Arizona Education Association

Tomorrow is a big day. We hope to have 1,000 walk-ins. The video announcement on the AEU Facebook page last night that we will be setting a walk-out date soon has really energized educators all over Arizona. Your role as a leader at your site is the most important role in the movement. Our ability to do walk-ins is an important data point as we determine the date for a walk-out. We appreciate all you are doing to build our collective power. Thank you.

 

For Tomorrow, please be sure to accomplish the following:

  1. ​Have everyone who shows up sign in by using their phones to go to arizonaea.org/walkin​. Many of you have flyers printed with instructions with the link. If not, make a simple sign you can hold up with arizonaea.org/walkin​ printed in large letters, hold it up as you give folks to get out their phones, and fill out the form. This will allow us to know immediately how many sites hold walk-ins and how many show up. 
  2. Have a fun and positive event focused on solidarity. 

Today:

  • Many community groups want to participate and need a list of all the walkins that are planned. Please fill out this form​ (takes one minute) to report your walkin. Some of you have done this, but many have not. 

Use Toolkit for materials​.

In Solidarity,

Joseph H. Thomas, President
Arizona Education Association

AEA Legislative Video Update

Check out this week’s video update with AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Para. Facebook | YouTube

AEA Capitol Visits Success

For the past two Wednesdays, hundreds of AEA members and educators from the #REDFORED movement from across the state attended AEA’s Capitol Visits during their spring break. Last week teachers from Pendergast school district joined us for their one-day sick out. We packed the Senate Finance Committee and overflow room to oppose legislators passing House Bill (HB) 2528, a bill that would give tax cuts to millionaires while Arizona teachers rank near the bottom in pay. Educators then marched around the capitol making sure legislators and Governor Ducey could hear their chants for respect, fair pay, and more school funding.

Day of Action on Wednesday

Join us this Wednesday at the Capitol and at locations statewide, for a Day of Action for Education hosted by Save Our Schools Arizona, Arizona Educators United, and the Arizona PTA. Arizona Educators United will release their list of demands to lawmakers on March 28. Sign up to attend one of the rallies at the Arizona Capitol, Flagstaff, or Tucson.

Prop. 301 Renewal

The pressure from the #REDFORED movement is having an impact on lawmakers and Governor Ducey. This week, a bill was revived from the dead to renew the state education sales tax passed by voters in 2000, Proposition 301. Educators thank legislators for averting this fiscal cliff to school funding, but we still need a real solution to the teacher shortage crisis. Arizona still lags behind 2008 per-student funding and teachers are still leaving the profession and the state. AEA and the AZ Schools Now coalition is concerned about comments made by Senate President Yarbrough that the intention of renewing Prop 301 legislatively, rather than at the ballot where it would remain voter protected, was so legislators could “tinker” with the funding.

STOs Expanded to $25K Private School Scholarships

Senate Bill (SB) 1467 continues Arizona’s trajectory of exponential growth in public funding for private schools. It grows the maximum private school scholarship amount paid for by corporate tax credits above the amount the state invests in public school students each year. This bill is already bad news for public schools, but was recently amended to allow corporate tax credits to pay for the FULL tuition of private school for students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. This could be as high as $25,000 or more while public school students with the same family income get only $5,040 in state tax dollars! Contact legislators today to oppose SB 1467.

AZ Power Grab at the Capitol

Last Thursday, the House Government Committee passed SCR1034, which is a crazy power grab by legislators. Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are trying to undermine the independent, bipartisan commission that creates Arizona’s congressional and legislative district maps. In short, they’re trying to make it easier for politicians to choose their own voters.

The bill will be heard in House Rules on Monday, then Committee of the Whole (COW) before final read. We need to speak out and tell them to stop the #AZPowerGrab!

Educator Running for Governor Outlines His Vision for Public Schools

AEA’s recommended candidate for Governor, Dr. David Garcia recently sat down with Education Votes for a Q&A about the education issues shaping his campaign.

National Day of Action Against Gun Violence: April 20

Schools should be the safest place a child can be. Unfortunately, that seems far from reality these days. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Marshall County to Parkland, Florida, it’s abundantly clear we are not doing enough to protect our students and schools from gun violence. This reality is devastating. Our hearts may be breaking, but our resolve must be strong. It is time we say enough is enough. We must demand action now to save lives from gun violence.

