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. View 2022 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 support for the AZ teacher’s academy and efforts to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce, and 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.  
    • Fund distance learning at 100% 
  • 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. Protect voters’ intent in funding K-12 education and oppose legislation that attempts to supplant or divert additional voter-approved funding streams, such as Prop. 301 and Prop. 208. 
  • 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 replacement of buildings that have exceeded their useful life. 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 ensure students, including in rural or remote areas, receive adequate funding for the actual cost of their services, including early intervention. 
  • Adequately fund the cost of student transportation including adequate maintenance of school bus routes for rural schools. 
  • Provide funding for preschool programs in the K-12 funding formula. 
  • 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. 
  • Provide funding for districts to implement research-based programs to address social emotional learning through mental health and well-being. Support research-based cultural proficiency and responsiveness training for school staff. 
  • Give all districts the authority and funding to provide affordable housing options to faculty and staff. 

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 to adopt open enrollment policies based on capacity.  
  • Support policy that eliminates the use of corporal punishment and “Zero Tolerance” disciplinary policies 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.  
  • Oppose any legislation that intends to lessen or curtail the legal authority of local school boards including their authority to approve curriculum. 

Improve Outcomes For All Students

  • Increase the compulsory attendance age from 16 to 18 years or the attainment of a high school diploma or GED before the age of 18.
  • Continue reforming English Language Learner models of instruction to increase integration of English Learners and give schools flexibility and resources to administer them. 
  • 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. Rethink and redefine the role and purpose of standardized testing and develop meaningful assessments and other measurable outcomes. 
  • Support policy that protects school district employees and students from discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. 
  • Support policy that promotes social-emotional wellness as a critical component of improving school climate, safety, and learning for all students and staff.

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.  
  • Oppose any measure that would result in fewer qualified voters from being easily able to vote or register to vote.  

Additional Information

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

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