I firmly support school choice in Arizona. When it comes to the education of our children, options are important and merit matters.
I also believe in transparency when it comes to how our tax dollars are being spent. How many times have taxes been raised statewide or in individual cities for the purpose of “funding education,” only to find out shortly thereafter that most of the money never makes it into teacher salaries or the classrooms.
In 2020, nearly 50% of our state’s annual budget goes into education, but what are the results of that amount of money and such a large share of our tax dollars being spent? That’s not to mention the money that individual cities like Chandler and Ahwatukee contribute towards public schools through bonds and taxes.
Education is about more than how much money is gained through new taxes and how much money is spent. It’s also about where the dollars go and what standards have to be maintained by each publicly funded school.
I want Arizona to have the highest-ranking schools possible by maintaining high standards for students and teachers. That’s the only way we will get ahead.
I support teachers, they are essential to the development of so many and leave a lasting mark on the youth of Arizona. I believe that one way to truly support teachers is to demand higher standards for our educational system. We do not have to settle for any less in our state.
Support for teachers is undeniably necessary for our children to receive the best education. Reasonable and financially responsible salaries and raises are necessary for our educators. This also comes with supporting teachers based on performance standards and merit.
I also support parents. I support their instincts to choose the best possible education for their children, which means supporting school choice. It’s well known that school districts don’t serve the needs of all students and parents, which is why Arizona’s educational system is constantly evolving to meet those needs with charter schools, private schools and magnet schools just to name a few options. We must continue to foster the growth of this system.
Unfortunately, the people most caught up in the middle of disputes between teachers, parents, politics, budgeting and interest groups are the very people who should be left to learn and prosper – the students.
Students are who miss out when classes are canceled because of budget impasses, teacher shortages or budget shortfalls.
We have to do better for our student. We cannot have a repeat of the teacher walkouts ever again. That is not Arizona and that’s not fair to our young people.
More and more, students are being inundated with political messages being presented as lessons and coursework. This is a slippery slope and I pledge to do what I can to curb this type of teaching. The more time spent on politics in the classroom, means less time for students to learn the essentials of primary education classes and important curriculum like STEM.
I also believe that students should be free to display their faith in schools. That includes praying in school and talking about God and their faith in class assignments. Freedom of Religion is found in the 1st Amendment to the US Constitution and we need to protect it.