Arizona Education Association (AEA) — Legislative Update (Feb. 15)

| February 18, 2020

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It’s up to us to put the Invest in Education initiative onto the 2020 ballot and to get $940 million to our students and schools. Join us at a rally at the Capitol on Monday, February 17, as we launch INVESTinED and change public schools in Arizona forever.

Protect Students’ Right to a Public Education TAKE ACTION

Educators believe every child in Arizona deserves a quality public education. Our nation is founded on the principle of public education for all. House Bill (HB) 2367 sets up barriers that prevent some children from attending a public school in Arizona. Our legislature should focus on ensuring our schools are welcoming and safe for all students by creating permanent sustainable education funding like the Invest in Education Initiative.

HB2367 is being heard in House Education Committee on Monday, February 17, at 2PM. Contact committee members and ask them to support students’ right to public education by opposing HB2367.

Another Voucher Expansion Bill TAKE ACTION

Like SB1224 which passed in the Senate Education Committee, HB2898 would expand the state’s private school voucher program to allow students who live on reservations to attend a private school from an adjacent state within 2 miles of the boundary. Unlike SB1224, HB2898 would also include students who live in Colorado City and is being heard in House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday, February 19. Ask House Appropriations Committee members to oppose HB2898.

Support Students Over Tax Cuts for the Rich TAKE ACTION

House Bill (HB) 2778 (tax cuts omnibus bill) will reduce state revenues by more than $160 million annually, including special capital gains tax cuts for the wealthiest Arizonans. That is money that could go towards hiring more teachers, fixing school buses, repairing school buildings, and so much more. HB2778 already passed House Ways and Means Committee on February 12 and is expected to pass in House Rules.

Too Many Strings Holding Down Project Rocket

This week, House Bill (HB) 2762 was passed in House Education Committee and held in House Appropriations Committee. HB2762 is part of Governor Ducey’s “Project Rocket” initiative and would provide additional money to low-performing schools with strings attached. While AEA appreciates the focus on helping students living in poverty, we have serious concerns about this bill and believe there are better solutions.

Project Rocket’s funding is temporary and tied to test scores. If we are serious about helping students living low-income communities, then provide real, permanent solutions that tackle the issue of poverty, provide additional resources that schools can count on, and do not require students to jump through hoops. Numerous studies show that test-based funding sets up our most at-risk students for failure. High-stakes testing puts pressure on schools to prioritize testing over teaching, which can result in policies that negatively impact students and contribute to the school-to-prison pipeline.

Amendments are expected on this bill and AEA will continue to monitor it and keep you updated. Our students deserve more than temporary grants tied to test scores. They deserve permanent and sustainable funding for schools.

The AEA Legislative Update is a weekly publication of the Arizona Education Association.Paid for by the Arizona Education Association. Not endorsed by any candidate.
AEA Legislative Action Center | 345 East Palm Lane, Phoenix, Arizona | 602-264-1774

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