Public education plaintiff group including ASBA files capital lawsuit against Arizona Legislature for ignoring its constitutional
Public education plaintiffs hosted a press conference Monday, May 1, at Landmark Elementary School in the Glendale Elementary School District, to speak out against the Arizona Legislature for turning its back on public school districts, and ignoring the obligation to adequately fund the capital needs of public schools under a 1998 court ruling. In 1998, the State passed the Students First legislation as its promise to rectify an unconstitutional funding system (Roosevelt v. Bishop, 1994). The State has broken that promise and the gross inequities suffered by public school students remain.
Instead of providing “for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system,” the state has steadily reduced its support of public schools by nearly eliminating all funding for school buildings and capital needs (view cuts here).
Attorneys representing the plaintiff group include Hogan and Mary R. O’Grady from Osborn Maledon, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of public school districts across the state. The plaintiff group includes the Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Education Association, Arizona School Administrators, Arizona Association of School Business Officials, Elfrida Elementary School District, Chino Valley Unified School District, Crane Elementary School District, Glendale Elementary School District and private citizens, Kathy Knecht who resides in the city of Peoria and Jill Barragan who resides in city of Laveen.
Instead of prioritizing public education for funding, the Legislature has cut $4.56 billion dollars to public schools since 2009. And those cuts have never been restored. These cuts don’t account for the effects of inflation or growth in the student population. And while the dollars are gone, the needs and services these funding sources paid for continue to exist across the state. State leaders have ignored this obligation far too long, they have lost this fight once, and it is time to step up and adequately fund public schools according to the law.
Click here to view the full details of the lawsuit and other important details.
The state budget will be approved soon! But, what about all the unrestored budget cuts?
The legislature should be approving the state budget any day now, and ASBA will provide full budget details to all members the minute it has passed. But, it’s important we continue to emphasize the importance of ASBA’s critical budget priorities. Did you know our state has cut $4.56 billion dollars to public schools since 2009? And those cuts haven’t been restored. Our state’s future depends heavily on the quality of its schools, yet rather than raising K-12 funding to support proven strategies such as hiring and retaining excellent teachers, reducing class sizes, and expanding access to high-quality early education, Arizona is headed in the opposite direction. View the full details on Arizona’s unrestored budget cuts.
Changes to the 2018 political agenda due May 12?
Although the 2017 edition of the Arizona Legislature has yet to complete its work for the year, it is already time to start looking ahead to our organization’s priorities for 2018. Click here to read a memo from the 2017 Legislative Committee chair, Torri Anderson, with details on how your district can help shape ASBA’s 2018 political priorities. This process is crucial to providing guidance and direction to our lobbying efforts at both the state and federal level.
Please review these materials and take the opportunity to provide your priorities for 2018. Also, mark your calendars for ASBA delegate assembly on Saturday, September 9, 2017, following the annual ASBA Law Conference. All districts are encouraged to send a delegate to participate in the finalization of the 2018 political agenda. The process benefits greatly from a participation of a majority of our member districts. These are the key dates to keep in mind for this process:
Friday, May 12—Proposed Political Agenda Items due to ASBA
Friday, June 2—Legislative Committee Meeting
Week of June 19—Legislative Committee recommendations forwarded to membership
Saturday September 9—ASBA Delegate Assembly
Did you miss the A-F webinar?
Tune into the A-F webinar to learn about the newly adopted changes and what this means for your teachers, principals, students and parents. Download the PowerPoint presentation and infographic by clicking here.
Randy Keeling, Tombstone USD
ASBA is excited to launch the #ASBARookie campaign! We are using social media to engage with our new board members. Meet Randy Keeling from Tombstone Unified School District. We asked Randy what has been the biggest learning curve as a first- time board member? Read what he had to say!
Meet our #ASBARookies –
Teacher survey deadline extended through May 12
Thank you for your continued leadership in our schools! We are in the fifth week of the TELL Arizona survey. As you know, we are encouraging every school-based licensed educator in our public K-12 schools to complete the TELL Arizona Survey. In order to facilitate this goal the survey window has been extended through May 12, 2017.
Why Survey Participation is Important:
We need to hear from educators about what supports, policies, and resources they need in order to be most effective with our students. This data (reported at the school level and higher) is an important piece of helping to ensure every educator has the support necessary to provide students the learning environments they need and deserve.
- Schools reaching the minimum response threshold (50% and at least 5 educators) will have data reports posted on the TELL Arizona website along with tools for use in improving teaching and learning conditions for teachers and students in your school.
- The TELL Arizona partners are encouraging participation in the 2017 TELL survey as a baseline for longitudinal data. As we plan for TELL Arizona 2019, make sure your schools have their data this year.
How You Can Help:
Use the “Response Rate” tab on http://www.tellarizona.org and make personal contact with educators and school administrators to boost participation particularly in buildings and districts below the 50% minimum response rate threshold.
- For schools above the threshold– congratulate them for being above the minimum and encourage colleagues to complete the survey;
- For schools below the minimum, encourage educators to contact the Help Desk (firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-866-301-2454, extension 30) and ask for a confidential access code if they need a replacement code or never received one.
Teachers are inundated with surveys. During this hectic time of year, we know your time is precious. Anything you can do to encourage the licensed educators in your building to participate would be greatly appreciated. Many schools are using a portion of their staff meeting or PLC times to complete this confidential and anonymous survey.
Summer Leadership Institute, June 8-10 Overflow Hotel Information!
HNAIC 5th Annual Spring Golf Tournament, May 13 Register now!