It’s Time … AEA Budget Watch is Here

AEA Budget Watch with URL:

All signs point to the legislature considering the budget as soon as Monday. We need to make sure all of our legislators know that we are watching and will hold them accountable if they don’t keep their promises to properly fund public education!

Can you get down to the Capitol next week (wearing red, of course) to make our presence felt? Budget sessions will start around 1:30 pm, but some of them will go into the evening, when we are better able to attend. To get prepared:

Can’t make it to the Capitol? Contact Governor Ducey and contact your legislators to share your stories about the need for increased public school funding and remind them of their duty to provide excellent public schools for all Arizona students. You can also organize or participate in other activities to raise awareness, such as walk ins, stand outs, etc. For more details on how to get involved, visit AEA’s Budget Watch page.

Help Support Our Bond Election at CUSD Football Games

It’s football season and bond election season … and we’re going to take advantage of both by being present at CUSD football games to distribute information on our upcoming bond election! If you can come and spend just an hour before kickoff handing out information, we can reach thousands of interested CUSD stakeholders! Please consider showing up at 6:00 pm for one (or more!) of these games:

  • October 11: Basha HS at Hamilton HS
  • October 25: ALA at ACP Erie
  • November 1: Hamilton HS at Chandler HS

Remember that if you’re a CUSD employee, you can get into the game for free with your ID badge … so come support the bond and then stick around to support your favorite CUSD high school!

CEA Special Election Underway

ballot box

Our CEA Special Election is currently underway. In this election, members will vote for the following positions:

  • CEA President (1-year term)
  • CEA Corresponding Secretary (1-year term)
  • Site Representative (1-year term)

Voting will be conducted online through Monday, September 16. Be sure to make your voice heard in this important election! Check out our election page for full details on how to vote.

CEA New Educator Event on September 19

picture of The Local in downtown Chandler

Are you a new educator at CUSD this year? Please consider joining us for our first annual New to CUSD Educator Night on Thursday, September 19 from 4:00-7:00 pm at The Local in Downtown Chandler! This event is open to CEA members and non-members alike who are new to CUSD, and is a great way to network with fellow new educators as we near the end of the first quarter. The Local has been supportive of public education, and we are glad we get to support them back with our business (and take advantage of their food and drink specials). There will be raffle prizes, too! Please RSVP on our Facebook page so we can plan accordingly.

2019 NEA Representative Assembly Underway

National Education Association 2019 logo

The 2019 NEA Representative Assembly is underway in Houston, and five of our members are giving up a week of their summer to represent you at the national level:

First Time Delegates
Michelle Capriotti
Katie Nash
Karla Palafox

Veteran Delegates
Shaun Creighton
Josh Martin

There will be a lot happening this week in Houston, and we encourage everyone who is curious about what goes on at the RA to follow our Twitter and Facebook pages for updates throughout the week.

CEA Family Social on Sunday

To celebrate the end of the school year, CEA will be holding a Family Social this Sunday, June 2 from 6:00-9:00 pm at McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park in Scottsdale. This happens to be on a night in the park’s Summer Concert Series, so plan on staying around to hear Beatles tribute band Paperback Writer at 7:30 pm. Bring your own outdoor activities and food, or purchase food at the park! For full details, visit our Facebook event page.

Congratulations to Our Scholarship Winners!

Every year CEA awards up to four $500 scholarships to graduating high school seniors who are children of CEA members. We are proud to announce the recipients of this year’s scholarships!

  • Joshua Hattaway (son of CEA member Joline Hattaway) is graduating from Casteel High School
  • Grace Bender (daughter of CEA member Anne Bender) is graduating from Chandler High School
  • Joshua Murray (son of CEA member Jolene Murray) is graduating from Queen Creek High School
  • Lia Felix (daughter of CEA member Myra Thompson) is graduating from Perry High School

Budget Watch Update – May 22, 2019

It took all day, but the budget passed out of both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees on Wednesday night. While this budget does increase education spending, it comes nowhere near addressing the severe funding issues our public schools still face (teacher shortage, class sizes, counselor/student ratios, outdated resources, etc.). Adding insult to injury, the money is there to make a much more significant investment in education, but lawmakers would prefer to pass a tax cut that voters aren’t asking for and invest money in the “rainy day” fund when it’s been pouring in our public schools for years.

