Arizona Education Association

Advocate Fall 2012

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CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL AT THE CAPITOL 2012 Legislative Session Review This year the Arizona Legislature began the session with a $1.3 billion surplus. Although the session ended with over $450 million stashed away in a rainy day fund, only $89 million was added to the K-12 education budget. The budget increases spending in some key areas, including $40 million for a program to ensure students in the early grades are ready to read by third grade, Good Bills that Passed HB2264: This bill was introduced because of the legal victory the AEA achieved in our lawsuit relating to the Arizona State Retirement System (ASRS) contribution rate returning to an equal 50-50 contribution split between employees and employers. HB2264 also appropriated funding to school districts so that the money taken from school employees must be returned to them by September 30, 2012. Read more on page 10. Bad Bills AEA Stopped HB2103 and SB1484 attempted to silence labor unions, these bills required all unions/associations to annually reauthorize membership in order to collect dues via payroll deduction. It imposed a minimum $10,000 fine on the employer for any violation (per occurrence) which effectively forces employers not to offer this option to employees for fear of the monetary liability. SB1203 required teachers to get prior approval from the district governing board for all supplemental books or instructional computer software prior to usage. 6 Fall 2012 ❘ AEA Advocate BUDGET $15 million for school capital needs, $3 million for competitiveness grants, and $5 million for a new data system at the state Department of Education. These increases fall far short of what our schools need to recover from the $1.4 billion in cuts education has received over the past three years. For a full summary of the K-12 education budget, go to budget_summary.pdf. CAPITOL AT THE AT THE SB1204 permitted parents in schools labeled "D" or "F" to submit a petition to a school district governing board that required the board to do one of the following actions: close the school; convert the school into a charter school; or replace the principal and staff at the school. This bill also expanded the state's private school voucher program. SB1205 put an unnecessary and duplicative mandate on school districts to regulate a teacher or school employees' speech in a classroom so that any language that violated the standards of the FCC concerning obscenity, indecency, and profanity would lead to discipline and dismissal of the educator. HCR2043 would have required any ballot initiative, referendum, or constitutional amendment providing for an increase in taxes or taxing authority to receive a 60 percent voter approval in order to be enacted. This would have required all school district bonds and overrides to reach a 60 percent voter approval threshold in order to pass.

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