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Fix AZ Schools Now!

This petition had 642 supporters

Dear Representatives,

As parents and teachers who support Arizona public schools, we are humbly asking you to do the work needed to fix our schools now. We will not allow our state to fail our kids any longer.

Our kids are being crammed into overcrowded classrooms where they feel unimportant and cannot learn to their best potential. Tutoring, arts classes, and extra-curriculars are being cancelled. Kids do not have access to the materials or technology that students in other states have. Our teachers are fleeing our classrooms because we cannot pay them a living wage, and working conditions are horrific. 

Please oppose SB1431 and HB2394, which would phase in Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) to all of Arizona over the next 4 years. The expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) will further erode our public schools, which are already extremely underfunded. ESAs redirect public school funds to private pockets with very little oversight or regulation. Last year $100,000+ in AZ taxpayer funds was misused under this program.

ESA expansion would be a complete disaster, as it will siphon taxpayer funds from our public schools to fund public, for-profit institutions to the tune of millions of dollars. According to the JLBC, the "sweeping expansion of Arizona's school-choice program could cost the state general fund an estimated $46 million in its first four years, according to an independent fiscal analysis released Tuesday."  If this is extended to homeschooled children or others, our state could be headed towards a financial crisis -- all the while continuing to fail the vast majority of our kids who are enrolled in public schools.

Please oppose SB1174, which would make undue burdens on our school desegregation funding. This money is desperately needed by our poorest schools to make sure that all students in our state are receiving a quality education, not just the richest kids. Schools stand to lose $2.11 million in funding that allows us to do the important work of closing the achievement gap and providing equitable opportunities for all kids. This will not cost the state anything - and denying students these funds could cost them their futures.

We the people are watching. We see which representatives are receiving funding from anti-public schools groups, such as the American Federation for Children. We must all work together to provide a quality education for all in our state. 

Thank you for your consideration of our concerns,

Stronger Together AZ 

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