Rural advocates discussed their concerns Monday with Legislators about per-pupil funding, school improvement grants, Project Rocket, special education costs, building maintenance and other capital needs.
“Thank you for all the work that you’ve done on education,” said Roger Jacks, former superintendent of Kingman Unified School District. “We have a lot of concerns and we always raise those, but we’re really grateful for what the Legislature’s done in the past couple of years for education.”
“I love meeting with my home constituents,” said Rep. Leo Biasiucci, (R-LD 5). “What’s on your mind?”
Video by Morgan Willis/ AZEdNews: Rural Advocacy Day
“During the state of education address, Supt. (Kathy) Hoffman talked about the condition of our buildings, and more capital funding would help a lot with that,” said Monica Timberlake, Quartzite Elementary School District School Board President.
For example, Kingman Unified’s Palo Christi Elementary has been closed since 2014, because it’s unsafe for students, voters rejected a bond that would have among other things provided money to renovate the school to house the district’s preschool, daycare and teacher training center and the School Facilities Board “does not recognize it as anything they will fund at all,” said Beth Weisser, Kingman Unified School Board Vice President and a former teacher.
Jacks, Timberlake and Weisser were some of the more than 60 people from around the state who met with Legislators and each other to discuss education issues that directly affect their schools and students in rural and remote areas during Rural Advocacy Day.
Senate President Karen Fann also told attendees where education bills were in the legislative process, what legislators’ priorities for education are this session and answered their questions.
The event was held on Monday, Feb. 17, 2020 before the House Education Committee meeting was hosted and organized by Arizona School Boards Association.