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Proposition 206: Better Wages for Arizona Working Families

canstockphoto4114828This election cycle is a dynamic one with substantive questions on the ballot, such as Proposition 206, The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Initiative. Children’s Action Alliance is proud to support this measure, which gradually increases the state’s minimum wage over the next several years. Proposition 206 would raise the current $8.05 per hour to $10 in 2017, then to $12 by 2020.

Proposition 206 also requires companies with 15 employees or more to provide five days of earned paid sick time per year, and employers with fewer than 15 employees to provide 3 days of earned sick time annually. Data shows many Arizona children and families are struggling, with more than one in four children living in poverty. Economic analysis finds the benefits from this gradual minimum wage increase will reach 477,000 children and, even taking into account the potential impact on jobs, the number of people living in poverty would drop; families would have more disposable income to spend and further fuel our economy.

2017 Leadership Academy

Changing the world is hard – Children’s Action Alliance is here to help.  

2014 Leadership Academy Class

Recent Leadership Academy Class

CAA’s Leadership Academy is a program for everyday Arizonans who have a passion for making a difference for children and families and want to learn more about how to make positive change in their own neighborhoods, workplaces, faith congregations, community groups, or local or state governments.

The nine-session Leadership Academy is free, but is limited to only 15 participants. Each participant designs an individual community improvement project and, with guidance from CAA staff and advisers, will present a plan to tackle their policy issue. The class is scheduled on the weekends so people living outside of Maricopa County can attend; travel and lodging stipends are available.

Because of the intensity of the program, attendance for all classes is required.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017 class. The deadline is December 15, 2016. 

Please contact Julie Bacon at JBacon@azchildren.org or at (602) 284. 2763 with any questions.

An overview of the nine weeks can be found here.

Watch “Education Showdown: Four Senate Races That Will Shape Arizona”

Watch educationshowdown- (1)In a recent statewide poll, 74 percent of Arizonans said they support more investment in public education. The 90 people who serve in the Arizona Legislature make those decisions. Those elected on November 8 will be the ones who determine whether Arizona’s public schools will have the resources needed to ensure a quality teacher in every classroom, updated textbooks and technology and well-maintained school buildings.Children’s Action Alliance and twelve other organizations are pleased to sponsor Education Showdown: Four Senate Races That Will Shape Arizona. Senate candidates in legislative districts 6, 8, 18 and 28 shared their views in discussions taped Oct. 12 at the Cox Communications studios in Phoenix.

Even if you are not a voter in one of these districts, we encourage you to watch this program as it will provide you with valuable information on the issues facing Arizona’s public schools and the questions we should be asking all candidates for the Arizona legislature.

New Study Finds Investment in Public K-12 Education Continues to Drop

canstockphoto2402821Arizona is among five of the eight states with the biggest cuts to public education since 2008 that have also cut income taxes during that time period, according to an updated report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. Per student state dollars, adjusted for inflation, for Arizona’s K-12 funding formula is 12.8% lower in fiscal year 2017 than in fiscal year 2008. Over the same period, Arizona personal and corporate income tax rates were cut by 12.8% between 2008 and 2017.

To learn more about how Arizona compares to other states when it comes to restoring state support for K-12 education, read the full report After Nearly a Decade, School Investments Still Way Down in Some States. 

New Report Concludes Private School Tax Credits Undermine Public Schools

canstockphoto26839508In its just-released report “State Tax Subsidies for Private K-12 Education,” the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) shows that private school tax subsidies, including Arizona’s four tax credits for private school tuition scholarships, are undermining states’ ability to maintain a high-quality public education system.

After studying the 20 states that have some type of private education tax subsidy, ITEP has concluded that the subsidies lack budgetary oversight and divert revenue needed to support public schools. The report also details how upper-income taxpayers can use the subsidies to generate a profit by claiming a deduction on their federal income taxes even when their contributions were fully reimbursed by the state tax credit.

This short video describes why you should care about the damage done from private school tax credits.

In January, CAA identified four reforms that can reduce the damage from Arizona’s private school tax credits:

  • Cap the growth in “low Income” corporate tax credits so they can’t continue to grow by 20% each year
  • Focus all scholarships on students in low income families
  • Remove the ability for donors to recommend specific students for scholarships
  • Limit administrative expenses to 5%

Learn more about these and other issues by reading ITEP’s full report. 

