A couple of hours after educators and activists held an event at the State Capitol sponsored by the Arizona Education Association (AEA,) the State Senate, in a 23 to 6 vote, approved the suspension of the State Expenditure Cap on the Grand Canyon State’s public schools.

A week after being one Republican short of getting the necessary two thirds needed to pass the measure, Senate President Karen Fann secured the support of more of her party to stop the ticking time bomb and financial doomsday that would have plagued traditional public schools after March 1, 2022.

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Among the Republicans who voted for the measure was LD-17 State Senator JD Mesnard. Perhaps he was swayed by all the activists from the earlier morning event that marched to talk with him in his Senate office.

Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios, according to reporting by NPR, chastised Republicans for putting undue stress on children, educators, staff, and families, stating “this was a crisis we unnecessarily created. She also called for the permanent removal of the state expenditure limit.

On that, education activists like Rebecca Gau (Stand for Children Arizona,) Joe Thomas (Arizona Education Association,) and David Lujan (Children’s Action Alliance) are already endeavoring on putting such an initiative on the November, 2022 ballot.

Reaction from Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman.

Minutes after the Senate Vote, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman posted on social media:

Other reactions from Legislators, the Education and Social Justice Community.

LD-28 State Senator Christine Marsh posted:

LD-18 State Senator Sean Bowie posted:

The Arizona Education Association (AEA) posted on Facebook:

“Union victory!
The state Senate has voted yes to override the Aggregate Expenditure Limit.
Thank you to all the legislators who voted yes to protect public school funding.
Thank you to everyone who called, the fight isn’t over yet stay tuned for what’s next!”

David Lujan of the Children’s Action Alliance posted:

Beth Lewis of Save Our Schools Arizona wrote:

“We urge lawmakers to work in a bipartisan fashion to identify further solutions to support Arizona’s public schools, instead of focusing on diverting these desperately needed funds to private school vouchers. This includes increasing the number of school counselors available, funding our students’ special education needs and investing in fully-funded kindergarten. This legislation is an important step toward ensuring consistent, continuous funding for the public schools that the majority of Arizona families choose and depend on.”

Moving forward, while this is a time for rejoicing, voters should remember the names of the six Republicans that voted against this measure.

They do not belong in public service and should be voted out this November.

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