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Prop 123GO Coalition Press Conference


Press Release:  Educators, Parents, and Community Groups Urge Voters to Pass Prop 123 and Pledge to Hold Politicians Accountable for Restoring Education Funding

Phoenix, AZ – April 19, 2016 – Today, a coalition of teachers, parents, school board members, and community leaders held a press conference to announce the start of Prop 123 GO, a campaign that highlights passing Prop 123 as the first step in restoring education funding and outlining next steps because our children are our future and Arizona politicians need to recognize that and plan for the future. Attending the press conference were representatives from the coalition, including the Arizona Education Association, AEA-Retired, Arizona Business and Education Coalition, Arizona Education Network, Arizona Parent Network, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona School Counselors Association Inc., Arizona Parent Teacher Association, Arizona School Administrators, Inc., Children’s Action Alliance, Living United for Change in Arizona, Mi Familia Vota, Promise Arizona, Protect Arizona’s Family Coalition, Support Our Schools AZ, Arizona Coalition for Quality Public Education, United Food and Commercial Workers for Arizona, Arizona WINS, parents, teachers, including 2016 AZ Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh, and community leaders.

Video from press conference and teacher interviews (will be up for 24 hours): https://www.periscope.tv/ArizonaTeachers/1LyxBZzEvpbxN  

Photos from press conferencehttps://www.flickr.com/photos/arizonaea/albums/72157667228085961

The statements below can be attributed to speakers at the press conference:

“Prop 123 is a big step, but it cannot be the end of the discussion. That’s why our focus is Prop 123 GO. When voters pass Prop 123, the campaign to support strong public schools will just be starting. We need to increase and stabilize funding for public education so our children go to school in clean classrooms with up to date textbooks and technology and small class sizes. We need to attract and retain the best teachers and give them the resources they need. And we need to restore full-day kindergarten so our children get the start they need when they enter school,” says AEA Vice President Joe Thomas.

“I was born and raised in Phoenix, Arizona and I attended schools in the Cartwright School District. I graduated from Maryvale High School and then continued my education at Arizona State University. I began teaching in the Cartwright School District and was so excited to get the opportunity to work in the district I grew up in and give back to my community. I got married last year and my husband and I began to talk about starting a family and that's when I began to get nervous. In the three years that I have been teaching I have not received a raise and I began to question whether or not I should continue to teach. I love teaching. I love working with my students and watching them grow both academically and physically. However, I wondered if it was selfish of me continue to teach because I loved it knowing what I would not be able to provide for my future children the way that I would like. This year, I considered getting out of education and I even applied outside of education but I decided to stick it through hoping it would get better. If Prop 123 were to pass, I would receive a 6% raise and it would also be the first raise I receive in the three years that I've been teaching,” says Cartwright School District teacher Lizette Rosas.

“I am a parent of 2 kids in the second and sixth grades in the Osborn School District. I am also a product of the public education system in Arizona. The most precious thing in life is one’s children and for me, it’s my children, Brock and Felix. There is nothing more gratifying than parenthood. Knowing how critical a quality education is to a child's long-term life chances, I am extremely passionate about my children’s education. A quality education is invaluable in terms of the quality of life they will live. And I want the best for them – I want them to be able to pursue their dreams and to get a good job and own their own homes one day. Prop 123 will increase classroom spending, keep quality teachers in the state. There is a massive teacher shortage, teacher retention is something  all public school districts are struggling with, burden on families with ever growing supply lists, teachers are doing more than ever trying to survive in an underfunded system, prop 123 has to potential to restore hope in public education and most importantly impact the lives of children. My children – and all children – deserve the opportunity to succeed,” says Osborn School District parent Ylenia Aguilar.

“Our students and teachers need Arizona voters to pass Prop 123 because there is an immediate need for investment in public education. There are serious short-term issues to be addressed, setting the stage for a strategic investment plan that must follow. Local governing boards have identified their local priorities and this funding will begin the process of providing those resources,” says Support Our SchoolsAz Executive Director Dr. Jennifer Johnson 

Right now Arizona ranks dead last, at 50th, in per-student spending. The politicians have made drastic cuts to schools over the last two decades. Parents, teachers, and voters pressured the Governor and the Legislative Leadership to settle the school inflation funding lawsuit and put Prop 123 on the May 17 ballot. This coalition pledges to continue to put pressure on politicians and hold them accountable to support the funding our schools need and that our students deserve. Take the Prop 123GO pledge at www.prop123go.com

Teachers in video interviews:

Christine Marsh, 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year from Scottsdale Unified School District

Josh Buckley, teacher from Mesa Unified School District

Liz Leivas, teacher from Tempe Elementary School District

Kelly Trujillo, teacher from Tempe Elementary School District

Other speakers included:

Dana Naimark, Children’s Action Alliance President

Beth Simek, Arizona Parent Teacher Association President-elect

Kathy Knecht, Arizona School Boards Association President

Below is a list of negotiated agreements between teachers and school district administrations across the state with base salary increases they will receive if Prop 123 passes. 

Maricopa County

Southern Region

Northern Region

Rural



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