Arizona Education Association

Winter 2017

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It's time. A chart can illustrate how many dollars have been taken from our schools, but you know what those cuts feel like. Arizona has the 3rd highest class size and the lowest paid elementary teachers in the nation. Policymakers have decimated the ranks of our Education Support Professionals (ESP) through budget cuts, and they did so with indifference, referring to our ESP sisters and brothers as unnecessary "education bureaucrats." Governor Ducey's own blue-ribbon panel, the Classrooms First Council, conceded that it's not a matter of reallocating the dollars in our meager schools' budgets. Our students and schools "require additional funding," they concluded. The Arizona Town Hall recently completed its months-long engagement of Arizona's citizens around public education funding. Their summary? "Increased state funding is urgently needed." It's time. AEA members are done waiting for a governor or a majority legislature who prioritize corporate tax cuts above our students. We must rise up and stand alongside parents, business and community leaders, and others who realize we must do more for our students and schools. Enjoy your Holiday break. Rest up. We have work to do. It's time. 4 ADVOCATE | WINTER 2017 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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