In the last legislative session, several bills opposed by the Arizona Education Association passed (including SB 1431, mentioned in a previous post). Comments quoted below are from the association’s annual Legislative Report Card:
SB1042 – Replaces “teacher” with “person” in state statute and lowers the bar for those who are allowed to teach our students in Arizona classrooms. (full text of SB1042 here)
HB2404 & 2244 – An attack on Arizona citizens’ constitutional right to the ballot initiative process, making the renewal and potential expansion of Prop 301 more heavily dependent on the legislature and governor rather than Arizona voters and educators. (My note: Prop 301 was passed in 2000 as a sales tax increase with revenues to benefit public schools. Prop 301 is in effect through 2020.)
SB1431 – Expands Arizona’s private school voucher program, which has been cited for numerous cases of fraud, waste, and abuse, diverting millions of taxpayer dollars from our public school students to private and religious schools without accountability.
SB1522 – A state budget that does not reflect a significant investment in education, nor provide a permanent salary increase for teachers.
HB2545 – An education funding model that supports high-stakes testing over learning.
SB1416 – Provides even more tax breaks for wealthy, multinational corporations at the expense of funding for our students and resources for teachers.