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What is in Governor Ducey’s Budget for Education and Families?

Comparing what Governor Ducey proposed in his State of the State to his budget released this month, we’ve analyzed the proposals and put the important issues into a one page infographic. You’ll see that his BIG goals do not match up with the small investments.

What's in State Budget Standard Paper size v. 7

What’s on the Horizon for Public School Funding?

Gov. Ducey's staff greets Arizona Education Foundation Teachers of the Year for 2017, Michele Doherty, and 2016, Christine Marsh.

Gov. Ducey’s staff greets Arizona Education Foundation Teachers of the Year for 2017, Michele Doherty, and 2016, Christine Marsh.

Governor Ducey announced with great enthusiasm a 15-point plan to strengthen public education with a focus on addressing the teacher shortage crisis and closing the achievement gap for students growing up in families with few economic resources. Children’s Action Alliance welcomes a focus on these big goals for Arizona. Parents, community leaders and business CEOs agree that supporting excellent teachers and student success are keys to Arizona’s economic future.

Governor Ducey’s budget proposal, however, does not live up to his big ideas. His proposal invests only $95 million in new funds over these 15 public education initiatives. And his budget also includes $52 million in cuts to district and charter public schools – budget cuts that were previously enacted and are still phasing in.

As a result, the net increase to public education is only $38.33 per student. That includes a teacher raise of only $185 in the whole first year. It would be hard to imagine any business CEO expecting a meaningful change in the workforce with such a small salary increase. All together, the very small steps Governor Ducey proposes toward very large goals will not be able to move the needle on educational progress.

Arizonans expect more. The Governor can’t continue to promise annual tax cuts, growing tax credits, and a world class public education for all. We call on the Governor and our state legislature to make teacher salaries the top priority this year over tax cuts, tax credits, and other investments. And to live up to all of our other shared goals in education, we ask our lawmakers to begin a formal conversation about how we will renew and update Proposition 301 – the special sales tax dedicated to public education that expires in four years.

We’re proud to be part of an education coalition, AZ Schools Now, that brings Arizonans together to fight for the sustainable resources we need for real progress in education. See our statement here.

Keep Up the Momentum: NO ACA Repeal Without Immediate Replacement

Congress is moving fast on repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA), even though they have yet to introduce a viable replacement plan that doesn’t threaten health coverage for more than 30 million Americans.

While in the dark of last night the Senate voted to repeal the ACA, the vote was preliminary and procedural in nature and DOES NOT dismantle the health care law. The debate will continue into February.

Our combined efforts to reach Congress are working: There is a buzz on Capitol Hill that Americans are speaking up loud and clear that they want a realistic and immediate replacement plan if lawmakers do repeal the ACA. We are filling the voicemail boxes of Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake here in Arizona and in Washington, and sending emails and letters to ensure they get the message.

Let’s keep up the momentum and continue to say it loud and clear: NO ACA repeal without immediate replacement.


Senator John McCain:

Washington, D.C. (202) 224-2235
Phoenix Office (602) 952-2410
Prescott Office (928) 445-0833
Tucson Office (520) 670-6334

Senator Jeff Flake:

Washington, D.C. (202) 224-4521
Phoenix Office (602) 840-1891
Tucson Office (520) 575-8633

What is “TANF”?

canstockphoto2914384Temporary Assistance to Needy Families, known as TANF, is a vital safety net program for families who need a little help between jobs. In fact, data shows parents who receive TANF only need it for a limited time, and stop getting benefits because they have found a job, not because they run out. Here’s a snapshot of TANF in Arizona.


Our Public Policy Priorities for 2017

canstockphoto14049380 (1)Children’s Action Alliance invites you to join us as we stand up for policies and practices that create a brighter future for our children and a vibrant economy for Arizona. Each year, the Governor and state legislature must enact a balanced budget that meets voter priorities for health, education, and security. Many factors go into what influences our state budget, as well as actions lawmakers take during the session, however, it is important for lawmakers to keep these priorities intact:

  • Sustain investments in the safety net and health and education that prevent crisis and save on long-term costs and liabilities.
  • Support a fair, sufficient and sustainable tax base that promotes educational success.

We have compiled our annual list of policy priorities for the 2017 session, which is available here. Please feel free to share it and check back with us as we monitor progress on legislative activity.

Arizona Center for Economic Progress Begins Statewide Collaboration, Work

Arizona Center for Economic Progress P logo 3(Phoenix, AZ) – More than 75 community leaders gathered in central Phoenix January 4th, 2017 to launch the Arizona Center for Economic Progress.

This new venture brings together a diverse coalition of community leaders from across the state to collaborate on public policies and solutions to nurture good jobs and build strong communities. The Center will be headed by David Lujan, an attorney with a long career in public policy, as a prosecutor, state lawmaker and principal at a Phoenix-area charter school.

The Center has an aggressive agenda: to go beyond labels to get to the real foundations for economic growth.

