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AEA Statement on Governor's 2021 State of the State Address

January 11, 2021 - For decades our state’s leaders have underfunded public education. Arizona is suffering a teacher shortage, our school buildings are crumbling, and our textbooks and technology are outdated. The pandemic has only made these problems worse. Today’s State of the State Address does not offer hope that the governor will provide any real solutions.

The following statement can be attributed to AEA President Joe Thomas:

"Educators want nothing more than to be back in classrooms with our students, but we need the governor to take action to make sure our communities are safe and to ensure safe and just schools.

"Governor Doug Ducey’s State of the State Address is only providing more of the same failed leadership that has created the state’s largest teacher shortage and made Arizona number one in COVID-19 infection rates in the world.

"No student should have to sacrifice their health or safety in order to access a great public education. However, schools have adapted to the challenges of this virus, school systems must make sure each and every student has equitable access to the best possible learning experiences. Any discussions about addressing the opportunity loss for students from the pandemic must include educators if they are to be successful.

"Voters passed the Invest in Education Act because they want our students and educators to be successful. We need the governor to act now to provide the resources our students and educators need if we ever hope to return to safe in-person classroom instruction. Instead, we have a governor promising more unnecessary tax cuts. Governor Ducey needs to follow the will of the people and invest in education."

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