Monthly Archives: May 2018

Education funding…the devil is in the details

Cross-posted from RestoreReason.com.

One of the issues leading to the walkout during the #RedforEd movement, was Governor Ducey’s promise of a 20% raise by 2020 ONLY for teachers. The movement wanted the definition of “teacher” expanded and pay raises for all school personnel. That’s because teachers understand their’s is a broad profession, and although quality teachers are the number one in-school factor contributing to student success, every employee in a school district, whether a “defined” teacher or not, contributes to the ability of students to learn.

There is currently though, no consistent definition of “teacher” in Arizona. The 2018–2019 K–12 budget reconciliation bill, HB 2663, K–12 education; does not define “teacher”. The previous year’s budget bill defined “teacher” as: “any person eligible to be included as a teacher on a disrict’s FTE count submitted with its annual financial report, whose salary was paid under function code 1000 (instruction). Clear as mud, right?

The definition in Arizona Revised Statute (A.R.S) 15–901(B)(5), says a “Certified teacher” means a person “who is certified as a teacher pursuant to the rules adopted by the state board of education who renders direct and personal services to school children in the form of instruction related to the school district’s educational course of study and who is paid from the maintenance and operation section of the budget.” Okay, so that is a little clearer, but how is teacher compensation impacted by legislation passed last year to allow non-certified teachers to teach in Arizona public schools? Guess that means fewer raises for teachers as those more qualified continue to exercise their “school choice” to either retire or move to another state so they can earn a living wage. Just in case you didn’t see it, here’s a story about Texas buying up billboards in Arizona to lure our teachers away. Continue reading

Tucson wins National Mayor’s Water Challenge for population category

City of Tucson won first place for city population category of 300,000 to 599,999 (as it did in 2013).  Since then Tucson has placed second under Aurora, Colorado, but it’s nice to see Tucson back on top.

“The annual month-long public awareness campaign to promote drought resiliency and water quality ended on April 30th with mayors from 35 states vying to see whose city could be the nation’s most “water-wise.” The cities with the highest percentage of residents making pledges during the campaign were Gallup, New Mexico; Westminster, California; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Tucson, Arizona ; and Dallas, Texas.  Overall, residents around the nation, from Anchorage to the Florida Keys, made 618,444 pledges to change behaviors ranging from fixing home leaks to reducing harmful runoff into local rivers and streams. The campaign is presented nationally by the Wyland Foundation Toyota, with supported from the Toro Company, US EPA, National League of Cities, ECOS, and Conserva Irrigation.

Residents from winning cities will now be entered into a drawing for thousands of dollars in water-saving or eco-friendly prizes, including $5,000 toward their annual home utility bill, “Greening Your Home” cleaning kits from Earth Friendly Products (ECOS), and home irrigation equipment from The Toro Company.  A $500 home improvement store shopping spree will also be chosen from among the entire pool of U.S. participants.  Additionally, participating residents were asked to nominate a deserving charity in their community to receive a 2018 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid.

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Preliminary Citizens Clean Elections Debate Schedule

The Citizens Clean Elections Commission has announced its preliminary debate schedule. The schedule is subject to further change. Be sure to check back at the Citizens Clean Elections web site.

Legislature

Monday, June 11, 6:00 p.m.: LD 30 Clean Elections Debate at Glendale Civic Center – Glendale.

Tuesday, June 12, 6:00 p.m.: LD 24 Clean Elections Debate at Hampton Inn Biltmore – Phoenix.

Wednesday, June 13, 6:00 p.m.: LD 22 Clean Elections Debate at Hampton Inn – Surprise.

Thursday, June 14, 6:00 p.m.: LD 15 Clean Elections Debate at Hilton Garden Inn – Phoenix.

Friday, June 15, 6:00 p.m.: LD 20 Clean Elections Debate at Thunderbird School – Phoenix.

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(Update) SWAG List of Arizona Federal Candidates in 2018

 The candidates listed below managed to collect enough signatures to file to run with the Arizona Secretary of State as of the filing deadline of May 30, 2018.

There could be legal challenges filed to the petitions of some candidates. There could also be write-in candidates who may qualify for the primary ballot. The list also does not include independent candidates who may qualify for the general election ballot.

Sen. John McCain is still with us, so there will not be a special election for his seat. The governor will be able to appoint his replacement when the time comes.

The primary election is Tuesday, August 28, 20i8.

U.S. Senate (open)

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D)
Deedra Abboud (D)
Rep. Martha E. McSally (R)
Joe Arpaio (R)
Kelli Ward (R)
Eve Reyes-Aguirre (GRN)
Doug Marks (LIB)

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(Update) SWAG List of Arizona State Candidates in 2018

The candidates listed below managed to collect enough signatures to file to run with the Arizona Secretary of State as of the filing deadline of May 30, 2018.

There could be legal challenges filed to the petitions of some candidates. There could also be write-in candidates who may qualify for the primary ballot. The list also does not include independent candidates who may qualify for the general election ballot.

The GOP culture of corruption runs so deep in Arizona that several shameless GOP candidates who were disgraced are actually running for office again. Fired Department of Economic Security Director Tim Jeffries has filed to run for the state House. Rep. Don Shooter, who was expelled by his colleagues earlier this year for sexual harassment, is running to get his old Senate seat back. Former House Speaker David Gowan, who traveled the state on the public’s dime while running for Congress in 2016 and raised eyebrows with promotions, construction, and pay hikes while speaker, is running again for the state Senate. And Ken “Birther” Bennett, who as Secretary of State demanded proof of President Obama’s birth certificate for eligibility on the ballot in 2012, is running for governor against Doug Ducey, the ice cream man hired by Koch Industries to run their Southwest subsidiary formerly known as the state of Arizona, financing him with a record amount of “dark money” in 2014. These are just the highly publicized instances of corruption. If we start digging, we will find more.

You can make a $5 contribution to a  Citizens Clean Elections (CCE) candidate on the Arizona Secretary of State’s E-Qual page.

The primary election is Tuesday, August 28, 2018.

Arizona Legislature

District 1

Jo Craycraft (D) Senate (CCE)
Karen Fann (R) Senate
Ed Gogek (D) House (CCE)
Jan Manolis (D) House (CCE)
Noel Campbell (R) House
Jodi Rooney (R) House
David Stringer (R) House

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Candidate Kiana Sears Brings a Consumer-Focused Approach to the Arizona Corporation Commission

Kiana Sears has eight years' experience as a consultant and analyst for the Corporation Commission.

Kiana Sears has eight years’ experience as a consultant and analyst for the Corporation Commission.

The Arizona Corporation Commission is the government entity that sets the rates and regulates the electric, gas, water, and energy industries. As a Democratic candidate for the Commission Kiana Sears states, “Without the element the Corporation Commission controls, one will not have a sustainable life.” Sears is running for the Corporation Commission because she “cares about the present and future of Arizona.

Running on the motto, “To whom much is given, much is required,” Sears, an experienced consultant at the Corporation Commission, is conducting a campaign based on honesty, integrity, and transparency that will put the welfare of people and small businesses first. If elected, her goals as a commissioner are as follows:

  • “Restore integrity so that the public understands what the Commission’s mission is, which is to serve the people and not corporations, monopolies, or special interests in a “clean” political fashion. In doing this, confidence and trust in the commission would be restored.
  • Serve the public by providing clean and safe water, modernizing our water and energy supply infrastructure, supplying abundant energy (with a strategic direction towards renewables like solar and wind), and lowering rates to benefit the people.

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