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Let’s Roll Up Our Sleeves and Work on Solutions for Long Term Funding for Arizona Schools

Copy of AZ Schools Now! for round stickers (3)Now that voters have adopted Proposition 123, inflationary funding for Arizona K-12 education is settled for the next decade. Teachers and students will see the benefits from restoration of this funding for teachers raises and classroom supplies.

Children’s Action Alliance is proud to be one of leaders of AZ Schools Now, working to focus Arizona on the remaining gaps in school funding and on the most effective strategies to strengthen student success.  AZ Schools Now is a group of dedicated volunteers, teachers, parents, education leaders and advocates promoting the next steps toward these goals with a focus on results.

Even after Prop 123, Arizona schools are still missing $1.2 billion annually slashed from their budgets since the recession. Arizona voters are united in their strong support for reinvestments in public schools to boost student achievement, develop an extraordinary workforce, and build a strong economy for our future.  An election eve poll shows two-thirds of NO voters on Prop 123 agree that public schools need more funding. Working with partners around the state, AZ Schools Now will ask candidates for the state legislature about their commitments for increased short term and long term funding for education. We will work with Governor Ducey and elected and community leaders to develop a sustainable revenue plan for education funding.  And we ask state lawmakers to focus on three specific goals for next year and beyond:

  1. Sustain a workforce of qualified teachers with competitive salaries and quality professional development.
  2. Provide critical tools for classrooms with supplies and updated textbooks and technology by restoring the school additional assistance funding for districts and charters.
  3. Fix crumbling school buildings to give students safe, clean, and functional places to learn by fully funding repair and maintenance.

Stay tuned for updates throughout the coming months and ways you can get involved with AZ Schools Now.


Parents, Teachers, Citizens Lay Out Next Steps for Public School Funding

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(Phoenix, AZ) – Now that Proposition 123, the ballot measure that frees up millions in state land trust money for public schools, has passed, inflationary funding for Arizona K-12 education is settled for the next decade. That means the community and schools can now divert their energies to what needs to happen now to ensure public schools have access to not only what they are owed from the past, but also sufficiently cover the cost of public education beyond inflation. Properly funding public K-12 districts will help students become competitive once they graduate.

To ensure that schools statewide will have the resources they need, Children’s Action Alliance, the Arizona Education Association, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona School Administrators Association, Arizona PTA, Support Our Schools and the Arizona Business and Education Coalition will hold a news conference to discuss next steps for Proposition 123 funds and K-12 priorities.

Proposition 123: Next Steps
Monday, May 23, 2016
Historic Senate Chamber, Arizona State Capitol
1700 W. Washington, Phoenix


An Update on Bills from the 2016 Legislative Session

canstockphoto15253004Since the beginning of the legislative session in January, we have shared updates on bills supported by Children’s Action Alliance making their way through the Arizona House and Senate. Now that the legislature has finished business for the regular session, we are sharing the latest on a few pieces of legislation we have been watching for the last five months.

Attached is a list of bills and their current status as of May 16, 2016.

We thank you for your help during the 2016 session; your willingness to contact your representatives to urge them to vote yes or no on specific legislation, turning out to rallies and events, engaging with us on social media and sharing information with your friends and family.

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Leaves Arizona Stuck in Neutral

New state budget leaves Arizona stuck in neutralYesterday, Governor Ducey signed the new state budget. It pretty much leaves Arizona stuck in neutral.  It does not rebuild any of the major pieces of the budget that were destroyed during the Great Recession. For K-12 education, it delays new cuts but has no new investments in sustaining teachers or repairing crumbling school facilities or updating classroom textbooks or technology. The education budget relies on Proposition 123 for inflation funding, so if voters reject that proposal next week, there will be a large hole in the K-12 budget.Click here for a quick overview of budget highlights.

The budget uses one-time funding balances for one-time expenditures, including $86 million in one-time state and local transportation projects and re-paying $232 million in accounting gimmicks that were used to balance the budget in the past.The major new investment is $23 million for the Governor’s Border Strike Task Force in the Department of Public Safety.

State lawmakers did a great job with the budget for the Department of Child Safety. It prioritizes prevention and in-home services to reduce the growth in foster care. It includes increased funding to handle the backlog of cases of abuse and neglect and to serve the growing number of children. It also includes new accountability measures so that resources are spent to strengthen child safety.

