Arizona Education Association

Spring 2017

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12 ADVOCATE | SPRING 2017 at the capitol AEA's Legislation AEA wrote and passed two bills, House Bill (HB) 2377 and HB2370, out of the Arizona House of Representatives. These victories are a huge win for students and public school employees in Arizona. Please be sure to thank Representative Doug Coleman for sponsoring AEA's legislation and let him know your education story and the impact these bills will have on you and your students. AEA will keep you updated as these bills move through the Senate. • HB2377 passed unanimously and supports teaching over testing by reducing the required student data included in teacher evaluations from the current 33-50% to between 10-20% and requires the data to be directly attributable to the teacher being evaluated. In addition, this bill directs the evaluation framework to allow for the exclusion of students who were not enrolled for a full academic year from the academic progress data. AEA leaders and staff have heard our members across the state citing the pressure from high- stakes testing. This is AEA's legislation to stop the state from measuring our children and teachers on a single test score by removing student test data from teacher evaluations. Our bill is facing opposition from the Arizona Chamber of Com- merce, whose president called teachers "crybabies" for asking for a raise. Your Arizona state senator needs to hear from you to stand up for teachers and pass this bill. • HB2370 ensures school districts pay school employees on time, just like the rest of Arizona. This bill fixes the delayed pay issues AEA leaders and staff see impacting public school employees every year. HB2370 would require public school districts to pay wages within five days of the end of the pay period, instead of delaying payment for a two-week pay period cycle, thus meeting the same wage payment timelines of every other employer in Arizona. School Funding Legislation Our children need us to stand up for equal access to quality public education. Arizona legislators feel emboldened by Betsy DeVos' confirmation as Secretary of Education to fast track private school voucher legislation, costing taxpayers $24 million more annually, according to the Arizona Republic. • Senate Bill (SB) 1431 and HB2394 would expand the state's private school voucher program to all public school stu- dents, further draining money from our public schools to private religious schools without any accountability. These bills are both ready for a floor vote in the House and Senate. • SB1281 and HB2465 would lower oversight and account- ability for vouchers, even though a recent audit showed that the program misspent over $100,000 and is rife with fraud, waste, and abuse. These bills would also expand the defini- tion of kindergarten to seven years old, increase the renewal period up to high school graduation or 22 years old, and requires the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) im- mediately deposit funds for the voucher AND pay retroac- tively, which could cause double payments. Betsy DeVos is chair of the American Federation for Children, the lobbying arm and dark money group pushing voucher legislation nationwide that spent $257,350 in Arizona to elect state lawmakers last year. AEA believes Arizona's elected officials should follow the will of the people they represent and not those of one wealthy billionaire without any experience in public education. Bills to Watch Below is a summary of priority bills AEA is working to either pass or kill in the state legislature this session. Visit to contact your legislator and take action on these bills.

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