Community members will share their stories during a March 5 protest of the Governor’s proposed education funding cuts on the front lawn of the State Capitol. Below is a letter from the protest organizers.
Dear Arizona Community,
It has come to our attention that school districts across the state are facing a huge budget cut yet again. This amounts to $113M in non-classroom spending for our district schools statewide. 86 percent of Arizona’s children attend district schools. The proposed budget reduces the funding by an estimated $120 per student.
Non-classroom spending includes areas like maintenance, transportation, food service, librarians, office staff, therapists, reading specialist, special area teachers, crossing guards, nurses, district personnel and much more. Many of the support staff are among the lowest wage earning individuals and the students district schools serve are some of the poorest students.
These cuts are expected to negatively affect both the poor and our already struggling economy. New businesses will not want to move into areas where the children of their workforce will not be properly educated.
Our schools have been faced with continual cuts for 7 years. Class sizes have increased while our educators are underpaid compared their peers across the country.
Funding in Arizona is $3,000 less per student than the national average and our district schools have some of the lowest administrative costs nationally. Arizona is ranked 47th in education and if we continue to go down the same path, we will find ourselves last.
We have to let our Legislators know that this is not OK and that we are not going to stand for this any longer. Please contact your Legislators and state your concerns about the proposed budget. To find your Legislators, please visit: azleg.gov/alisStaticPages/HowToContactMember.asp. You can email your local legislative representative and tell them your concerns.
Please sign up for the Request to Speak System by sending your name and email address to AAH@expectmorearizona.org. This will allow your voice heard on important bills impacting public education.
In addition, you can send a letter via email to Governor Ducey. You can click on the following link to access his comments page: azgovernor.gov/governor/form/contact-governor-ducey. You will need to fill out specific fields on this form, and there is an area where you can write your comments.
We will be supporting a protest at the State Capitol on Thursday, March 5th. Please bring your stories and signs and come any time between 4:15 and 6:30pm. We will be on the front lawn of the Capitol. We are gathering to protest the cuts to education. Any help you can provide to spread the word would be greatly appreciated. Please share this letter with your Principals, PTSA Board, teachers, family and community. It is time make a difference!
March 5th – 4:15 – 6:30pm
Arizona State Capitol
1700 West Washington Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
We have set up a Facebook event, Protest at the Capitol for Education Funding or you can search #FundAZFuture. For Facebook, click on the event page and click on “invite” and invite your Facebook friends from Arizona. If you are an educator, school support staff, a concerned parent or community member, please share this so we can get representation on Thursday. Even if you can’t go, others may be able to attend.
The cuts have to STOP! Our students and educators deserve better. The protest last Wednesday was a success, and we hope for even better participation this time – let’s make a statement that cannot be ignored. This is a family friendly event, feel free to bring the kids!
Thank you for your support,
Lisa and Brooke – #FundAZFuture