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AEA Legislative Update Archives


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February 10, 2017 


The Good News 

This week AEA's bill, HB2377, passed unanimously in the House Education Committee. This bill, sponsored by Representative Doug Coleman, will remove student test data from teacher evaluations. AEA believes every child is unique and the state should not force teachers to teach to the test and make students fit into one standardized mold. Please take a moment to thank House Education Committee members for supporting student learning and giving teachers the freedom to teach.  Take Action  

Representative Coleman is sponsoring another AEA bill, HB2370, which fixes the delayed pay issues impacting public school employees every year. This bill will be heard in House Government Committee on Thursday and, if passed, would require public school districts to pay wages within five days of the end of the pay period, instead of delaying payment for a two-week pay period cycle, thus meeting the same wage payment timelines of every other employer in Arizona. Contact House Government Committee members and ask them to vote YES on HB2370. Take Action   

The Bad News   Take Action 
This week Betsy DeVos was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as secretary of education. Vice President Mike Pence cast the tie-breaking vote to break the 50-50 deadlock ─ the first time in the nation's history this action was necessary to approve a cabinet nominee. Despite this disappointing outcome, thousands of educators, parents, and community leaders sent over 1 million letters and made 80,000 phone calls to their senators to oppose DeVos' confirmation, which means the president's choice lacks a national mandate for a privatization agenda. 

This fight is not over - Arizona's children need us to stand up for equal access to quality public education. Arizona legislators feel emboldened by DeVos' confirmation to fast track legislation to expand the state's private school voucher program to all public school students, further draining money from our public schools to private religious schools without any accountability. SB1431 passed in Senate Education Committee yesterday. Senators Bradley, Brophy McGee, and Miranda stood up for public schools to oppose this bill, so please be sure to thank them for their NO vote on SB1431

Lawmakers are also trying to pass legislation (SB1281) that would lower oversight and accountability for vouchers, even though news has reported that the program is rife with fraud and waste.  

Betsy DeVos is chair of the American Federation for Children, the lobbying arm and dark money group pushing voucher legislation nationwide that spent $218,000 in Arizona to elect state lawmakers in primary races last year. Arizona's elected officials should follow the will of the people they represent and not those of one wealthy billionaire without any experience in public education. Contact your legislators and remind them who they represent and that you support our public schools and oppose bills that threaten public education funding like private school voucher schemes.

And the Ugly News Take Action 
Arizona citizens are facing a coordinated attack on their constitutional rights from the Chamber of Commerce and the Legislature via 6 different bills. These bills would create extreme burdens to getting measures on the ballot, and take away voters' power by allowing the legislature to change or repeal initiatives after voters approved them. Voters from all sides of the political spectrum have used the initiative process since Arizona became a state in 1912 to advance policy when the legislature has failed to take responsibility for issues important to voters. The legislature is attempting to manipulate the rules to take ballot measures away, after a broad coalition of voters used it successfully to pass legislation they and special interest funders don't like, such as Prop. 206 and Prop. 301. The Arizona Chamber of Commerce, whose president called teachers "crybabies" for supporting Prop 206, is pushing these bills in retaliation against voters who overwhelmingly passed Prop 206, the minimum wage and paid sick measure. Prop 206 won in 29 out of 30 legislative districts, and in most cases got more votes than the winning legislators, and yet those legislators are scheming to be able to dismantle what their constituents clearly supported. Contact your legislator and tell them to stand up to the Arizona Chamber and protect your constitutional right.

Education Advocates Unite!  
NOW is the time to make our voices heard at the state Capitol! The 2017 legislative session is underway and education is at the top of the agenda. Join us on February 16, at 6 pm, at Central High School to learn about new education proposals and find out what actions we can take to influence the budget. Bring along friends and family that support public education. It's time to unite for change!  Register online today


Bill Watch List
  • SB1039 - OPPOSED
    Lowering Teaching Standards
  • SB1042- OPPOSED
    teacher certification; reciprocity
  • SB1282 - OPPOSED
    teachers; performance pay; evaluations
  • SB1174 - OPPOSED
    schools; desegregation expenses; special override
View AEA Bill Watch List
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The AEA Legislative Update is a weekly publication of the Arizona Education Association
Visit the AEA Legislative Action Center for more information or contact AEA Lobbyist Stephanie Parra.

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