Arizona Education Association

Advocate Summer 2012

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CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL 6 Summer 2012 ❘ AEA Advocate AEA's Education Day at the Capitol by Jennifer Loredo T he AEA's Education Day at the Capitol was held on Monday, March 12. There were over 100 AEA members and friends of education who attended the day's activities at the Arizona Legislature. March 12 was chosen because it fell during many school districts' spring break, and it was also the last committee hearing day for education-related bills to be heard in the House and Senate Education Committees. The morning began with a welcome by AEA President Andrew Morrill. Morrill urged those in attendance to use the day to "tell their story" to legislators. "Telling legislators about the important work you do and how you impact the lives of students will help build ABOVE: AEA President Andrew F. Morrill welcoming the attendees. LEFT: Marisol Garcia tells her story. BELOW: Jennifer Loredo (left), AEA Lobbyist introduces the panel (from left): Rep. Heather Carter, Sen. Linda Gray, Sen. Rich Crandall, and Sen. David Schapira. a foundation for understanding and support of public education." Morrill asked Marisol Garcia, president of the Isaac District Education Association, to demonstrate to the group a story she shared with House Education Chairwoman Doris Goodale (R- Kingman). While at the capitol to meet with Representative Goodale in February, Garcia had the opportunity to speak about the value of full-day kindergarten, but she expressed it from the viewpoint of not only an educator, but also a parent. The school district in which Garcia teaches had to forgo offering full-day kindergarten because of the elimination of funding by the state. Garcia's son is a kindergarten student this year, and she made the decision to enroll him at her neighborhood school where she lives because they continue to offer full-day kindergarten. "I explained to Representative Goodale that as a parent and a teacher, I understand the importance of full- day kindergarten. My son will begin first grade prepared, and I believe this will help him for the rest of his years in school. It's not convenient because we have two different schedules, but I want to make sure I give my son every advantage to be successful in school." After hearing her story, Representative Goodale better understood the dilemma that school districts and parents face regarding full-day kindergarten. AEA President Morrill then discussed work the AEA had done at the capitol relating to teacher evaluations (House Bill 2823). The AEA participated in multiple stakeholder meetings and helped craft an amendment that focused the bill on teacher development and support instead of punitive measures. With the amendments to the bill, the AEA is neutral on the legislation. Morrill stated, "This bill creates a challenge and important opportunities for CAPITOL AT THE AT THE

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