By Ted Maxwell, President & CEO, Southern Arizona Leadership Council
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.