Discussion: Arizona Teachers' School Vouchers Battle Piles Onto Strife With Lawmakers

2 Likes

John Dewey is spinning in his grave. I am so sick of the charter school scam, and as a product of public education my whole life, I’m a huge supporter of public education and those who choose teaching as a career. Glad to see so many people fighting against the corporatization of our educational system.

18 Likes

As an example of what’s dubious about school vouchers consider Parkland. H.S. It is one of the better if not near the top public high schools in Florida. You can tell how sharp and civically engaged these students are.
Prior governors going back to Jeb have taken funds out to public education for charters, some of which have failed or did not meet expectations as well as a voucher scheme where corporations get a tax write off for funding private and religious academies.
Maybe it’s their goal not to have public education which produces an active citizenry as an intrinsic part of our democracy or as John Dewey called it “the great leveler”.

8 Likes

I am in the middle of this. Our superintendent balked, but there was enough pressure to close schools in my district for Thursday and Friday. We do not have a strong union membership.

The march and rally in Phoenix were amazing and today I marched and demonstrated in Tucson with a group 2000- 2500 (that’s my estimate after cycling from one end of the rally to the other.

For ten years the Arizona legislature has cut spending for both K-12 and higher ed. Courts ruled that about 1 billion was owed to the schools- the legislature ignored it until finally they negotiated a settlement that was much less. Every year- more tax cuts. Of course there’s no money for education. Gov Ducey had a shifty plan last year that involved doubling the amount of money taken from state trust funds for education. The current plan he is pushing offers a total of 20% raises by three years from now, but the funding isn’t going to cover counselors, special ed, non-certified staff, capital & supply needs. So finally teachers have been pushed to the breaking point and need to be heard.

20 Likes

ps to the last post. The plan for funding this is based on rosy projections for the economy and no guarantees that the next two years the legislators would stick to it.

13 Likes

This article sounds as if the AP reporter(s) on the ground have a really good idea about what’s going on, but their editors are still pushing The Narrative.

3 Likes

This political game in Arizona is zero sum between the thinly organized teachers and Governor Ducey (and his owners) and the State Legislature and its Crazy Republican (but I repeat myself) majorities. And former ice cream franchisor Governor Doug Ducey (who succeeded while many of his SBA-financed franchisees were left to twist slowly in the wind) intends to be President of the United States, so for him the stakes could not be higher.

The teachers have been focusing on system issues which is really to their credit and a mark of the sophistication informing their approach. The misleading television ads paid for by somebody - Arizona may have the worst dark money exposure laws in the country - are meant to emphasize Governor Ducey’s goodwill and sincerity in finding a fix. Governor Ducey appears genuinely stunned that teachers have not accepted the bribe - funded by pixie dust - of promised raises.

The next major point of focus: will the teachers extend the strike into next week? I think that Governor Ducey and his friends are betting ‘no.’

10 Likes

Several districts have already announced their schools will remain closed.

8 Likes

Marvelous!

In my little one horse/ four stoplight town, the teachers were out on the main street, wearing red shirts and waving signs.

And, since it’s a small town, it will be hard for The Powers That Be to smear them successfully.

God bless 'em!

9 Likes

Voucher advocates say the options are good for families with children who may be struggling in a traditional public school.

And yet, most charter schools end up with the best of the best skimmed from the public schools. Very few “specialize” in “children who may be struggling in a traditional public school.” Hmmmm, who could have seen that coming?

6 Likes

Nevertheless, a lot of the charter school teachers walked out as well, which is a good sign. They still get their $$ from the legislature.

5 Likes

This week a candidate for the Orange County School Board came to my door requesting my vote. I told her that I am a Democrat, she told me that the office is non-partisan. I knew that. She mentioned charter schools for failing schools in surrounding cities. I told her that they were a means to take money from public schools. She was shocked by that statement. Then I mentioned charters were a means to destroy teachers unions. She pointed out that 30% of charter schools have unions. My response was that it means 70% are not unionized. I wasted her time. Her husband is on the school board for school district in my neighborhood. Several years ago he wanted the “other side” of climate change to be taught. Other school board members would not allow it. Every day seems to be a battle.

13 Likes

right on sister

2 Likes

More power to you @sharong!!

The Arizona legislature’s treatment of public schools has been an absolute nightmare for ages, and the push for charter is for the grift and the right to not teach liberal (science-based) facts. The “greatest country in the world” continues to slip lower and lower in all objective criteria from education, to healthcare to architectural achievement to simple happiness measures.

There is a lot of support for the teachers, even among some Trump supporters. Ducey’s going to drop his ice cream cone on this one.

8 Likes

How many years ago has it been now that the odious Scott Walker of Wisconsin began his battle on public sector unions? Was visiting my teacher daughter in Longview, Washington at the time and we drove up to the state capital in Olympia to join in a march in support of the public servants of Wisconsin. Lots of people there from cops to firemen to teachers to administrators who just walked off their jobs in the capital building. Then two years ago the plague of wage cuts, more students, fewer benefits and longer hours hit Washington teachers to the point that my daughter found herself on the picket line with her fellow teachers. Most people still respect teachers and feel they are underpaid and appreciated so that they are a very formidable political force to be reckoned with. Here in Alaska we have a dynamo named Alyse Galvin who made her chops tirelessly lobbying our GOP controlled lege for more school funding running against the old, old Don Young. May the force be with all the teachers and public servants across the nation who are being forced to make up for the loss of services that always result from tax cuts for the uber wealthy.

6 Likes

The problem for the teachers is that the legislators are perfectly happy with the idea of a long strike that utterly destroys public schools in Arizona. After all, that’s the endpoint for Arizona Republicans isn’t it?

That way, they can save more money for tax cuts for their campaign contributors.

School vouchers are another form of Welfare for the Wealthy at the expense of everyone else. Aren’t we sick of giving and giving and giving to the rich?

2 Likes

The Soccer Moms are sick of fund raising for things like new school desks which were always covered by taxes when they were growing up in public schools. Why aren’t they now?

Because too many people have been voting phony wedge issues instead of looking out for their own communities. Vote in November like your deserve to have your tax dollars spent on your kids instead of tax breaks for filthy rich conservative billionaires.

Got that $2000 bonus from your employer yet? How is that extra $1.50 in withholding paying for the 50 cent increase in gasoline prices which Trump is using to extort OPEC with? Are you sick of being manipulated yet? Wait till you see what hyper inflation does to your life once the Republican tax cuts/deficits really start biting into your income.

1 Like

It must have been inspiring, keep up the protests till things improve!

Here’s a hint to Arizona teachers: charter schools and vouchers are both GOP scams to destroy public education and dumb down our population. Even if you used to vote Republican: STOP. They hate you and want to destroy your lives.