18 organizations urge Governor to call special session, pay debt to schools

progressnowazPress Releases

Phoenix, Ariz. – September 3, 2015 – More than a dozen organizations joined together this morning to urge Governor Doug Ducey to call a special session and settle the education funding lawsuit with schools.

“The parents of 1.1 million children are watching this issue closely,” declared Dr. Jennifer Johnson, a former state Deputy Superintendent and current Executive Director of Support Our Schools Arizona.

“Our children do not escape accountability because they find it inconvenient, or disagree with it or are simply not in the mood to follow directions. Parents hold the Governor and legislature to the same high standards and insist that they follow court orders, respect authority and do what is right for our children.”

Jonathan Parker, an AP U.S. History teacher and Arizona Educational Foundation Ambassador of Excellence, cited Arizona’s teacher shortage as a critical wakeup call for immediate funding. “Good teachers are leaving because they cannot make ends meet. We are chasing talented men and women, with a heart to teach, away from our public schools.”

Latino rights groups such as Promise Arizona in Action and the Arizona Latino School Boards Association referred to education funding as a “civil rights issue for our community.”

In all, 18 organizations representing thousands of parents, teachers and community activists stood together to ask the Governor and legislative leaders to honor the will of the voters and pay the court-mandated debt to schools.

“Be role models for our children,” concluded Johnson. “Provide the resources the courts have ordered you to provide. Call a special session immediately, and resolve this issue.”

Organizations represented:

Arizona Coalition for Quality Education – Arizona Education Association – Arizona Education Association Retired – Arizona Education Watch – Arizonans for Charter School Accountability – Arizona Latino School Boards Association members – Arizona Parent Network – Arizona PTA – AFSCME – Association of the U.S. Navy – Decoding Dyslexia Arizona – East Valley Patriots for Social Justice – Living United for Change in Arizona – Mi Familia Vota Arizona – ProgressNow Arizona – Promise Arizona in Action – Protecting Arizona’s Family Coalition – Support Our Schools Arizona