Arizona teacher: Education will be No. 1 ballot issue in November

Jun 6, 2018, 7:53 PM | Updated: 7:54 pm

(AP Photo/Matt York)...

(AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

KTAR News 92.3 FM continues to cover education in Arizona. This week’s focus is on “The Changing Face of the Arizona Teacher.”

PHOENIX — It has been a month since teachers across Arizona brought a walkout to an end after Gov. Doug Ducey signed a budget bill to provide school funding and raises.

But one education official in the state said she believes education will continue to be a priority, especially for voters in November.

“I think we’re going to see education be the No. 1 issue on the ballot this year,” Beth Lewis, a teacher and the chair of Save Our Schools Arizona, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Chad Benson on Wednesday.

“We’ve got Prop. 305, which is taking some of that money that has been reinvested in public schools and giving it to private schools, we have a chance to vote no on that. There may be another ballot initiative that provides more investment in education, the Invest in Ed Act.

“This conversation is not going away.”

The “Red for Ed” movement, which led a six-day walkout last month in an effort to increase education funding, pushed thousands of teachers to get involved in politics, with dozens already pursuing a run for state office.

Lewis said the movement opened many teachers’ eyes to the fact that there are people in the state Capitol and on school boards who are not working in their best interest.

“Teachers are going back to their communities and…saying there’s this other person who will act in our interests,” she said.

“Our jobs in their very nature are political,” Lewis added, saying classrooms and resources are determined by “political decisions.”

But “if you are not advocating for your kids, you are not doing full extent of your job.”

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Arizona teacher: Education will be No. 1 ballot issue in November