Arizona Education Association

Fall 2020

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4 ADVOCATE | FALL 2020 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas Joseph H. Thomas, President Arizona Education Association Y ou are working harder than ever. You think differently about the surfaces you touch, the air you breathe, and now have plexiglass, plastic sheets, and screens separating you from your students. Yet there you are, in the middle of it all, keeping everyone connected, engaged, and supported. Decades of tax cuts have left our schools underfunded and our classrooms overcrowded. And now 2020 adds to that a pandemic, the impact of which is clearly seen in its disruption of our work and of our lives. If there is anything good about 2020 it is that it includes a November election. An election that will provide us the opportunity for change. First, we will work to pass Proposition 208, the Invest in Education Act that YOU put on the ballot by safely gathering signatures during the pandemic. Prop 208 invests an estimated $940 million into our public schools. Permanent, annual, voter-protected dollars that go toward increasing salaries and wages for school employees and creating new positions—teachers, counselors, custodians, health assistants, and more—to help relieve our crushing workloads. The election also gives us the opportunity to pass necessary local bonds and budget overrides and to elect better governing board members and legislators who pledge to make our campuses and workplaces safer for our students and our colleagues. (Be sure to check out AEA's list of recommended candidates on page 9 and share with your family and friends.) Make no mistake. These opportunities are before us because of the courageous steps you've taken since 2018 when we wore red shirts, walked in to our schools, and marched down to the capitol. You took it upon yourself to stand up for your students and colleagues in a way that could not be ignored. You inspired Arizona, and we won. We can win again. We must reach back out to our supporters, make sure they know WE put Prop 208 on the ballot, and tell them that when they vote YES on 208 they are supporting us and our students. The time for that work is now. Your voice cuts through all the lies and deceptions they've seen on TV. They will listen to you because you earned their trust in 2018 when they stood next to us, 70,000 strong. A sea of red. And if you ask them, they will stand with us again. AEA OFFICERS Joe Thomas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Luis A. Heredia Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising The AEA Advocate is published by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532. Phone: 602- 264-1774 or 800-352-5411 Fax: 602-240-6887. Email: AEA's website may be found at Permission to reprint any material originating with this publication is granted provided that credit is given to the AEA Advocate. The AEA Advocate (ISSN 0194-8849) is published in Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer for $3.50 per year by the Arizona Education Association, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Periodicals postage paid at Phoenix, Arizona. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to the AEA Advocate, 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, AZ 85004-1532. Moving? Please let us know before you go. Simply clip your mailing label from the back of the Advocate and send it along with your new address to: AEA Advocate 345 East Palm Lane Phoenix, Arizona 85004-1532

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