“There are many knowledgeable minds here who know what can work to build a stronger Arizona; we want to put those together to come up with the right recipe to grow our state’s economy, with a solid education system, a well-educated workforce and up-to-date infrastructure that works for business,” said Lujan.

The launch event included a discussion among Arizona economists about the ups and downs of the economy and how the nation has been shaped by the slow growth after the most recent recession. Additionally, Annie McKay with Kansas Action for Children and Duane Goossen with the Kansas Center for Economic Growth presented real-case data on how the state of Kansas has struggled economically in the wake of drastic tax cuts, in which lawmakers promised voters economic growth in exchange for a phase out of the income tax. As a result, Kansas is facing anemic job growth, historic budget deficits, cuts to public education and other state priorities, as well as a stalled economy.

“We have the power to engage our policymakers in becoming true champions for Arizona’s taxpayers,” said Lujan.

The Center has released three policy briefs as part of its launch:

• What Arizona Can Learn from Kansas Tax Cuts
• The Federal Budget and Its Impact on Arizona’s Economy
• Q & A About Arizona’s State Budget and Taxes

The Arizona Center for Economic Progress will continue its work as a project of Arizona-based public policy group, Children’s Action Alliance. The Center’s publications can be found online.


Urgent: Tell Senators Flake and McCain to Vote NO on Repeal of ACA Without a Replacement in Place

Congress is beginning the process to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) today, which could threaten health coverage for more than 700,000 Arizonans and cause great damage to our state’s economy.

We need your voice to speak up loud and clear for Arizona families to tell Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake to vote NO on an ACA repeal without an immediate replacement plan.

Our own state healthcare leaders say that a repeal could take billions of dollars out of Arizona’s economy, throw our health care sector into chaos, threaten rural hospitals, wipe out jobs and leave small businesses at risk.

Repeal could mean children, seniors and people with disabilities have to stop critical treatments such as life-saving cancer care, prescription medications, and therapies.

Here’s what you can do to help:

Call Senators McCain and Flake TODAY and urge them to vote NO on ACA Repeal without a replacement plan attached that protects our health care.

Senator Jeff Flake – (602)-840-1891

Senator John McCain – (602) 952-2410

Feel free to use the sample script below:

I’m calling to ask Senator McCain/Flake to vote NO on any repeal of the ACA without an immediate replacement. Hundreds of thousands of Arizonans could lose health care, and the Arizona economy could lose billions of dollars.

We’re counting on our Arizona Senators to stand up against the usual Washington tactics of a vote without a real plan.

Thank you.

Arizona Equal Voice Network is Hiring

canstockphoto2071967Housed at the Arizona Community Action Association, the Equal Voice Network is seeking a full-time “network weaver” to handle a variety of duties, including supporting internal and external communications and fostering relationships with member organizations. Learn more about the position by clicking here.

Take Action: Tell Senators McCain and Flake to Vote NO on Repealing Health Care Law Without Simultaneous Replacement Plan

Congress is rushing to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with no guarantee that people in Arizona will have protections for pre-existing conditions or access to quality, affordable health insurance. This would leave children, seniors and people with disabilities at risk, knowing that they may have to stop critical treatments such as cancer care and prescription drugs.

Lawmakers could vote as soon as January to repeal the Affordable Care Act. That’s why we need you to contact Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake TODAY, asking them to vote NO on repealing the ACA until there is a replacement plan that shows Arizonans how they will get affordable health coverage. Your message will go directly to Arizona’s senators right away.

Feel free to use the content below:

I ask you to protect children, seniors, and people with disabilities. Please insist on a specific health care plan that will assure we have the security of affordable health insurance before you vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

We’re counting on you to stand up against the usual Washington tactics. Arizonans deserve to know exactly what is in a replacement plan and see proof that it will provide better, more affordable care, coverage, and consumer protections BEFORE any repeal.

Our own state healthcare leaders say that a repeal with a delay could take billions of dollars out of Arizona’s economy, throwing our health care sector into chaos, threatening the survival of rural hospitals, wiping out jobs, and leaving entrepreneurs and small businesses at high risk.

Please vote No on any repeal of the Affordable Care Act without a simultaneous replacement.

Thank you.

You Can Make 2017 Bright for Arizona Children

superhero girlAs we send our New Year’s wishes out to colleagues, friends and family, Arizonans share hopes and dreams, worry and uncertainty about what 2017 will bring. This election year has certainly revealed deep divisions in our nation with so many people feeling left out and left behind and so much fear of the future translated into anger.  We know that the work of coming together to build a better future is more important than ever.  Arizonans like you have joined with Children’s Action Alliance for 28 years to make a difference for families right here in our great state.  Together, we have created the tools for more children to grow up in safe and loving homes with the health and education they need to be part of a thriving Arizona.

2017 promises to bring many new challenges and also offers new opportunities to make an impact.  Arizona kids are counting on us to speak up and speak out, to understand the issues they face, to build a plan that works, and to take united action to give all Arizona children the chance to reach their dreams.

Please join us.  You can make a tax deductible donation today that will help Arizona come together for the New Year.