AEA Bill Summary
Here is a summary of bills from this 2013 legislative session concerning education policy and funding issues.
HB 2500 Teacher Evaluations and Dismissal Bill
AEA is neutral on HB2500. The AEA believes this bill makes major policy changes on teacher evaluations, improvement time periods, and teacher dismissal processes. Accordingly, the AEA intervened on this bill on behalf of our members’ interests. Read AEA’s summary of HB2500.
Performance-Based Funding Proposal
AEA is opposed to SB1444, Governor Brewer’s Performance-based Funding bill. Arizona’s current K-12 funding structure has been significantly reduced over the past five years. This has forced our schools to make tough choices and live on a very lean budget. Governor Brewer’s plan, though providing some new dollars, will also take 5 percent of the current funding formula and “reallocate” it to a winner/loser performance funding system. Our schools cannot afford to operate on even less dollars. Read AEA’s summary of this proposal.
Governor's Education Budget for 2013 Session
AEA Legislative Report Card
The Arizona Education Association (AEA) Legislative Report Card measures members of the Arizona Legislature’s overall support for public education and educators. Be sure to support those candidates who support Arizona’s public schools when you vote this year.
Message to AEA Members Regarding House Bill 2823
After a month of intensive work by AEA leaders and staff as well as clear signs of actions being organized by local AEA affiliates, a major amendment to the bill was adopted in the Senate Education Committee.
GOOD NEWS FROM THE CAPITOL
Retirement 50/50 Bill Passes Arizona House by vote of 60-0
On Monday, March 5, the Arizona House of Representatives passed HB2264 by a unanimous vote of 60 ayes – 0 nays. This is the bill that returns the retirement contribution rate back to an equal 50-50 split between you and your school district. It also requires the state to refund any contributions made since July 1, 2011 in excess of 50 percent.
Join the Legislative Electronic Network
Get involved and stay informed by joining 13,000 other public education supporters who receive the weekly AEA Legislative Update and take action on behalf of our schools. These alerts are e-mailed once per week during the legislative session (January – June).
2012 Governor's K-12 Budget Proposal
Summary of Goveror Brewer's budget as it relates to K-12 education funding.
A-F School and School District Labels
As per legislation passed during the 2010 legislative session (sponsored by then-Senator John Huppenthal), the Arizona Department of Education released the new A-F school grades for districts and charter schools on October 12, 2011. These letter grades coincide with the Arizona LEARNS profiles (excelling, highly performing, performing, underperforming, or failing to meet academic standards). The letter-grade system is being phased in this school year, with each school receiving a profile that includes both the existing classification and the letter-grade classification. In addition, for the first time school districts received a letter grade. The link above is a PDF document provided by the Arizona Department of Education that explains the change and the criteria used.
Click on this link to view a school or district’s label. This is an Excel spreadsheet that gives the A-F labels for schools and districts as well as the AZ LEARNS profile label (excelling, highly performing, performing, underperforming, or failing to meet academic standards). Please note, when you open the Excel file, you must use the tabs on the bottom left corner to scroll between the school A-F labels, AZ LEARNS profile, and the district A-F labels. Extremely small schools have not been given an A-F label yet. These schools will receive an A-F letter grade in the future pursuit to state law which requires a parallel achievement profile be established for extremely small schools as well as alternative and accommodation schools. The Arizona Department of Education will work with the State Board of Education to develop these parallel achievement profiles.
Arizona's Education Budget Cuts: FY 2009 – FY 2012
This chart lists the education budget cuts that have occurred in each of the last four fiscal years: fiscal year 2008-2009, fiscal year 2009-2010, fiscal year 2010-2011, and fiscal year 2011-2012 (the current fiscal year). To understand what each of these budget items represent, click here for an easy-to-read explanation.
AEA’s Legal Actions
The AEA is involved in five lawsuits on behalf of our members—one is to make sure the legislature does not silence our voice, the second relates to the retirement contribution rate shift to employees, the third involves appropriating inflation dollars for education funding, the fourth relates to state trust lands and the Classroom Site Fund and the latest legal challenge is to make sure an already declared unconstitutional private school voucher program is not allowed to continue.
2011 Legislative Session Victories
The current majority at the Arizona Legislature believe that voters elected them to cut government—including K-12 education. With this belief as their mantra, the AEA’s “wins” are most categorized by those issues we were able to defeat in the legislative process by communicating with legislators and Governor Brewer’s office and testifying in committee hearings. If the AEA had not been present at the legislature, things would have looked much different for this current school year.
2011 Legislative Session—Bill Summaries
The 2011 legislative session began in January, and the Arizona Legislature adjourned "sine die" on April 20, 2011. There were numerous education policy bills passed. This document explains each of those bills and includes a summary of the fiscal year 2011-2012 budget at the end.
Changes to the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS)
SB1609 was passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law on April 29, 2011 by Governor Brewer. It makes numerous changes to the Arizona State Retirement System. This document explains the changes to normal retirement age, the establishment of the alternative contribution rate, new service purchase requirements, the creation of a defined contribution and retirement study committee, forfeiture of retirement benefits for a felony conviction, and new employee/employer contribution rate share.
Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Education Budget
Despite the passage of Proposition 100 in May 2010, Governor Brewer and the Arizona Legislature still made devastating cuts to K-12 education. The budget itself passed on April Fool's Day (April 1, 2011), but the only joke played was a rather cruel one on Arizona's students and school employees.
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