Political Agenda

ADVOCACY

Political Agenda

The Arizona School Boards Association represents and advocates for the diverse interests of public school governing boards and the approximately 1 million Arizona children whose education is entrusted to their care.

ASBA’s position on issues is based on the association’s political agenda, which is discussed, debated and approved by ASBA membership at the annual Delegate Assembly. Every district member board has the opportunity to influence the yearly agenda. The association’s Legislative Committee, composed of interested school board members from throughout the state, provides leadership throughout the process of developing and adopting the political agenda.

Adequately and Equitably Fund District Schools to at least the National Median per Pupil Funding

  • Maximize state funding for nationally and locally competitive salaries to attract, recruit, and retain talented teachers and staff, including incentives for difficult to fill positions.
  • Revise the School Finance formula to:
    • Provide a stable, dedicated revenue source less reliant on the general fund or annual legislative appropriation.
    • Provide dedicated school capital funding consistent with the constitutional requirement of a general and uniform public school system.
    • Ensure the formula addresses the unique financial needs of schools serving students in poverty and in rural & remote schools.
    • Revise the funding formula to add funding for student mental health and well-being initiatives.
  • Fully fund full-day kindergarten and include kindergarten students in the override calculations.
  • Advocate to preserve and protect the voters’ original intent of Prop 301.
  • Index district additional assistance (DAA) funding for inflation
  • Provide funding for new space before existing schools exceed their maximum capacity and become overcrowded, and provide dedicated and flexible ongoing maintenance funding, including building replacement. Advocate for capacity standards that reflect the design of instructional space.
  • Eliminate unfunded mandates and administrative burdens.
  • Return desegregation funding to a primary tax levy.
  • Conduct an exceptional student services cost study to assure students, including in rural or remote areas, are being funded at the actual cost of their services.
  • Adequately fund the cost of student transportation.
  • Provide funding for preschool programs.
  • Reform current year funding to a system that provides districts with appropriate stable annual budgeting ability and technical reliability.
  • Prorate funding over the entire school year among all public schools that a student has attended during the year.
  • Provide funding to individual districts to implement locally directed school safety programs as well as student mental health and wellbeing initiatives.
  • Equitably invest in technology and reliable internet access for all students.
  • Adequately fund programs under exceptional student services.
  • Provide funding for districts to improve student achievement by addressing social-emotional learning needs and create training programs for school staff in cultural proficiency and responsiveness.

Preserve and Strengthen Local Control

  • Ensure local control and flexibility in managing funds and programs when possible, given the Arizona constitutional requirements of a general and uniform public school system.
  • Change “override/budget increase” language to better reflect what voters are being asked to support.
  • Allow school districts greater flexibility in the divestiture or use of taxpayer-funded assets.
  • Oppose legislative intrusion on school site budgeting decisions.
  • Maintain exclusive local authority over any measure that would propose to consolidate and/or unify any number of school districts into a larger district.
  • Support local board authority for student suspensions and open enrollment.
  • Support policy that eliminates the use of corporal punishment in Arizona schools.
  • Amend current statute to allow school board members to use the E-Qual system in addition to in-person signatures to appear on the ballot.

Improve Outcomes For All Students

  • Increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years.
  • Enact research-based reform of the English Language Learner model of instruction that may include primary language literacy to improve student achievement that does not segregate English Language Learners from English speaking peers; integrates reading, writing and oral language instruction; and incorporates multiple assessment measures to demonstrate English proficiency.
  • Fully restore 9th grade CTE/CTED eligibility and funding to allow students to explore career fields and/or certification completion.
  • Allow CTEDs to serve students through age 21 regardless of graduation status.
  • Support policy that recognizes, respects, and promotes teaching as a profession.
  • Defend against efforts to chill the free speech rights of school employees.
  • State standardized testing shall not be used for any purpose other than a year over year measurement of student growth in the tested subject.
  • Support policy that protects school district employees and students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Require Public Accountability for Taxpayer Dollars Spent on Education

  • Establish financial and academic transparency for all institutions and individuals that accept public funds.
  • Repeal any program that gives public funds for private schools, vouchers (Empowerment Scholarship Accounts) and private school subsidies (Student Tuition Organizations) and prevent any future expansion.
  • Require comparative classroom spending audits for school districts and all other institutions that accept public funds and define “classroom spending” as both instructional spending and student support spending.
  • Enforce financial requirements and seek recovery of improperly received and/or expended public funds by charter and private schools and organizations.

Manage the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Schools

  • Hold school districts harmless for significant enrollment losses for school year 2020-2021.
  • Provide flexibility in seat time and attendance requirements for school districts for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Suspend state standardized testing requirements for school year 2020-2021.
  • Enact a moratorium on school letter grades for school year 2020-2021.
  • Provide districts flexibility in teacher evaluation requirements and procedures.
  • Regulatory relief in the event the pandemic continues to (or does so at a future date) interrupt the academic year.
  • A state-funded program designed to bulk purchase sanitation supplies (i.e. PPE, cleaning supplies, etc.) for distribution to school districts & schools.
  • Funding for increased expenses incurred due to COVID-19, including costs to meet the social/emotional needs of students.
  • Technology modernization and accessibility to ensure students have the technology and equipment to use during times like these with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Unless a public emergency is declared, maintain the right of school districts to close for safety concerns related to COVID-19 outbreak in the community.
  • Protect public schools from liability if a community member contracts COVID-19 while engaged in school-sponsored activities.

Additional Information

ASBA Delegate Assembly
Watch a video from our 2017 ASBA Delegate Assembly.

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