The Arizona Constitution states that “The legislature shall enact such laws as shall provide for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system, which system shall include: 1. Kindergarten schools, 2. Common schools, 3. High schools, 4. Normal schools, 5. Industrial schools, 6. Universities, which shall include an agricultural college, a school of mines and such other technical schools as may be essential…. The legislature shall also enact such laws as shall provide for the education and care of pupils who are hearing and visually impaired.

Sharon Girard - AZ State Senate LD8 Candidate

Public Education in Arizona

The Arizona constitution states that “ The legislature shall enact such laws as shall provide for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system, which system shall include: 1. Kindergarten schools 2. Common schools 3. high schools 4. normal schools 5. Industrial schools 6. Universities , which shall include an agricultural college, a school of mines and such other technical schools as may be essential…. The legislature shall also enact such laws as shall provide for the education and care of pupils who are hearing and visually impaired.

Arizona is failing our students. We have fallen to the bottom of the pack and are now ranked the lowest in the country in teacher pay. Even with the slight increase in funding at the end of the 2018 legislative session, we are still failing. School systems are not passing on the revenue to teachers, support and ancillary staff received no increase and we failed to fund capital improvements which are so sorely needed.

If we do not act very soon we will lose a generation of students. A state with a poor educational program is a poor and sad state. We are proud Arizona and we need to act like it.

We are mandated in our constitution to pay for our public schools and support our students. We must do better and that is why:

  1. We must raise teacher’s salary to a competitive wage. Starting salaries of $50,000, with pay increases based on degrees education and merit. We must not tie increases to testing. Putting undue pressure on this meter forces teachers to teach to the test and leaves out individuals who learn differently or come from disadvantaged situation. Each student is different and learns and achieves in a different way. An excellent teacher recognizes this fact and will instill a lifelong love of learning, which is the true testament of a good educator.
  2. We must invest in technology in ALL schools, not just well funded ones from wealthier districts. All students benefit from technology, computers and other devices and will be the better for it in an increasingly technological world. The world they will enter will demand they become expert in technology and as educators, we must prepare them.
  3. Invest in capital improvements. Our buses are too old, our plumbing is broken and our buildings are crumbling. Students deserve to learn in a safe, clean and supportive environment. Students learn better if they have their needs met in a clean and protective building and grounds.
  4. Vouchers are only to be used for their original intent, not for private education or homeschooling. Public tax dollars should not be used to fund parochochial education.
  5. We must fund full day kindergarten, so our children will start their education with the best chance for success.
  6. We must fund and support vocational training programs such as CAVIT and CAC. I was honored to give the keynote address recently at a CAVIT job fair. These high school juniors and seniors receive training and college credit and leave high school with a beginning career, such as Medical Assistant, Nursing Assistant, Legal Assistant or Massage Therapist. They are then prepared to earn a living or continue their career plans and become the best productive citizen they can be.
  7. We must look to expand preK and work to fund those programs that help students who need support and come from disadvantaged backgrounds and dysfunctional homes. PreK also lifts up all children who attend, no matter their home life, and prepares them well for success in upper grades.
  8. We must demand a science based curriculum for all children. Science is not theory but fact and prepares our children for the world of their future. Creationism is a religious theory and has no place in public schools where church and state must not mix.

Sharon Girard, PA

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Sharon Girard

AZ State Senate Candidate - LD8

PO Box 906, Eloy AZ 85131

 

Paid for by Sharon Girard for AZ Senate. Authorized by Sharon Girard.

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