On April 20, join the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Every community’s response to this problem will be different, but we will all send the same message to our elected leaders: We can no longer tolerate inaction! AEA and our national affiliate, NEA, will be joining others across the country in this national day of action. Let us know what you want your community’s action to look like on April 20. We want to hear how will you take action against gun violence in schools.

AEA Legislative Video Update

Check out this week’s video update with AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Para and special guests. Facebook | YouTube
 

#REDFORED

Inspired by teachers in West Virginia, educators in Arizona started organizing for statewide action. They wore red to show solidarity and took to social media with the hashtag #REDFOREDto talk about why they are wearing red. Organizers have created a Facebook group called Arizona Educators United to communicate with activists and organize next steps.
 

Two AEA Bills Moving Forward

AEA’s legislation removing the 4-hour block requirement for English Language Learners (ELL) and giving districts more flexibility in English language instruction, and AEA’s bill to remove the teacher evaluation framework from state statute giving school districts local control and relieving the pressure from student test scores both passed unanimously out of Senate Education Committee this week! Next, both bills head to Rules Committee and then the Senate floor for a vote before going to the Governor’s desk.
 
Please take a moment to thank Senate Education Committee members for supporting our ELL Students  and our Teachers!
 

STO Expansion Bill on Wednesday

Private school tuition organization (STO) tax credits operate on auto pilot without accountability or budget controls. They reduce state revenues while subsidizing private schools with no evidence of benefits to Arizona’s educational success and no movement toward closing our achievement gap for students growing up in low income families. Senator Yarbrough’s bill will expand this program and drain even more funds from public schools. SB1467 has already made it through the Senate and is bypassing the Education Committee and, instead, will be heard in the House Ways and Means Committee on March 14, 2018Contact committee members and ask them to vote NO on SB1467.
 

Spring Break at the Capitol

The STO bill is being heard on Wednesday, which is a perfect opportunity for you to join us at the capitol! AEA President Joe Thomas, AEA VP Marisol Garcia, and AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Parra will be there and you’ll have an opportunity to ask legislators questions and pack the House Ways and Means Committee when they hear SB1467. Sign up at arizonaea.org/capitolvisit.
 

AZ Power Grab at the Capitol

Thanks to your emails, the House Government Committee has delayed hearing SCR1034, which is a crazy power grab by legislators. Arizona’s Republican lawmakers are trying to undermine the independent, bipartisan commission that creates Arizona’s congressional and legislative district maps. In short, they’re trying to make it easier for politicians to choose their own voters.
 
We need you to keep up the pressure on House Government Committee members: Representatives Coleman, Clark, Clodfelter, John, Martinez, Salman, Thorpe, and Ugenti-Rita. We need to speak out and tell them to stop the #AZPowerGrab!  
 

AEA Endorses Dr. David Garcia for Governor

The Arizona Education Association announced its endorsement of Dr. David Garcia for Governor of Arizona in the 2018 election in a press conference at AEA headquarters. The recommendation was made after a vote from the AEA Fund Council. Read press release.
 

National Day of Action Against Gun Violence: April 20

Schools should be the safest place a child can be. Unfortunately, that seems far from reality these days. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Marshall County to Parkland, Florida, it’s abundantly clear we are not doing enough to protect our students and schools from gun violence. This reality is devastating. Our hearts may be breaking, but our resolve must be strong. It is time we say enough is enough. We must demand action now to save lives from gun violence.
 
On April 20, join the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Every community’s response to this problem will be different, but we will all send the same message to our elected leaders: We can no longer tolerate inaction! AEA and our national affiliate, NEA, will be joining others across the country in this national day of action. Let us know what you want your community’s action to look like on April 20. We want to hear how will you take action against gun violence in schools.

AZ Lawmakers Want to Cut Teacher Pay by $14 Million

The Arizona Legislature is trying to fast track a permanent tax cut that will cost the state budget $120 million and another $14 million from Prop 301 revenues, a direct cut to teacher pay. The Senate is planning a vote on Monday for Senate Bill (SB) 1392, a permanent tax cut for digital goods and services. The House version of this bill (HB 2479) has already passed. If the Senate version passes, then it goes immediately to Governor Doug Ducey’s desk.
 
