Arizona Education Association

Summer 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 7 of 15

8 ADVOCATE | SUMMER 2020 O n June 24, 2020, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) released the New Vision for Arizona Schools Report during a virtual press conference. In May, the AEA Board of Directors approved a task force to produce a new vision for Arizona schools post COVID-19. "As we started this work, one of the most important things we wanted to do was make sure educators felt safe and healthy and could support their students," says AEA Vice President and Task Force Chair Marisol Garcia. "We know decisions are going to be made at the state and district level and educators need to be in that room and we need to have a voice." The work was completed with AEA staff support and the input of over 150 educators from throughout the state. Working group members represented both large and small districts, they were diverse in level of elected union leadership, and represented all types of diversity that are within Arizona schools. "Early and consistent communication within our districts and throughout the state is vital for us educators to make plans moving forward for what we need to do to make sure our students are able to learn when we return in the fall," says Leah Knaeble, president of the Paradise Valley Education Association and Contract and Worker Protection Group Chair. "We would love to see Arizona as a state that funds technology at the capital level so that all students and school staff would have equitable access to computers and broadband internet, both from home and in the schools," says Peoria Education Association member and Technology Group Chair Melissa Girmscheid. "We started off uncovering, what was already obvious to us as educators, all of the disparity among students," says Tucson Education Association President and Equity Group Chair Margaret Chaney. "But we also found there was a lot of disparity among educators because of pay and equitable access issues." "The task force made it really clear that until a campus, work site, or classroom can assure to educators, students, and parents that they will be safe, then it is far too great a risk to walk into a school building," says Garcia. "The only way for us to be safe in these next few weeks if for educators to be included in the discussions around reopening our schools and we need new funding from the state." This report and its call for action summarize the initial work of the task force. We will continue to meet as new ideas and data present themselves, and we intend to broaden our discussion to include the voice and perspective of parents. A New Vision for Arizona Schools Around AEA The report can be viewed at

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Arizona Education Association - Summer 2020