Arizona Education Association

Fall 2021

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Joseph H. omas, President Arizona Education Association O ver 450,000 signatures in under 90 days! As part of the Invest in Arizona coalition we filed those signatures with the Secretary of State to allow Arizonans to vote down $2 billion in predominantly high-income tax cuts and prevent losing 50% of the funding from the Invest in Ed Act. Few thought we would succeed, but because of you, we did. I am incredibly proud to be your Association president. AEA members have shown an unwavering commitment through the most difficult of circumstances and continue to accomplish amazing achievements. We refuse to back down because quitting would mean quitting on our students. ank you to our volunteers for their incredible efforts. Once again, we've won. Savor the moment. Our legislature and governor will continue to attack public schools. COVID-19 will still be here in some form. e next legislative session will be a fight to protect school funding. However, there is hope on the horizon. Federal rescue funding is coming to our schools to provide COVID relief. Education funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) includes a huge financial investment in public schools that could be a game changer for our students and our colleagues. e total allocation for Arizona schools is $2.3 billion. is funding is due to months of advocacy by NEA members across the nation, who wrote hundreds of thousands of messages and placed thousands of calls to their senators and representatives advocating for Congress to pass this package that will include the single largest investment ever in education funding, providing about $122 billion to public schools. Together we worked hard to secure the funds necessary to keep our students, our colleagues, and our families safe. Now it's time to put those funds to use. To make the greatest impact, your expertise as an educator must be consulted and considered. We must prioritize the number of teachers and staff in our schools to decrease class size and improve outcomes. We must hire additional nurses and custodians to keep our buildings clean and our students healthy. We must ensure our schools have the resources to support mitigation efforts and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our schools and communities. rough your union, you have an opportunity to make your voice heard and create the leverage we need to make the changes we want to see in our schools. Your union works hard to provide important and relevant resources, tools, and events to empower members like you to advocate for our schools and our students. Learn more about this funding and how your union can make a difference on page 10. is has been a difficult year for educators. Yet, through all of it AEA members have persevered and remained committed to AEA's mission of Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education. Our mission keeps us united and strengthens our efforts. Celebrate your victory, relax during fall break, then come back ready to take on the next chapter in our journey. 4 ADVOCATE | FALL 2021 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe omas 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 e 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. e 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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