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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Public education support rally

Brandi Walker

Hal Montoya-Iljams and Nancy Montoya-Iljams pose for a photo outside of the Modern Languages building on Wednesday, two days before the rally for education they plan to participate in on campus. The mother and son have been working to spread the word about the rally to support public education funding in Arizona.

A rally will be held tomorrow to support public education at the UA campus.

Gov. Doug Ducey will be giving a presentation at the Student Union Memorial Center on Friday, and the group plans to meet and begin to rally at the corner of Second Street and North Mountain Avenue at 10:45 a.m.

“We’ve got about a year to go before the state Legislature reconsiders the funding into public education in Arizona, and we want to make sure that they know that we are watching,” said Nancy Montoya-Iljams, executive producer for Media Source America. “… Nothing can be done to impact the budget right now, for public education, and you know about all the cuts.”

Montoya-Iljams said the governor will not answer phone calls and does not respond to letters, but that they know he hears them. She said they know the governor will arrive between 11-11:30 a.m., so the group wants to get there before he does.

“It’s a peaceful demonstration, but we’re pissed,” Montoya-Iljams said. “We want to let the governor know that it’s not okay that he comes onto our university after cutting funds to the university. It’s kind of hypocritical.”

Montoya-Iljams said she does not know how the turnout will be, but that the group has a mailing list of about 450 people in Tucson who provided their phone numbers and email addresses to find out what is going on in Tucson.

Montoya-Iljams said a rally was held earlier this year, during the Tucson Festival of Books.

“We started at Tucson High, and there were about 150 people,” Montoya-Iljams said. “We marched from Tucson High to the university and held a rally there, and then marched within the festival … and picked up a lot more people who just kind of joined in.”

Sarah White, a biology sophomore, said she thinks the budget cuts in Arizona are absolutely absurd.

“The way in which a society spends its money is a direct reflection of that society’s priorities,” White said. “Arizona — well, Doug Ducey — has made it very clear they view the funding of a private prison over education as more important. That is illogical and irresponsible.”

White said she feels that to better a society and a community, you have to educate them. She said this would ultimately lead to better decision making and, as a result, would reduce incarcerations in the long run and stimulate Arizona’s economy.

Laura Hacker, a pre-physiology sophomore, also said she thinks the budget cuts are ridiculous.

“There should be no shortage of funds when it comes to getting a good education,” Hacker said. “If anything, there should be more money being given to educational programs.”


Follow Brandi Walker on Twitter.

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