A $14,000 average pay raise for Arizona teachers to catch up to the national average for instructors.

Opportunities for families to enroll their children in free full-day Pre School and Kindergarten, and affordable Child Care.

Advertisement

Strengthening special education.

Reducing the in-state costs for students attending local community colleges and state universities.

Building on efforts (such as those during Superintendent Kathy Hoffman’s leadership)  to expand the number of counselors, social workers, and teacher residents.

Providing apprenticeship and early college opportunities for secondary and post-secondary students, with an emphasis on the STEM fields of today and tomorrow.

Streamlining school construction, maintenance, and renovation guidelines to expedite sorely needed repairs.

Ensuring monopoly charter schools with unethical corporations are fully accountable.

Opposing the unpopular and unchecked expansion of school voucher scholarships.

Repealing the Aggregate Expenditure Limit so schools will no longer fear losing the money promised to them.

These are the major components of Arizona Secretary of State and Gubernatorial Nominee Katie Hobbs’ plan to transform public education in Arizona.

Northern Arizona University Gathering on September 11, 2022, where Katie Hobbs unveiled her A Prepared Arizona Education Plan.

Called A Prepared Arizona, this plan, unveiled during the Nominee’s Solutions Can’t Wait Tour on September 11, 2022, at Northern Arizona University would, according to Secretary Hobbs, ensure that every child would get the world-class education they deserve, regardless of their zip code.

Secretary Hobbs graciously took the time to respond to questions about her A Prepared Arizona education plan.

The questions and her responses are below.

  • Please explain at least two ways your A Prepared Arizona Education Plan will help lift up children in preschool and kindergarten.

“I’m hearing from voters across the state that public education is a top priority.

First and foremost, this Prepared Arizona plan will secure universal access to voluntary preschool and full-day kindergarten which is important to ensure that our children have what they need to succeed in the classroom from the start and that parents don’t have to decide between their pocketbooks and their children’s future. As you know, these early childhood programs really help students get off to the right start so they’re not falling behind in school, which obviously will increase graduation and attainment rates. So, the plan starts by re-engaging the federal government to win back federal preschool development grants and then also ensuring that full day kindergarten is funded by the state through supplemental block grants, which will be earmarked for communities who need it the most.”

  • With regards to early college credit and career preparation apprenticeships, please explain at least two ways the Prepared Arizona education plan lifts up students in secondary and post-secondary schooling opportunities.

“Every Arizonan should be able to pursue the education that best suits their needs. That’s why in this plan I’ll work with our educational institutions to ensure that every student has access to advanced courses that allow them to receive college credit while still in high school. I also call for a refundable tax credit, which was part of our Affordable Arizona Plan as well, as a refundable tax credit for Arizonans to pursue career and technical education, helping them to develop skills for jobs that provide better pay and robust benefits. Furthermore, I’ll work to lower the cost of attending both community college and universities so that no student gets left behind because of their financial circumstances.”

  • Please explain at least two ways your A Prepared Arizona Education Plan will help educators.

“As you know, we are facing a severe education workforce shortage and it’s really our children that are being left behind because of this. That’s why one of the top priorities of the plan is to raise teacher pay to the national average, which would be, on average, a $14,000 increase, and also provide more support in classrooms by building the pipeline of qualified guidance counselors and social workerswho are necessary to provide critical support for students and make sure that teachers are able to stay focused on teaching.”

  • Please explain at least two ways your A Prepared Arizona Education Plan will help move the state forward economically.

“A quality public education system and a strong economy really go hand in hand. The bottom line is that we can’t have a strong economy if our kids are being held back by a lack of resources in the classroom, falling behind, and not achieving graduation. Everything the plan is doing to expand education access for all of our kids will ensure that we’re building a thriving economy for decades to come. More specifically, the refundable tax credit that I mentioned for Arizonans pursuing CTE (Career and Technical Education) is just one of the strategic investments that our plan makes to both grow the economy and train our workforce for the jobs of today and the opportunities of tomorrow. We’re not just seeing workforce shortages in our classrooms, but every employer I’ve talked to is experiencing workforce shortages, and so we need to do more to build that workforce in order to help our economy continue to grow. An important part of this plan is working with the Department of Education (Arizona and the U.S.) to provide new funding for grants and scholarships that are dedicated to getting more STEM educators in the classroom so that they’re able to build a pipeline for students from all backgrounds to find good paying jobs in our rapidly growing STEM sector.”

Is there anything else you would like to add Madam Secretary?

“Thank you, yes. We just got back from our Northern Arizona tour, as you mentioned, and got to introduce the education plan at a roundtable of aspiring educators at NAU, my Alma Mater. It was great to hear from them mostly about some of their concerns about the challenges they’ll face going into the classroom. So, I feel like we really hit a lot of those concerns in our plan. This plan reflects what we’ve been talking to folks across the state about in terms of what we need to do to tackle fixing education in Arizona. In contrast to my opponentwho really has no solutions and is just offering extreme ideas, like wanting to use a religious school curriculum in our public schools, putting cameras in our children’s classrooms to spy on teachers, but would also open up our kids to predators and that’s really the only thing she’s offered about educationthere’s a clear contrast there in terms of actually working to tackle this issue versus grandstanding to score some political points.”

Please click here to read the full details of Secretary Hobbs’ A Prepared Arizona education plan.

Advertisement