At a time when we are facing a severe teacher shortage crisis, we should be investing in public education, not cutting their salaries. Contact your senator today to stop SB1392!  
 

Stop STO Expansion Bill

Private school tuition tax credits operate on auto pilot without accountability or budget controls. They reduce state revenues while subsidizing private schools with no evidence of benefits to Arizona’s educational success and no movement toward closing our achievement gap for students growing up in low income families. Senator Yarbrough’s bill will expand this program and drain even more funds from public schools. SB1467 has already made it through the Senate and is making its way through the House. We need you to contact Representatives Carter, Clodfelter, Coleman, Cobb, John, and Udall today and ask them to vote NO on SB1467.
 

AZ Power Grab at the Capitol

Arizona’s Republican legislators are trying to undermine the independent, bipartisan commission that creates Arizona’s congressional and legislative district maps. In short, they’re trying to make it easier for politicians to choose their own voters.
 
SCR1034 already made it through the Senate and was assigned to House Government and could be heard next week. We need you to reach out to committee members Representatives Coleman, Clark, Clodfelter, John, Martinez, Salman, Thorpe, and Ugenti-Rita for targeted outreach. We need to speak out and tell them to stop the #AZPowerGrab!  
 

AEA ELL Bill in Senate Education Committee Next Week

Senate Education Committee is hearing our bill, House Bill (HB) 2435, on Thursday. This bill removes the four-hour block requirement on English Language Learner (ELL) instruction. AEA worked with House Education Committee Chair Representative Paul Boyer and stakeholders on this legislation and is happy to see it moving forward. Please take a moment to ask Senate Education Committee members to support our bill.
 

Spring Break at the Capitol

AEA members have the opportunity to join AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Parra at the capitol during spring break. Share your perspective as an educator with the lawmakers who make decisions impacting you and the work you do with students. Sign up at arizonaea.org/capitolvisit.
 

AEA Legislative Video Update

Check out this week’s video update of what’s going on at the Arizona Legislature with AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Para. Facebook | YouTube
 

Wear Red for Ed on Wednesday

West Virginia is showing the entire nation what can happen when teachers stand in solidarity.
 
Arizona’s teachers are taking note and realizing that now is the time for us to start organizing our campuses and districts.
 
Join the statewide movement by wearing RED for ED on Wednesday, March 7, and stand in solidarity with our demands for fair pay! Arizona’s teachers and schools deserve proper funding. If you are a teacher or school staff member, please join us and organize your local campus. If not, please join us in solidarity regardless.
 
Post pictures on social media with the hashtag #REDforED and ask your legislators #AZWhatIsThePlan for public education! It’s time to start getting organized locally.
 

National Day of Action Against Gun Violence: April 20

Schools should be the safest place a child can be. Unfortunately, that seems far from reality these days. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Marshall County to Parkland, Florida, it’s abundantly clear we are not doing enough to protect our students and schools from gun violence. This reality is devastating. Our hearts may be breaking, but our resolve must be strong. It is time we say enough is enough. We must demand action now to save lives from gun violence.
 
On April 20, join the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Every community’s response to this problem will be different, but we will all send the same message to our elected leaders: We can no longer tolerate inaction! AEA and our national affiliate, NEA, will be joining others across the country in this national day of action. Let us know what you want your community’s action to look like on April 20. We want to hear how will you take action against gun violence in schools.

Victory for ELL Students!

This week, AEA’s bill, HB2435 made it out of the House on a final vote of 56-1! This bill removes the four-hour block requirement on English Language Learner (ELL) instruction. AEA worked with House Education Committee Chair Representative Paul Boyer and stakeholders on this legislation and we are happy to see it moving forward. Now the bill must get through committees in the Senate. Please take a moment to thank your representatives for supporting our bill.

Stop Private School Tuition Tax Credit Expansion

Private school tax credits operate on auto pilot in Arizona without accountability or budget controls. They reduce state revenues while subsidizing private schools with no evidence of benefits to Arizona’s educational success and no movement toward closing our achievement gap for students growing up in low income families. Senate Bill (SB)1467 would expand this program, diverting even more funds from our public schools to subsidize the private school tuitions of the wealthy. SB1467 has passed Senate Rules and Caucus last week and we expect it to go to the floor for a vote soon. Contact your senator today and ask him or her to vote NO on SB1467.  

