The quality of our future depend significantly on the quality of today’s education. Those who will solve the world’s toughest problems are studying, right now across this great nation. Educators have never been more vital to our future. However, in today’s climate, our state and country face serious challenges that prevent teachers from thriving. Young teachers often land in distressed schools that test their resolve. Many leave the profession entirely, abandoning their gifts and cutting short their dedication to a better tomorrow. Funding our public schools will be my first priority. Education is the cornerstone of any society. Legislatures have systematically de-funded public education; setting up schools to fail and then pointing to privatizing education as the solution. Meanwhile, they allow corporations to escape from paying their fair share of taxes; while voting NO on every amendment that would level the playing field for our schools, by claiming that they do not see the source for funding.
As a former dreamer, I know first-hand that public education is the great equalizer. People risk life and limb to come to America because this is only nation in the world where a person’s socio-economic class does not determine their ability to reach their potential. The expansion of Education Savings Accounts (ESA) vouchers will cause the collapse of the public education system. Schools are underfunded and parents are looking to private education as an alternative. The solution is to fully invest in public education so that the schools deliver the quality of education that our children deserve and parents expect. In addition, ESA’s do not fully deliver on its promise, as low income families often are unable to make the financial difference in tuition and transportation cost.
Our children deserve better! They are trusting us to make decisions that will secure their futures. There is no excuse for Arizona to be near the bottom in the nation on education. Parents should not be in fear when they send their children to school. Students should not be fearful about whether or not they will be harmed or killed by simply going to school on any given day. We need to drastically increase the counselor to student ratio in order to prevent potential shootings. I will support comprehensive gun reform legislation. I will support swift changes in our public education so that educators are properly supported in the classroom. I will support teacher and educator pay raises, securing school building infrastructures, funding for arts in the classroom, free kindergarten classes, and quality early education programs.