Arizona Education Association

Fall 2016

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18 ADVOCATE | SPECIAL GENERAL ELECTION GUIDE | FALL 2016 Who Decides? Have you ever wondered who makes the decisions about school policy and funding? Who decided students should spend more time testing and less time learning? Who decided to label you as an ineffective teacher based on those student test scores? Who decided to close your neighborhood public school? As public school employees, we focus on our students and what they need to be successful at school. If we are truly committed to our students, then we need to shift our focus to who makes the decisions about funding and policy that impacts our students and the work we do. This election, you have an opportunity to decide by voting for candidates who will support public education on November 8, 2016. School Board School governing boards make decisions about district budgets and hiring and firing personnel, including the district superintendent. Having a pro-public education majority on a school board can make your school a great place to learn and work or make it a nightmare. The choice is yours. Arizona Legislature Arizona has cut over $1 billion from education funding every year since 2008. When it comes to education, Arizona is ranked last or near the bottom in per-student funding and teacher salaries. This has led to a historic teacher shortage and high class size. Arizona legislators are the people elected who vote on the state budget and make the decisions about what programs get cut, such as free full-day kindergarten or Career and Technical Education. They also make policy decisions, such as this past legislative session when AEA stopped lawmakers attempts to decertify the teaching profession. It's time to elect leaders who will stand up for our children and our profession and invest in public education! U.S. Senate The U.S. Senate majority have refused to vote or even hold a hearing on the nomination of Merrick Garland to the U.S. Supreme Court. As the highest court in the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court makes rulings that have a profound impact on students and public school employees, such as the Brown v. Board of Education historic ruling. We need a senator who will put students ahead of partisan politics, and commit to hold a hearing and a vote on Judge Merrick Garland. "It's hard to explain to students, who believe they should be able to trust what they've learned about the constitution and our system of government," says AEA Vice President Marisol GarcĂ­a. "Students understand expectations, and they don't understand why senators aren't meeting theirs." President of the United States of America With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), educators have the opportunity to have a seat at the table where education policy is created and implemented at the state level and allows their voices to be heard. However, only one candidate has made a commitment to support educators and to ensure that we have a partner in the White House and that is NEA and AEA's recommended candidate for U.S. President, Hillary Clinton. Check out the list of recommended candidates on the following pages, who were selected by members just like you to make the best decisions when it comes to public education.

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