhance the economic climate and quality of life in our communities. For more information visit salc.org.

The Preschool Promise

Why local leaders support high-quality early childhood education

Sarah Gassen: Making ‘The Preschool Promise’
9 September 2019

Local opinion: Announcing ‘The Preschool Promise’ coalition to help all Pima County kids
8 September 2019

Sarah Gassen: New research on lasting benefits of preschool
26 May 2019

Richard Elias: It’s time to give all Pima County children access to quality preschools
18 May 2019

Penelope Jacks: Why high-quality preschool? Just the facts.
5 May 2019

Community Food Bank of SAZ: Supporting high-quality early childhood education
1 May 2019

Sarah Gassen: Preschool funding is the challenge
21 April 2019

Tony Penn: A thriving Tucson starts with funding for quality preschools
14 April 2019

Sarah Gassen: Pima Supervisors should make public preschool a reality
14 April 2019

With business buy-in and property tax boost, Charlotte got on path to universal public pre-K
7 April 2019

Value of early childhood education is settled; now what?
7 April 2019

Stephanie Hamilton: Tell supervisors we want affordable, quality preschools
3 April 2019

For more information about The Preschool Promise visit the website.

2018 Summer Legislative Engagement Series Kicks Off

 

SALC met June 6 with State Senate Majority Leader and candidate for State Treasurer Kimberley Yee as the Summer Legislative Engagement Series gets underway. We will meet with state legislators throughout the summer to discuss issues that are key to the future of our state and region.

SALC Issues Statement Backing Governor’s Teacher Raise Proposal

SALC Issues Statement Backing Governor’s Teacher Raise Proposal

Calls the move ‘A step in the right direction we can all get behind’

TUCSON, AZ (April 17, 2018) — Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC), comprised of 140 CEOs and leaders in the region, supports Gov. Doug Ducey’s proposal to provide a much-deserved 20-percent pay increase for teachers in Arizona by 2020.

The plan, which is now being negotiated in the legislature, would represent an initial significant step toward adequately compensating Arizona’s valued educators. SALC members believe that attracting, retaining and rewarding qualified teachers is critical to ensuring continued economic growth and prosperity in our state.

The salary boost is proposed to be funded in three ways – through increased revenues from Arizona’s flourishing economy; by a rollback of several of the Governor’s executive initiatives and proposed tax cuts; and as a result of savings and efficiencies from state programs. As the legislature works with the Governor to make this proposal a reality, we urge using the proposed available revenue sources and not to divert funding from current commitments to the P-20 education pipeline.

Our state’s future workforce depends on high-quality educators and a robust, fully-funded education system. SALC strongly encourages our state legislators to partner with the Governor on this plan which is a step toward full funding for Arizona’s teachers.

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About Southern Arizona Leadership Council

The Southern Arizona Leadership Council was founded in 1997 by senior business and community leaders in the Tucson region. Its goal is to use the collective leadership of its members to engage strategic issues facing the community. The mission of SALC is to improve greater Tucson and Arizona by bringing together resources and leadership to create action to enhance the economic climate and quality of life in our communities to attract, retain, and grow high-quality, high-wage jobs. For more information visit salc.org.

Maxwell and McFarlin: Education reform begins with all of us

SALC President Ted Maxwell and Arizona Town Hall Board Member Suzanne McFarlin wrote about the disconnect between Arizonans believing in the investment in education and those making policy decisions at the legislature. Tucsonans joined other citizens at community town halls in recent months and attended the 110th Arizona Town Hall on funding Pre K – 12 education last November. They voiced a strong core of quality, well-funded education prevents people in need for food or public assistance

Read their six suggestions on the Arizona Daily Star for how to make a difference in improving the education in Arizona.