Arizona Education Association

Summer 2013

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AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AROUND AEA AEA Wins Education Funding Lawsuit in Appeals Court Your AEA membership means that your voice as an educator joins with thousands of your colleagues across the state. When we stand together, we can achieve great things for our students, colleagues, and schools. AEA is part of a coalition of education groups that challenged the legislature's actions in both the 2010-2011 and the 20112012 sessions on the grounds that the budgets passed into law violated Proposition 301 and the Voter Protection provisions of the Arizona Constitution. The AEA is proud to inform you that AEA and the other plaintiffs have won an important round in our continuing effort to fund Arizona's schools and uphold voter will. On January 15, 2013, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that the Arizona Legislature must fully fund the base level of education funding, including inflation, in accordance with the clear intent of the voters when they passed Proposition 301 in 2000. The difference in funding is significant. According to the Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona public schools should have received $81.6 million in inflation funding this school year (FY13), versus the $7.2 million that was allocated. Further, the state's failure to fully fund inflation over the past three years has meant a loss to Arizona students of nearly $250 million. This important legal victory is the result of dedicated AEA members standing together in the face of an anti-public education legislature. Your dues dollars made this happen. Your dedication to and passion around the mission of quality public education allowed AEA to persevere through this fight. It is likely that the state will appeal this decision to the Arizona Supreme Court. AEA will keep you updated as the case progresses. Through this and other priority efforts, AEA will continue to stay focused on our mission, knowing that with the commitment of our members, we can make the gains necessary to build a great public school for every child. 2 Southern Arizona Legislative Reception On January 12, 2013, AEA members in the southern region met with their state legislators in Tucson. The legislative reception was held in the AEA Southern Region office by the AEA Sen. Lynne Pancrazi, Sen. David Bradley, and Barbara Matteson Southern Grassroots Education Action Team (GREAT). Below is an account from AEA Retired member Barbara Matteson: "Each legislator had an opportunity to speak for a few minutes. It gave us an insight into their commitment to public education and other issues important to education employees. They were able to tell us how important it is that we support them when they are introducing, supporting, or opposing a bill. They need to back up their support or opposition with numbers. We had an opportunity to ask questions about issues and ask them how we can help turn things around. I think it is very helpful that we can put a face to the name, and likewise they can begin to know us and know how we feel about issues. And we need to know the hurdles they face in getting legislation passed that will benefit public education. I think wellorganized events like this are very valuable." 2 Photo by Barbara Matteson Summer.13advo.indd 10 10 Summer 2013 x AEA Advocate 3/18/13 12:03 PM

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