Arizona Education Association

Winter 2016

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Brothers and Sisters, As we bring 2016 to a close, I encourage you to move forward into 2017 focusing on what matters – your students' future. Elections have consequences, but regardless of what the election brought us, we fight for better schools. Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education is what we do. Not when it's convenient. Not when it's easy. Every. Single. Day. In this Advocate, you will read about November's election results. Arizona's schools did very well as our local associations passed many bonds and budget overrides and elected numerous board members they supported. We did well at the state level, electing many of our recommended candidates, but we did not win a few key races that would have reshaped the political landscape. In 2017, expect to see a move to cut public school funding, either through elimination of desegregation funding or school districts' ability to call for a bond or budget override. Teacher professional certification will also be targeted with similar legislation that AEA defeated last session. In addition, Governor Ducey has promised to reduce income taxes every year, a plan that only benefits the wealthiest Arizonans at the cost of further cuts to public education. As we move forward, I want to preview your AEA Officer Team's priorities for the coming year. Our overall focus is on leadership development, effective member communication, and helping members find their voice. We are bringing back AEA Leaders Academy to engage, train, and inspire new cohorts of leaders across the state to feel more confident and competent in assuming leadership roles in our local associations. We are increasing our information pipeline to keep all our members aware of the political and policy environment we work in and our students learn in. We are looking at new methods to reach members and potential members, and we are ensuring that we communicate information that is timely, relevant, and accurate. We are implementing trainings aimed at helping more members find their voice so that they can tell the story of their classroom, their worksite, their students and more effectively advocate for the resources our students need to be successful. AEA is strong when we all work together. Attend a meeting of your local association. Learn how to add your voice to theirs in making a difference for our students and schools. Bring a colleague with you so they can learn more about the Association and how union membership strengthens their voice. Move forward with us, 4 ADVOCATE | WINTER 2016 IN SOLIDARITY by Joe Thomas 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 n Joseph H. Thomas, President Arizona Education Association

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