KidsCare Partners Outreach Toolkit

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Webinar: KidsCare Payment Procedures and Practices

Tips on Paying KidsCare Premiums

KidsCare Questions and Answers

Suggested Newsletter Article in English and Spanish

Suggested Newsletter Article in English and Spanish (Word)

KidsCare Social Media Posts in English and Spanish

KidsCare Social Media Posts in English and Spanish (Word)

KidsCare Flier/Poster in English and Spanish (8 1/2″ x 11″)

KidsCare is Back! PowerPoint Presentation

 

Early Voting for the General Election Starts Now

canstockphoto2796164Are you ready to vote? If your registration is current, you can cast an early ballot at any number of voting sites across Arizona.

Find an early voting polling place near you by clicking this link.

The general election is Tuesday, November 8th.

Nicole Stanton, Arizona Juvenile Courts to Be Honored at 18th Annual Through the Eyes of a Child Luncheon

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(Phoenix, AZ) – Hundreds of Arizonans will join Children’s Action Alliance (CAA) in honoring Phoenix attorney Nicole Stanton and the Arizona Juvenile Courts for their efforts in improving conditions for kids at this month’s annual Through the Eyes of a Child luncheon, being held Friday, October 21st. The theme of the 18th annual event is Justice: Through the Eyes of a Child.

Stanton, winner of the Horace Steele Child Advocacy Award, is being recognized for her work on the Stop Bullying AZ campaign through the Dion Initiative for Child Well-Being and Bullying Prevention, which aims to promote a healthy and safe environment in which children can grow and learn.

The Jacque Steiner Public Leadership Award will go to the Arizona Juvenile Courts for their Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative (JDAI), a nationally recognized prevention program that works to move young people out of the criminal justice system and build their opportunities for a bright future.

“We are so fortunate in Arizona to have leaders working on effective strategies to keep children safe and help them grow up to reach their dreams,” said CAA president and CEO, Dana Wolfe Naimark. “The work that Nicole is doing to prevent bullying and the JDAI program at the courts are making a difference in our state and they deserve to be acknowledged and awarded.”

Details for the luncheon are:

When: Friday, October 21st, 2016
11:30 am – 1:30 pm
Where: Arizona Biltmore Resort and Spa
2400 E. Missouri Avenue, Phoenix

The luncheon is CAA’s flagship annual event, and the awards are a highly respected honor in the community.

News media is welcome and encouraged to attend; high resolution photos will be made available after the event.

 

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Thank You to Southern AZ Legislative Candidates for Joining Us on Education Issues

Tuc seminar 5We continued our series of seminars on education issues in Tucson on Friday, October 7, with a good showing from legislative candidates interested in learning about issues affecting K-12 education in Arizona.

We have a lot of work to do to improve our public schools: proper funding for materials, teacher pay and safe classrooms. We want to thank the following office-seekers for taking time out of their busy campaign schedules to participate and ask thoughtful questions about public policy in education, particularly that districts have the resources necessary to provide a safe and competitive learning environment for Arizona children: Jaime Alvarez, (Senate, LD 4); Wenona Benally (House, LD 7); David Bradley (Senate, LD 10); Todd Clodfelter (House, LD 10); Andrea Dalessandro (Senate, LD 2); Kirsten Engel (House, LD 10); Randy Friese (House, LD 9); Ana Henderson (House, LD 9); Daniel Hernandez (House, LD 2); Mike Holmes (House, LD 14); Shelley Kais (Senate; LD 2); Stephanie Mach (House, LD 10); Barbara McGuire (Senate, LD 8); Randall Phelps (Senate, LD 10); and Pamela Powers Hannley (House, LD 9).

Thanks also goes to Colleen Niccum, vice president of education policy at Southern Arizona Leadership Council for serving as a voice for the business community on education.

The forum was sponsored by AZ Schools Now, a collaboration of organizations representing parents, children, educators, the faith community and the business community.

Help Choose a Question on Kids’ Issues for Sunday’s Presidential Debate

canstockphoto16425541This weekend, the presidential candidates will participate in a second debate. Scheduled for Sunday, October 9th at 6:00pm Arizona time, the Commission on Presidential Debates and moderators from news divisions at ABC and CNN have agreed to consider using a question from someone outside the audience.

We are asking you to help by voting for a question on children’s issues submitted by president and CEO of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Patrick McCarthy. The question is:

“How would your budget priorities lift working families with kids from poverty?”

It takes mere seconds to cast your vote, yet this question has the potential to ignite a discussion on a critically important matter affecting children and families in our country today.

Please click the link, vote, and pass it along to friends, colleagues and families.

Thank you!