Arizona Education Association

Advocate Summer 2012

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AT THE CAPITOL AEA Education Day, cont. from page 7 BELOW: Sen. Smith meets with Apache Junction EA members. a table discussion with Senator Steve Smith (R-Maricopa), teachers from the Apache Junction Education Association (AJEA) were able to share how their performance-pay dollars were allocated. Earlier in the legislative session, Senator Smith ran a bill to mandate that the payout of all performance-pay dollars from the Classroom Site Fund (Proposition 301) would be determined by the school principal. AEA was able to defeat this bill in the Senate Education Committee. When Senator Smith brought the bill up in conversation, the AJEA teachers were able to explain all the elements that go into their performance-pay plan and why it is problematic to have one single person responsible for deciding everyone's performance pay. After the lunch, AEA members viewed debate about various bills during the floor actions in both the House and Senate galleries. Legislators also introduced AEA members from the floor of each chamber. Following the floor sessions, AEA members attended the House and Senate Education Committees which each had lengthy agendas since it was the last day to hear bills in committee. First-time attendee Tricia Roach from the Flagstaff Education Association has this to say about Education Day: "It was eye-opening (and scary) to watch how deeply the political process impacts what we do in our classrooms. Behind the formalities of the House and Senate floors, there are many things going on that we don't see. I was discouraged to listen as the many education bills that are currently up for consideration were discussed. Many of our legislators don't understand what we face every day and want to blame teachers for what's wrong in Arizona. We can't give up! I greatly appreciate that AEA stays on top of this every day the legislature is in session!" ✒ LEFT: Paul Lowes, Phoenix Union CTA, and Rep. Chad Campbell talk about issues during lunch. 8 Summer 2012 ❘ AEA Advocate ABOVE: Bob Gilby (left), Marana EA, talks with his representative, Rep. Macario Saldate.

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