Voting Rights Under Attack

There are two major bills threatening voters’ rights. SCR1034 is a crazy power grab by legislative leadership. Right now, an independent, bipartisan commission is responsible for drawing Arizona’s congressional and legislative district maps, in order to keep politicians from choosing their own voters. But, SCR1034 would gut our independent, bipartisan system, and instead could put politicians back in charge. The people in power at the legislature are trying to rig the system in their favor, and we can’t let them get away with it. Urge your senator to vote NO on SCR1034 and stop the #AZPowerGrab!  

The second bill limits voter access. SB1466 would remove county recorders’ ability to determine voting centers, giving authority to the Board of Supervisors. There is bipartisan opposition from all of Arizona’s county recorders to this bill. This bill will suppress votes and it is a direct attack on Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes’ efforts to make voting more accessible to citizens. Contact your senator and ask him or her to oppose SB1466.  

Protect Workers’ Rights

SCR1016 would refer the minimum wage law passed by voters in 2016, back to the ballot, asking voters to repeal it. The minimum wage would be set at $10.50 instead of $12 and workers would lose the guaranteed sick days from Prop 206. Contact your senator and ask him or her to oppose SCR1016 and protect workers’ rights.

A second bill would repeal a workers’ ability to presume retaliation when an employer fires or demotes the worker for using sick time. Currently, the employer must defend against claims of retaliation. This bill would shift the burden of proof onto the worker. This law has been in statute since 2006, despite House Speaker Representative Mesnard saying HCR2028 is a response to the 2016 minimum wage increase. This bill passed on party-line vote 35-25 in the House and now crosses over to the Senate. AEA is monitoring this bill and will alert you when it gets put on committee agenda.

National Day of Action Against Gun Violence: April 20

Schools should be the safest place a child can be. Unfortunately, that seems far from reality these days. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook to Marshall County to Parkland, Florida, it’s abundantly clear we are not doing enough to protect our students and schools from gun violence. This reality is devastating. Our hearts may be breaking, but our resolve must be strong. It is time we say enough is enough. We must demand action now to save lives from gun violence.

On April 20, join the National Day of Action Against Gun Violence in Schools. Every community’s response to this problem will be different, but we will all send the same message to our elected leaders: We can no longer tolerate inaction! AEA and our national affiliate, NEA, will be joining others across the country in this national day of action. Let us know what you want your community’s action to look like on April 20. We want to hear how will you take action against gun violence in schools.

Capitol Visits

AEA members have the opportunity to join AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Parra at the capitol during spring break. Sign up at arizonaea.org/capitolvisit.

AEA Bill Watch List

Stay informed with AEA’s list of bills we are monitoring.

Crossover Week

This week was the last week for bills to be heard in committees in their home of origin, except for a few remaining that need to get through Rules Committees. This means any bills that were assigned to committee, but never heard, are effectively dead unless brought back through a striker amendment.

Next week will be crossover week when bills that passed in the House get moved to the Senate, and vice versa. One of these bills is House Bill 2187, which passed in the House last month. HB2187 has been assigned to Senate Education and Rules Committees, but is not on their agenda yet. This bill would relieve the pressure from high stakes testing by removing student test data from teacher evaluations. AEA supports this bill and will continue to push this forward through the Senate and then to the Governor’s desk. AEA successfully passed similar legislation through the House and Senate last year, but Governor Ducey vetoed our bill.

ELL Bill Moving Through House

AEA’s bill removing the four-hour segregated block requirement for English Language Learners (ELL) – HB2435 – passed out of the House Education Committee. Take a moment to thank the committee members for supporting our bill. HB2435 is on the House Rules Committee agenda for Monday. Urge committee members to pass this bill and support equal education opportunities for our students.

Capitol Visits

AEA members have the opportunity to join AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Parra at the capitol during spring break. Sign up at arizonaea.org/capitolvisit.

Support the Parkland, Florida School Community

Our hearts are broken yet again by a senseless and tragic school shooting, this time in Parkland, Florida.