But there is danger for kids in this budget. On top of 25 years of permanent tax cuts, the budget package adds more than $26 million in new, permanent, ongoing   special interest tax cuts – many of which will grow over time. There is no evidence that any of these tax cuts will create a single job. But they will keep revenues down and make it much harder to create a sustainable plan for education funding.

Click here for a summary of what’s in the budget and what’s missing for each state agency.

Please Contact Your Legislators and Thank Them for Voting to Lift the Freeze on KidsCare

Governor Ducey has signed the law to lift the freeze on KidsCare!  After a long and winding road, it is time to say thank you to your state legislators who voted yes on SB 1457 to lift the freeze on KidsCare. They listened to our voices calling for change and now it’s important for them to hear us say thank you.

Click here to see the list of legislators who voted yes and the statement we sent to the media.

To email your lawmakers, you can use this prewritten message (feel free to edit as you like) and press send.

Thank you for your support!

Arizona Lawmakers Respond to Statewide Calls to Lift the Freeze on KidsCare

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The following is a statement from CAA president and CEO, Dana Wolfe Naimark:

“We are thrilled that the Arizona House and Senate have passed a bill with bipartisan support to lift the freeze on KidsCare. Governor Ducey has announced that he will sign the legislation. Soon, enrollment will begin again and over the next year some 30,000 Arizona children will have access to regular check-ups and the medications, treatments and therapies they need to grow up healthy. Arizona can finally re-join the rest of the country in providing affordable health insurance options to hard working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, yet not enough to purchase private coverage. Arizonans thank all of the lawmakers who voted YES for standing up for children and families.

“We have been inspired by so many people across the state who have made it a priority to support efforts to unfreeze KidsCare, including business leaders, working parents, pediatricians, school board members, community leaders, and faith-based organizations.”

The list below is those who voted YES for KidsCare.

Representatives:  Gray (R-21) Senators: 
Ackerley (R-2) Hale (D-7) Begay (R-7)
Alston (D-24) Kopec (D-9) Bradley (D-10)
Andrade (D-29) Larkin (D-30) Contreras (D-19)
Benally (D-7) Mach (D-10) Dalessandro (D-2)
Bolding (D-27) McCune Davis (D-30) Dial (R-18)
Brophy McGee (R-28) Mendez (D-26) Driggs (R-28)
Campbell (R-1) Meyer (D-28) Farley (D-9)
Cardenas (D-19) Norgaard (R-18) Hobbs (D-24)
Carter (R-15) Olson (R-25) McGuire (D-8)
Clark (D-24) Otondo (D-4) Meza (D-30)
Cobb (R-5) Plumlee (D-26) Miranda (D-27)
Coleman (R-16) Pratt (R-8) Pancrazi (D-7)
Espinoza (D-19) Rios (D-27) Pierce (R-1)
Fann (R-1) Robson (R-18) Quezada (D-29)
Fernandez (D-4) Saldate (D-3) Sherwood (D-26)
Friese (D-9) Shope (R-8) Worsley (R-25)
Gabaldon (D-2) Townsend (R-16)
Gonzales (D-3) Velasquez (D-29)
Wheeler (D-10)


Thank you, Arizona, for Being Strong Voices for Children

Cover Kids ThanksTogether, our voices are powerful and do make a difference. Thursday, the Arizona house voted to lift the freeze on KidsCare, and today the senate did the same. The bill is now on its way to Governor Ducey, who has publicly stated he will sign the measure into law.

Because of you, the many organizations and individuals who rallied for kids, 30,000 Arizona children of working poor families will now be able to access affordable health coverage.

A big THANKS to all of you for your time, passion, advocacy and support.

Governor Ducey Leaves 30,000 Kids Behind

canstockphoto6971829It is surprising and disturbing to report that Governor Ducey and legislative Republicans have ignored calls from across the state to lift the freeze on KidsCare.  After Senate President Any Biggs and a small band of extremist legislators threatened to blow up the entire budget deal, not a single Republican in the House voted for the proposed amendment to restore KidsCare and only two Republicans in the Senate voted yes.We are grateful for the strong and steadfast support of the House and Senate Democrats who made KidsCare a top priority all throughout the legislative session.

And we are inspired by the determined support from Arizonans like you who wrote letters and emails, made phone calls, and spoke up for KidsCare. Attached is the statement we sent to the media about the killing of KidsCare.  Despite this unconscionable setback, we will regroup and continue to fight for children’s health care.

Please click here now and send an email to your state representative who did not vote to lift the freeze on KidsCare.