Before voting: Check Legislators’ support for public education - AZEdNews
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Before voting: Check Legislators’ support for public education


Rep. Isela Blanc, Center, Surrounded By Students. Photo Courtesy Rep. Isela Blanc's Facebook Page

With students back in school, education advocates hope Arizonans will examine state legislators’ support for bills that impact K-12 public school students before they turn in their ballot for local or special elections to be held Aug. 27, 2019 and the general election to be held Nov. 5, 2019..

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education loading

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Infographic by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews
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Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education 2019-Whos-for-Kids-and-Whos-Just-Kidding-360

Education advocates analyze legislators voting records

Children’s Action Alliance released their report “Who’s for Kids and Who’s Just Kidding: Public Schools Get More Talk Than Action from Legislative Session” in June 2019.

The report details how Arizona legislators voted on key children’s legislation such as the K-12 education budget bill, child care assistance, financial support for abused and neglected children placed with relatives, juvenile court judges being allowed to make decisions supporting youth success, dental care for pregnant women, and health plans without basic coverage.

Children’s Action Alliance also said that the budget sustains KidsCare, which provides affordable health care coverage to 35,000 Arizona children in working families, removes the automatic freeze in Kids Care and allocated $8 million in state funds to match the $98 million in federal funds for the program.

The group also noted that the budget leaves out hundreds of millions of dollars in school funding formulas and the $386 million in new permanent tax cuts will harm public schools.

Expect More Arizona’s Vote 4 Education includes a list of questions voters can ask candidates to determine their support of public education provides key election dates and deadlines and lets citizens register to vote using their platform or one of many other options.

AZ Schools Now’s United for Ed campaign urges Arizona voters to be an education champion by registering to vote, supporting candidates who stand up for public education, learning more about the propositions and bond and override elections on the ballot, and voting in the primary and general elections.

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education 2019-AEA-Legislative-Report-Card-360

Arizona Education Association‘s 2019 AEA Legislative Report Card summarizes legislators’ voting record on key bills last session that impact students and employees of Arizona’s public schools.

This year, the AEA report card focused on legislators’ voting records on two bills the group supported: SB 1014, which repealed the four-hour structured English immersion block of instruction and provides districts flexibility to created their own research-based models for English Language Learners, and SB 1346, which repealed a 28-year-old law that prohibited discussing homosexuality during public schools’ HIV/AIDS instruction.

The AEA report card also examined legislators’ votes on bills the group opposed such as SB 1143, which would have reduced income tax rates, HB 2747, a feed bill, HB 2749, the K-12 education budget and HB 2757, which was the tax cut package for 2019.

The 2019 AEA Legislative Report Card also includes a report card that gives legislators an A+ through F letter grade based on their voting records and whether or not they supported AEA’s pro-public education legislative and policy agenda.

Friends of ASBA, a non-profit organization focused on providing access to information and resources on education issues, released voting records earlier this week for all 90 members of the Arizona Legislature in their report “Ask your legislators if they support or oppose educating Arizona: How Arizona Legislators voted in 2019 on high priority K-12 education bills.”

Slideshow: Some legislators named friends of public education by Friends of ASBA

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rally34
Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rally34

Rep. Charlene Fernandez speaks at the March to Save Our Schools and Support Public Education on Sautrday, Jan. 6, 2018 at the Arizona Capitol. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education LOVE-RallyMichelleUdall

Rep. Michelle Udall speaks at the LOVE Rally at the Arizona Capitol. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sean-Bowie-2

SB 1468 would “help our young people, but also help our teachers, educators and school personnel get the training they need so they can spot the warning signs before it’s too late,” said Sen. Sean Bowie, a Democrat representing District 18 during the meeting. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Jamescita-Peshlaki-with-Students

Sen. Jamescita Peshlakai visits with students at the Capitol. Photo courtesy Facebook

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Heather-Carter-and-Amish-Shah-HP

Sen. Heather Carter and Rep. Amish Shah visit before Gov. Doug Ducey's State of the State address on Jan. 14, 2019 at the Arizona Legislature in Phoenix. Photo by ASBA

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Tony-Navarrete-and-Students-

Rep. Tony Navarrete meets with student leaders in the school safety movement. Photo from Facebook

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sen-Quezada

Sen. Martin Quezada asked if HB 2693 would violate the gun-free school zone act during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on March 14. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rep-Aaron-Lieberman-and-Supt.-Kathy-Hoffman

Rep. Aaron Lieberman, right, with Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman, left. Photo courtesy Aaron Lieberman's Facebook page.

