Arizona’s success as a state is entirely contingent on our willingness to invest in strong neighborhood public schools. This is the key to successful economy, the key to strengthening families, and should be of paramount importance to Arizona’s leaders.
Teacher Pay and The #RedForEd Movement
Arizona must invest in a substantial pay increase for our teachers. Arizona faces a teacher shortage, and the #RedForEd Movement is leading the way in giving voice to our educators as they fight for our kids. Keeping talented educators in Arizona will take investment, and we need leaders with the vision to make these investments, knowing that it will mean raising revenue that has been previously given away to the wealthiest Arizonans.
Arizona need to transform the way we fund education. We need our leaders to look be bold and consider all the options–including raising revenue from the wealthiest Arizonans. Those that benefit from the economic benefits of strong public schools need to be asked to contribute their fair share. We need to bring teacher pay in Arizona to the national average.
Arizona should invest in community schools, a model that has real promise for transforming historically disenfranchised communities and the students that will lead them into the future. By bringing wraparound services to the public schools that serve as anchor institutions in our communities, community schools are a model worth investing in.
Supporting Our Counselors
We need to bring the student to counselor ratio to the national average.
Supporting Our Students
There are a multitude of ways Arizona can do a better job of supporting our students:
Rather than following short-sighted policies like reliance on high-stakes testing, all Arizona schools need to be held truly accountable–regardless of whether they are public, private, or charter. We need the stewards of our tax dollars to hold all schools to a high standard and bring accountability to our charter school system.
We need to pass reforms that support our English Language Learner students and relax the outdated restrictions of Arizona’s misguided “English Only” law.
We need to end inequities in funding for school facilities among districts. All students deserve quality school facilities, regardless of ZIP Code.
We should work to make our schools safer by doing everything we can to close off the school-to-prison pipeline.
We should fund the staff and resources necessary to address teen suicide prevention.
Arizona’s public schools should affirmatively welcome transgender students and put an end to discrimination against these students.
Strong Schools Power Our Economy
P-20 Education is a comprehensive system and we should recognize it as such. Investments in everything from Pre-K to workforce development are critical to economic development. Economic development only works with an educated workforce. It’s about the people.
Arizona should work towards the Arizona Board of Regents’ Achieve60 goals and beyond—supporting apprenticeships, vocational education, and workforce development should be a priority.
No More Vouchers
- Arizonans can’t afford to fund two parallel school systems, one public and one private. When voters resoundingly rejected Proposition 305, they sent a message: public funds should be focused on public schools that serve everybody, not used to subsidize a private school system that primarily benefits those who don’t need the help.