The students, parents, and staff of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have been traumatized in ways that words could never fully express. As we pull together in sorrow and resolve, we invite you to submit messages of condolence and support that will be delivered to the Parkland community. You may also donate to the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Relief Fund.

It’s Time for Charter School Accountability Reform

Last week we saw a charter school close its doors, the CEO running off with nearly $1 million of public funds, leaving hundreds of students and their parents scrambling. On Monday, the House Education Committee passed House Bill (HB)2460, a bill that would require school districts to sell vacant buildings to charter or private schools. Arizona’s leaders have allowed people to take advantage of our lax charter school accountability laws for too long and our children are the ones who suffer for this lack of oversight by the state.

AEA has worked with legislators on a package of bills that would require charter schools to follow the same rules governing transparency and accountability of public funds as school districts, including allowing the state auditor general to review charter school finances, public procurement procedures, prohibiting conflict of interest on charter school governing boards, and returning charter school property to taxpayers when a charter school closes.

Next week is the last week for these bills to be heard in committee. Please take a moment to urge your Senatorand Representatives to hear our bills in committee.

Teacher Evaluation Bill Passes House

This week we saw significant progress in AEA’s bill to improve teacher evaluations. Senate Bill (SB)1497, sponsored by Senator Steve Smith, passed out of Senate Education Committee yesterday. This is the same bill AEA got through the Legislature last year, which Governor Ducey vetoed. If passed, it would reduce the pressure from student test data on teacher evaluations.

On the House side, Representative Paul Boyer’s bill, HB2187, passed a final vote in the Arizona House of Representatives yesterday, 57-0. This bill removes the statutory requirement on having a teacher evaluation framework tied to student test data. We think this will give our teachers and administrators the opportunity to work together and collaborate on an evaluation system that works for them. We are excited to see this bill make its way to the Senate and will continue to elevate this issue, which is a priority for our members. Please take a moment to thank your Representatives for supporting HB2187.

ELL Bill to Be Heard on Monday

HB2435 is on the agenda to be heard in House Education Committee on Monday. The current model for four-hour block English Language Learner (ELL) instruction does not work, and it sets our students behind in other core subjects. This bill provides school districts with flexibility and local control around developing research-based ELL models that work for their students. AEA has been part of the stakeholder process working with Representative Boyer on this legislation and we are excited it will be heard on Monday.

We encourage you to sign in to the Arizona Legislative Information System (ALIS) Request to Speak (RTS) system to log your support for AEA’s bill, HB2435. If you are not registered, you may sign up at arizonaea.org/rts.

L.O.VE. Rally

Join education advocates as we Lift Our Voices for Education (L.O.V.E.) on February 14, at 4 p.m. Visit arizonaea.org/rally for more details.

Craftivism Night

Crafts + Activism = Craftivism!

AEA’s early career educators (eSWAG) are hosting a Craftivism Night at AEA headquarters on February 10 at 5:30 p.m. to create posters and valentines for the L.O.V.E. rally. Visit arizonaea.org/craftivism for more details.

Capitol Visits

AEA members have the opportunity to join AEA Government Relations Director Stephanie Parra at the capitol during spring break. Sign up at arizonaea.org/capitolvisit.

Weekly Video Update

You can also check out our weekly update on Facebook Live.

Town Hall Meeting with Grubernatorial Candidates

Bond Election

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Join us November 15, 2017 in the ATS Library from 4:00-5:00. Mr. Yslas is our
guest of honor and will be LISTENING to you. Whether you are classified or
certified, come be THE VOICE of Alhambra Elementary School District.

AESD Bond Walk

AESD school board member, Ray Martinez joined teachers and ADEA leaders, Bridget Larkin and Stacy Garcia to canvas in support of the Alhambra bond. Thank you Ray and everyone who is supporting our bond.  

Arizona’s school choice program, SOS protests in front of school on 3rd St. & McDowell

ADEA community service at Marc Atkinson Center

ARTS ALIVE at Granada East 2016-2017

Thanks, Nick, Veronica and BMS for hosting our first 4-8 Site Leader/Member Meeting! Next Wednesday, we're heading to Cordova for the K-8 meeting. Thanks to all who attended.
Proposition 305 will be on the ballot as a simple Yes or No vote. Here's an easy way to help explain what a NO vote means. #NoProp305.