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LD 18 voters deserve the opportunity to cast an informed vote, but Jeff Dial is depriving voters of that opportunity by dodging ALL LD 18 Senate Debates, including the Clean Elections Debate. His opponent, Janie Hydrick, on the other hand, has appeared at the debate venues, and answered, at length, any and all questions from debate moderators and audience members. Her answers have shown her to be the candidate who embraces the moderate values of LD 18 residents.
Who wants to talk birth control? Abortion? Adoption? Childbirth?
As a parent of two Gilbert Public School students, I join with other parents, teachers and Gilbert Chamber of Commerce who fully endorse Charles Santa Cruz and Jill Humpherys for the Gilbert School Board. These two important candidates will bring an even-keeled approach to our board and will put our district back on the path supporting our public school system.
Supporters of the Mesa Public Schools override say the $31.8 million dollars at stake are vital to keep the school district afloat, but opponents say the district would use those funds inefficiently.
Thank you for your recent article featuring the candidates seeking a seat on the Pima Community College Board. Of the two people running, Mark Hanna is the one who has the better sense of what PCC must do to move forward from its current difficulties so that it can best serve the young people of Southern Arizona. He is also well equipped to work alongside students, faculty, business leaders and the entire community in strengthening the college’s mission and vision.
Even if you do not have a child in the Gilbert Public Schools, the Gilbert School Board election is important to you. As the largest employer in Gilbert, the Gilbert Public School District is important to the economic development of the community. An unprecedented number of Gilbert teachers and administrators have resigned and are taking jobs in neighboring school districts where they will make more money and be treated with respect. Teacher applications for Gilbert school openings are down. Prospective homebuyers are asking questions about the Gilbert School Board as they consider where to buy a home in the East Valley. This is because three of the five school board members (Burk, Colvin and Smith) have focused on politics and ideology rather than enhancing student achievement. Remember how the three held up the approval of Apple to establish an operation in Mesa? Quality public schools are in the best interest of everyone in the community.
Calling it fiscally “impossible,” an attorney for lawmakers told a judge on Monday she should reject a bid by schools to get back the money the state illegally withheld from them for years.
As a very concerned Arizona resident and caring grandmother, I feel it is very important to inform Arizonans that their vote for superintendent of public instruction should be about qualifications, experience and expertise in the education field.
Climate change and global warming are two things that seem to be on the tip of everyone’s tongue. But John Purchase, a retired physicist and engineer, said not many people know what they’re talking about.
Mesa’s Sun Valley High School is mourning the loss of a beloved friend after teacher Marcus Reid was killed in a motorcycle accident earlier this month. Students and faculty at the school worked together to plan funeral services for the man who had no legal family but counted his peers and students as such.
PHOENIX (AP) — Democrat Fred DuVal lashed out at his Republican opponent in the Arizona governor's race over his education funding plans Friday, upping his rhetoric in the campaign as the race nears its final week.
DuVal called Republican Doug Ducey "the most anti-public education candidate for governor in my lifetime," and said Ducey's plans to cut income taxes will end up decimating school funding.
"He wants to do giant tax giveaways to the rich that would cause the largest funding cuts to education in our state — it is simple math," Duval said. "The fact that he won't admit that his plan doesn't add up shows that Doug Ducey isn't honest enough to be our governor."
The aggressive tone from DuVal comes two weeks after voters began casting early ballots and just 12 days before the general election and stands in stark contrast to the civil tone he took in five debates with Ducey. DuVal spoke at a news conference at the Phoenix headquarters of the Arizona Education Association and was joined by teachers who support his call to stop funding cuts.
Former GOP gubernatorial candidate Christine Jones, now a Ducey supporter, deadpanned and called DuVal's statement about Ducey a "slight exaggeration."
"I think there's probably a slight exaggeration that Doug's the single-most antagonistic to public education in the history of his life," Jones said. "But I also think they have difference of opinion on how to fund things."
In a statement, Ducey's campaign called the attack "both dishonest and false."
"In just over one week, we are confident Arizona voters will elect Doug Ducey to lead on both education and the economy, and as governor, he will make certain there are no winners and losers in Arizona's schools."
DuVal has made education funding a centerpiece of his campaigning, vowing not to cut another penny from K-12 schools and to stop fighting a court order that inflation funding be restored.
Ducey wants to continue fighting the court order that the Legislature reset funding formulas to account for inflation, and he said if the state loses, he wants to review school funding formulas to make sure more money makes it into the classroom.
The courts have ordered Arizona to pay an additional $1.6 billion to schools over the coming five years and may order $1.3 billion in back payments. That order came in a lawsuit won by schools over the Legislature's failure to fund voter-mandated yearly inflation increases, and is being appealed.
In addition, the state is facing more than a billion dollars in deficits in the coming two years, a looming fiscal crisis the next governor will have to deal with as soon as he takes office in January.
Both candidates have given general ideas about how to handle the deficit, but dodge when pressed for specifics, as DuVal did Friday when asked by reporters to say what he would cut if schools got full funding.
"You asked the right question, which is OK, fine, you're not going to cut any more in education, but there's a whole lot more to the budget than just that, and you know that," Jones said. "You got to tell me where you're going to get the money from, and I think that's what Doug's been focused on."
Sun Valley High School students in Mesa are working to arrange funeral services for Marcus Reid, a teacher with no immediate family who recently died after a motorcycle accident.
Three candidates are running for the two seats available this fall on the Amphitheater Public Schools Governing Board.
Morgan Goss has some severe food allergies, but that has not stopped her from trying to become a chef. In fact, it has inspired her. The recent Mountain View High School graduate is in culinary school with hopes of one day serving people with the same limitations she has.