Today the budget will be heard in caucus, then in Committee of the Whole, and then head to a final vote on the floor. We had some real heroes at the Capitol yesterday testifying before committee and making our presence felt, but we need even more as we approach the finish line. The budget vote is expected to be extremely tight, and everyone has an opportunity to make a difference:

  • contact your legislators NOW and ask them to hold out for a budget that truly invests in our students
  • get down to the Capitol today after work so our leaders see we’re paying attention (it will be a long night!)
  • check back at AEA’s Facebook page and throughout the day for updates

Budget Watch Update – May 21, 2019

From Stephanie Parra (AEA lobbyist):

Today, around 4:00 pm, the House and Senate introduced budget bills to be heard in Rules committees. House Bills (HB) 2747-2756 and Senate Bills (SB) 1548-1557 will next be heard in Appropriations committees tomorrow morning (May 22). House Appropriations is scheduled for 10:00 am and Senate Appropriations for 9:00 am. This is the only opportunity the public will have to weigh in on the state budget. This budget does not restore education funding our students need, and, instead, provides nearly $400 million in new permanent tax cuts.

We expect budget negotiations to continue tomorrow as they don’t have the votes necessary to pass them on the floor. House is adjourned until Thursday at 9:00 am, which means we won’t see any final votes until Thursday. We need you in these Appropriations committee meetings tomorrow! Thank you to AEA members and #REDforED activists who have joined us in the gallery; your presence is keeping the pressure on our elected officials.

In addition, House Rules also allowed Representative Townsend to resurrect her dead bill attacking teachers’ free speech. Contact your legislators tonight to oppose HB2032 and be sure to sign into the Request to Speak (RTS) system to voice your opposition.

Check, as well as AEA’s Facebook and Twitter pages for updates!

Budget Watch Update – May 20, 2019

The budget did drop late in the day, but there is still work to be done. Most critically, hundreds of millions of dollars are being proposed in tax cuts and transfers to the rainy day fund. While it is a good idea to build up our rainy day fund, anyone involved in education knows that is has been raining (pouring!) in our public schools for years, and we are nowhere near making things whole.

The budget should be finalized over the next few days, and we need to remind our legislators that the public is not asking for tax cuts, they are overwhelmingly asking for increased education funding, and they’re even willing to pay higher taxes to do so. We need as many people as possible to:

  • head down to the capitol after work this week to show our legislators we’re paying attention, and talk to them about your budget priorities
  • e-mail Governor Ducey and your legislators to urge them to restore education funding to pre-recession levels before considering tax cuts

Check on AEA’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute updates on the budget process this week!

Budget Watch Update – May 19

The budget is expected to drop on Monday, May 20. Word on the street is that the budget may include a permanent tax cut of $300 million. This is money that could be used to fix public school funding not just this year, but every year for decades to come.

It is critical that we have as many people there as possible each day to let our leaders know that we’re paying attention and will be holding them accountable. In particular, CEA will be there en masse after school on Wednesday, May 22. Stay tuned to AEA and CEA social media, and pack your bags for a long night. Teachers’ 5% salary increase is not guaranteed (and it still may not go to all certified employees) and the legislature appears to be prioritizing a tax break instead of funding district additional assistance (DAA) or other public school funding shortfalls. Even more outrageously, the legislature is considering allowing ESA money to go to other states, draining even more money from our public schools!

Please let us know that you’ll be heading to the Capitol on Wednesday after school … stay as long as you can, and bring dinner, blankets, children, papers to grade … whatever you have to bring so you can be a physical body on the Capitol lawn. Be sure to wear #REDforED!