Arizona Education Association

Summer 2016

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4 ADVOCATE | SUMMER 2016 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas f we want to build better schools, then we need to make education the number one priority in Arizona. That does not mean lawmakers. It means we, the people, the ones who vote, whose voices matter, must do what is necessary to build the schools we want. With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), decision making has been taken from the federal government and given back to where it belongs at the local level. Community outreach and coalition building become even more important as ESSA is implemented in our state, but it also provides tremendous opportunity for educators, parents, and community members to shape state and local policy and create the kind of schools we want and the education our children deserve. At one time, neighborhood public schools were the hub of a community, and our schools and communities were stronger through this partnership. More and more communities across the nation are taking back their schools from education reformers and corporate profiteers and creating community schools. These schools partner with the community to offer services and programs beyond the school day, creating strong learning cultures, and safe and supportive environments for both students and educators. And the best part, student outcomes improve. As educators, we know what makes a good school and a great public education. As a community, we know what our children need and what resources are available. As a state, Arizona voters know we need to increase education funding, that's why they passed Prop 123. We have taken the first step to changing course for public education in Arizona. Now it's up to us to take back our schools and create the future we want. So, ask yourself, "What kind of school do you want?" Then ask your colleague. Ask your neighbor, your students, their parents, the cashier at the store, and everyone who is impacted by your neighborhood school. It starts with a conversation and listening to one another, because we all want a strong community and that requires a strong neighborhood school. With the passage of ESSA and Prop 123, the opportunity to build better schools lies before us. It's up to us to claim it and make something of it. AEA OFFICERS Joe Thomas President Marisol Garcia Vice President Angela Philpot Treasurer AEA STAFF Mark J. Simons 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 - 9 Joe Thomas, President Arizona Education Association If You Build It, They Will Learn n

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