As a member of the Gilbert Town Council, I join with other current and former elected officials who fully endorse Ron Bellus for the Gilbert School Board. We understand the importance of building relationships when working with one another in the governing process. Those relationships aren’t created overnight; it takes time to build trust and mutual respect.
Q: Why are you running?
On the afternoon of Oct. 23, BASIS charter school in Mesa will host a viewing party for a partial eclipse of the sun, which will take place between 2:40 p.m. and 4:45 p.m.
A large number of students from Kyrene de la Colina Elementary School were sent home Thursday after the school experienced several bouts of norovirus — a common stomach virus.
A former student-teacher at a Tempe high school has changed his plea to guilty to three counts of attempt to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona State University student who was teaching math at Tempe High School has pleaded guilty to three counts of attempt to commit sexual conduct with a minor.
Maricopa County prosecutors say 26-year-old Joel Calderon had a change of plea hearing Thursday.
He previously pleaded not guilty to charges of sexual conduct with a minor.
His sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 5.
Tempe police arrested Calderon late last year after learning about a possible relationship between him and a female student at Tempe High.
Police were initially contacted by school administrators.
They say Calderon admitted to the inappropriate relationship with the 16-year-old student during an interview.
Court documents say the alleged instances of sexual contact occurred in early November 2013 and Calderon was fired from his position at Tempe High.
Democrat Fred DuVal used the last gubernatorial debate Tuesday to essentially accuse Doug Ducey of class warfare, robbing from schools to give tax breaks to the rich.
PARADISE VALLEY -- Democrat Fred DuVal used the last gubernatorial debate Tuesday to essentially accuse Doug Ducey of class warfare, robbing from schools to give tax breaks to the rich.
Ducey has centered his gubernatorial campaign on his theme of "kick-starting'' Arizona's moribund economy. Central to that is his promise to work to eliminate the state income tax. But DuVal told an audience of two different women's groups such a move would be irresponsible.
He cited the anticipated deficit of $500 million this fiscal year and more than $1 billion next year. That includes a court order to immediately boost school funding by $331 million, a decision DuVal said he will accede to and that Ducey wants to appeal.
"This is a choice you get to make,'' DuVal said.
"Doug's priority is to lower taxes for the wealthiest among us,'' he continued. "My priority is to assure that we adequately fund schools.''
But Ducey appears to be backing away -- or at least finessing -- his position on tax cuts.
During both the Republican primary and since then, Ducey has said he wants to move toward eliminating the tax, or at least making it "flatter and fairer.'' Tuesday, however, he had a different message.
"No one's ever talked about eliminating the income tax,'' he told the audience. Instead he said his goal is simply to drive it "as close to zero as possible.''
And he even added some conditions Tuesday to pursuing that goal which has been a cornerstone of his campaign.
"It's where I would like to take the state,'' he said.
"But I've got to deal with the financial situation of the state as I find it as governor,'' Ducey explained. "And I'll do what's responsible and in the best interest of all of our citizens.''
Ducey disputed that cutting income taxes necessarily means there will be less money for public schools. And Ducey said that he does not necessarily believe that restoring school funding to where it would have been had lawmakers not ignored a voter-approved mandate to adjust annually for inflation will lead to better schools.
The key, he said, is finding better ways to educate children.
"We are underperforming across the state,'' Ducey told the audience.
"But we have pockets of excellence in the state,'' he continued, citing reports that three of the Top 10 high schools in the nation as ranked by U.S. News and World Reports are located here: two Basis charter schools and University High School in Tucson.
Ducey said he would look at the "best practices'' of those schools "so more of our children have a better opportunity.''
Ducey also cited reports from the Auditor General's Office which for the past decade have shown that an ever-smaller percentage of tax dollars is actually winding up in the classroom.
The most recent report shows that less than 54 cents of every education dollar was put into things like teacher salaries. That compares with 58.6 cents a decade earlier, a trend Ducey said he wants to reverse.
But DuVal said the rest of the report found that administrative costs for things like superintendents, principals, business managers and clerical staff is below the national average. Instead, the report said what's making up the difference are fixed non-instructional costs like heating, cooling and running school buses.
And Auditor General Debra Davenport specifically said that's a direct function of less money overall for schools. She said the only place to cut was the classroom, citing figures that while the number of children attending Arizona public schools has dropped by 3 percent since 2009, the number of teachers dropped by 8.6 percent.
"The reason there isn't more money going into the classroom is there isn't enough money,'' DuVal said.
That still leaves DuVal's contention that Ducey's plan to cut income taxes is designed to favor the wealthy.
"The income tax is paid disproportionately by wealthy,'' DuVal said, acknowledging that, by definition, people with more income pay more tax on that income. But he said all this comes as Arizona has one of the highest sales tax rates in the nation -- 5.6 percent plus all local levies -- a tax he called "regressive.''
"Our tax structure is clobbering working Arizona families,'' he told reporters after the debate.
"They're paying significantly more of their income in taxes than upper-income Arizonans,'' DuVal said.
Ducey said what will help businesses come to and expand in Arizona are things he promises like lower taxes and less regulation. But DuVal said some business leaders have suggested otherwise.
He cited comments made in 2011 by the former chief executive of Intel.
"The educational system in the United States and in Arizona in particular is not particularly attractive,'' Craig Barrett told the Arizona Commerce Authority. In fact, Barrett said the situation is so bar that if Intel were looking for a site to build an entirely new operation, as to expanding its $10 billion Arizona presence, the state would not even be on the list of Top 10 choices.
He was not alone in his comments.
"The education system here is very weak,'' said Doug Pruitt, at the time the chief executive of Sundt Construction.
This August, I began my 19th year as a public school educator in the field of American history and government. The message I convey to my students each year is that they can make an impact in the world that they live in. When they enter my classroom, they see the following statements on my back wall: Use Your Voice, Take A Stand, Make A Difference.