Arizona Education Association

Summer 2021

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A EA's mission is Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education. Th s mission statement helps guide us in the actions we take and the struggles we take on. We've seen what we can accomplish at the state level with REDforED and INVESTinED. When we multiply that power across the fi y states it can be even more awe inspiring. Th s year, thanks to NEA members like you making phone calls and sending emails, the U.S. Congress passed, and President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). Th s Act sends over $2.3 billion directly to Arizona's public schools to be used through September of 2024. e INVESTinED revenue and ARPA stimulus package amount to the largest infusion of dollars into public schools we have ever seen. ese resources provide us with a tremendous opportunity to ensure we are providing a quality public education for our students. You are the experts. You know best where to invest school resources and what your students need. We must act upon this opportunity. I urge you to work through your local association to make your voices heard at site-level and district-level meetings where these resources are being discussed. I have never seen a clearer opportunity for educators, district leaders, and parents to collaborate on creating better working and learning conditions for our staff nd students, and it comes at an important time. Over the past several months we have seen our school board meetings become media circuses that give a spotlight to extremist anti-public education groups (page 11). ese groups claim to be the voice of parents – even though many are not parents in the district – and protest subjects such as equity and sex education curriculum. eir main goal is to gain media attention by dividing educators and parents to distract from the fact that our state leaders are not fully funding our schools. We know parents are our natural allies because we share the goal of providing a quality public education for their children. Parents stood together with us in 2018 when we marched on the Capitol. ey stood with us at the polls when they voted YES on INVESTinED. ey will stand with us again, but only if we reach out and help them understand the opportunity before us. We cannot allow these outside groups to continue to disrupt our school board meetings when important decisions need to be made about the future of our students and schools. Let's work with district leaders to provide the space for an adult conversation about how INVESTinED and ARPA funds – resources you fought for – help us keep the promise of a quality public education. at conversation will engage a different parent. One that wants to see you and your students succeed. 4 ADVOCATE | SUMMER 2021 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe omas Joseph H. omas, President Arizona Education Association AEA OFFICERS Joe omas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Sheryl Mathis Interim Executive Director Sheenae Shannon Editor Roxanne Rash Graphic Design Advertising Th 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. Th 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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