Arizona Education Association

Spring 2020

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at the capitol SPRING 2020 | ADVOCATE 5 O n March 15, 2020, as the threat to student and educator health and safety grew with the spread of the coronavirus through Arizona, AEA called for students to remain home until the state's leaders have a plan to ensure safe and healthy schools. Hours after AEA released our statement, Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman, in a joint video statement, declared a statewide closure of public schools in Arizona until March 27. They later extended the closure to the end of the school year. AEA worked with education stakeholders to get legislation moved quickly at the capitol before the legislature moved to adjourn in order to ensure educators and school districts had the support and flexibility they needed to meet our students needs during the COVID-19 crisis. The House Bill 2910 protects educators during this difficult time to ensure everyone is paid regardless. It also makes sure that no one is required to use leave time during the period of school closure. AEA applauds the unanimous vote on this important legislation. T he Legislature also approved the K-12 education budget for the 2020-2021 school year before adjourning. The biggest issue in the K-12 education budget bill is that it provides funding for "Results-Based Funding" (i.e. test-based funding) in lieu of fully funding the restoration of District Additional Assistance. The House Democrats did an amazing job arguing that Results-Based Funding largely goes to schools based on the wealth of the community and leaves students in low-income areas behind. Moving the nearly $70 million for Results-Based Funding to District Additional Assistance would have fully restored the District Additional Assistance formula for the 2020-2021 school year. District Additional Assistance is used for soft capital items like classroom materials and supplies and technology. It can be also used by districts for school employee pay. AEA pushed hard for the full restoration of District Additional Assistance so that districts more fairly receive these desperately needed dollars. We are grateful to all of you who sent more than 2,000 emails in two hours to legislators about this matter. Our fight is not done as we will continue to push for full restoration of District Additional Assistance in the next legislative session. The Arizona Legislature has adjourned until April 13, 2020. K-12 Education Budget Passed AEA Calls for Statewide Closure of Schools FY2021 Budget Provisions Increases over FY2020 $74.1M Enrollment Growth $121.5M Inflation adjustment (1.74%) $174.5M Teacher Pay (Gen. Fund/CSF) $25M State Aid Supplement (Prop. 123) $28M Building renewal $64.4M District Additional Assistance Restoration Photos courtesy of Chandler Education Association member Lisa Shore. Fry Falcons handed out 822 meals to 411 students, plus many "at-home" packets. Frye Elementary School staff from Chandler Unified School District collaborate on Zoom. U N I O N STR O N G UN I O N S T R O NG

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