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rep-Isela-Blanc-and-students

Rep. Isela Blanc, center, surrounded by students. Photo courtesy Rep. Isela Blanc's Facebook page

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education 3day27

Rep. Lela Alston at the #RedForEd rally at the Capitol on April 30, 2018. Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education ReepGonzalesHouse-Democratic-Caucus

Rep. Sally Ann Gonzales discusses issues during the House Democratic Caucus. Photo Courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education KateBrophyMcGeeGivesTourToSchoolLeadersAndStudents-1

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix (District 28) gives a tour of the House Glendale Union Supt. Gene Dudo, Teacher of the Year 2011 Amanda McAdams and two student body presidents. Photo courtesy Sen. Kate Brophy McGee’s Facebook page

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Teachers24

Rep. Reginald Bolding talks with participants at Arizona’s Day of Action for Education. Photos by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education PC14

Rep. Daniel Hernandez, a member of the LGBTQ Caucus at the Arizona Legislature, said, “We know that the thing that we did today is going to change lives for children in all of Arizona’s public schools.” Photo by Lisa Irish/AZEdNews

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sen-Diego-Espinoza-on-Census

Rep. Diego Espinoza describes how SB 1424 would help reach hard-to-count people during the House Appropriations Committee meeting on Thursday. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education K-12-funding-p-hoto

“This is the bleak picture of K-12 funding for our school system in Arizona,” said Rep. Kelli Butler on April 27, 2019. “You can see from the height of funding in 2008 to today we are still about $670 million per-pupil below where we were at the height of funding before the recession.” Photo courtesy video of the House and Senate Democrats Town Hall on budget priorities. Photo courtesy of Arizona House Democrats

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education May3RebeccaRios3JPG

Rep. Rebecca Rios discussed the budget on May 3, 2018. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education HeatherCarterDavidBradleyHP

Rep. Heather Carter (R-15), a House education committee member for years, and Sen. David Bradley (D-1), president pro tempore of the Senate and an education committee member for years discuss the budget, education and standards during a legislative workshop in mid-November. Photos courtesy Mike Barcia/Arizona School Boards Association

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education SenateCOWspeaker

Sen. Lisa Otondo during the Senate Committee of the Whole meeting on May 1, 2018. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education RepHB2540

Rep. Kirsten Engel, D-Dist. 10, introduced an amendment to House Bill 2540. Courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education K-12-Randall-Friese

Rep. Randall Friese asks a question during discussion of the K-12 bill in the House Appropriations Committee hearing. Photo courtesy of Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Powers-Hannley-SB-1485

Rep. Pamela Powers Hannley proposed a floor amendment that would have reduced the growth on corporate STO tax credits to 10 percent in FY 2021, five percent in FY 2022 and zero in FY 2023 and thereafter. Photo courtesy Arizona Capitol Television

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rally34Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education LOVE-RallyMichelleUdallBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sean-Bowie-2Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Jamescita-Peshlaki-with-StudentsBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Heather-Carter-and-Amish-Shah-HPBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Tony-Navarrete-and-Students-Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sen-QuezadaBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rep-Aaron-Lieberman-and-Supt.-Kathy-HoffmanBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Rep-Isela-Blanc-and-studentsBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education 3day27Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education ReepGonzalesHouse-Democratic-CaucusBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education KateBrophyMcGeeGivesTourToSchoolLeadersAndStudents-1Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Teachers24Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education PC14Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Sen-Diego-Espinoza-on-CensusBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education K-12-funding-p-hotoBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education May3RebeccaRios3JPGBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education HeatherCarterDavidBradleyHPBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education SenateCOWspeakerBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education RepHB2540Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education K-12-Randall-FrieseBefore voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education Powers-Hannley-SB-1485

Friends of ASBA is affiliated with the non-partisan Arizona School Boards Association.

Before voting: Check  Legislators’ support for public education 360-2019-Friends-of-ASBA-How-AZ-Legislators-Voted-in-2019-on-high-priority-K12-education-bills-Report-Cover
Friends of ASBA’s report cover

The report, organized by Arizona’s 30 legislative districts, tracks how each state legislator voted on eight key bills – instruction for English Language Learners, school district procurement practices, misconduct involving weapons on school grounds, the menu of assessments schools can use, school district personnel evaluations, discipline of school employees, Empowerment Scholarship Accounts, also known as vouchers and a cap on corporate tax credits that fund private School Tuition Organizations.

The report also includes data by legislative district on voter turnout, registered voters by party, race/ethnicity of population and children, the percentage of children living at or below the poverty level and school districts represented.

For the third year, legislators were rated on whether their overall voting record during the session was supportive of public education or not, in the estimation of Friends of ASBA. Forty-four of Arizona’s 90 state legislators were counted as friends of public education

This is based in part on each legislator’s voting record, but also on other issues that may occur behind the scenes, such as helping to get bills heard (or not) in committee and how the legislator acted toward public education in general. Helpful actions are recognized by “extra credit.” Just seven legislators received extra credit.