Public education policy remains at a critical stage in Arizona and leaves our education systems at all levels with the greatest state funding cuts of any state in the U.S. The education of Arizona youth must be a priority; the economic future of our state relies on a well-educated citizenry and impacts each one of us, young or old. The push for privatization of K-12 education is ever present and continuous.
As members we all need to
1) be informed (see some resources below),
2) discuss the issues in branch, SIG and other meetings,
3) vote, and
4) take action by providing input to legislators, school board members, the media and others who make or influence education public policy decisions in the state and/or local area.
Suggested references for review by subject area:
A. School Choice
AAUW-Arizona Resolution on Arizona School Choice Policies
“School Choice and Educational Equity for All Arizona Youth” February 2017, white paper from the League of Women Voters of NW Maricopa County.
“Public Education Should Be Raised Up As A Public Trust”, BringingUpArizona.com, January 1, 2017. http://www.bringinguparizona.com/public-education-is-public-trust/
“School-Choice Groups Are Election Force To Be Reckoned With”, BringingUpArizona.com, September 24, 2016 http://www.bringinguparizona.com/the-group-to-fear/
B. Empowerment Scholarships/Tuition Tax Credits/Private School Vouchers
“Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts: How they work and the cost to the state general fund”, AZ School Boards Association Power Point slides, February 2017 http://azsba.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Arizona-Empowerment-Scholarship-Accounts_FINAL.pdf
“JLBC concludes voucher expansion will increase costs to state”, by Howard Fischer, Capital Media Services, February 15, 2017. http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/02/15/jlbc-concludes-voucher-expansion-will-increase-costs-to-state/
“Arizona School-choice expansion could cost $46 million”, Brahm Resnik, 12news.com Feb. 14, 2017. http://www.12news.com/news/politics/arizona-school-choice-expansion-could-cost-46-million/408435995
“Lesko’s alternative facts about vouchers are exposed” by Laurie Roberts, azcentral.com, Feb. 15, 2017 http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2017/02/15/roberts-leskos-alternative-facts-vouchers-exposed/97948078/
“More bad news for school voucher scammers“ by EJ Montini, azcentral.com, Feb. 15, 2017. http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2017/02/15/montini-school-choice-vouchers-arizona-legislature/97934204/
Poor Kids Are New Pawns In Voucher Scheming“http://www.bringinguparizona.com/poor-are-pawns-on-vouchers/“, BringingUpArizona.com, March 26, 2016 http://www.bringinguparizona.com/poor-are-pawns-on-vouchers/
“So, moron, why shouldn’t I get a school voucher?’ OK, I’ll tell you” by EJ Montini, azcentral.com, MT Feb. 10, 2017 http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/ej-montini/2017/02/10/montini-vouchers-arizona-legislature-empowerment-scholarship-accounts-debbie-lesko/97746516/
“Legislators Thumb Nose At Voucher Accountability http://www.bringinguparizona.com/vouchers-skirt-accountability/“, February 21, 2016
Vouchers: Public Money Without Public Scrutiny “http://www.bringinguparizona.com/vouchers-devoid-of-scrutiny/“, February 8, 2016 http://www.bringinguparizona.com/vouchers-devoid-of-scrutiny/
“Private School Tax Credits & Vouchers Undermine Public Schools” – policy brief http://azchildren.org/private-school-tax-credits-vouchers-undermine-public-schools
LWV White Paper: “Exploring K-12 Education in Arizona’ – Revised February 2015 (ESAs, STOs and Tax Credit info detailed on pages 9-11) http://nwmc.az.lwvnet.org/files/education_white_paper_feb_10_2015_final_a.pdf
C. School funding
“What you should know about Governor Ducey’s Budget Plan“, Children’s Action Alliance, February 2017.
“Arizona education groups: ‘Do your job, Legislature”, by Alia Beard Rau , azcentral.com, Jan. 4, 2017 http://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/arizona-education/2017/01/04/arizona-education-funding-legislature/95267516/
“For Arizona’s children, the clock is ticking for funding schools”, Arizona Capital Times Guest Opinion by Rebecca Gau is executive director of Stand for Children Arizona, January 27, 2017 http://azcapitoltimes.com/news/2017/01/27/for-arizonas-children-the-clock-is-ticking-for-funding-schools/
LWV-NWMC – “A Voter’s Guide to Understanding District and Charter School Budgets” http://nwmc.az.lwvnet.org/files/voters_guide__march_10_2015_final.pdf
Questions and Answers About Arizona’s State Budget and Taxes What Every Legislator – and Taxpayer – Wants to Know” updated with the most recent information as of July 2015.http://azchildren.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/CAA_Budget_QA.pdf
D. Legislative Updates
Arizona School Boards Association www.azsba.org
Arizona Education Association www.arizonaea.org
Expect More Arizona www.expectmorearizona.org
SOS AZ- Support Our Schools (http://supportourschoolsaz.org/
AZ Legislative Alerts from Anne Schneider – an email distribution to “Shine a bright light for socially-just public policy in Arizona”. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to her distribution list.
“Did You Know“general funding and information document compiled by John Kohl
WV White Paper: “Exploring K-12 Education in Arizona” – Revised February 2015 – the full paper provides a comprehensive look at many topics and programs for K-12 education with description, regulatory responsibility, intended outcomes and unintended consequences.
Of course, the Children’s Action Alliance is a good source of information on many subjects related to the well-being of children and youth and is the state connection for the Anne E. Casey Foundation Kids Count — lots of statistical information, analyses and press releases. (www.azchildren.org).
BringingUpArizona.com has a wide variety of excellent reports on K-12 education. www.bringinguparizona.com