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Educators say they’re not going away after high court tosses ballot measure

(Mark Carlson)

PHOENIX — Members of Red for Ed are calling for a permanent education funding source after the Arizona Supreme Court tossed out a ballot measure that would have put such proposition on the November ballot.

Mesa teacher and co-chairman of the Invest in Ed Campaign Josh Buckley said a permanent education spending plan ensures Arizona public school students get the best education available.

“So that Arizona schools can keep and retain the best educators possible,” Buckley said. “So that they can hire the support teams that we need to ensure that our students and Arizona get the best education.”

Children’s Action Alliance chief executive Dana Naimark said state educators are committed and invested in state education all the way through the November election.

“We’re giving voters the tools they need to ask the bottom line questions and get the bottom line commitment about funding public schools before they vote,” Naimark said.

Arizona Education Association member and public school teacher Marisol Garcia said they are asking everyone running for office to sign an Invest in Ed pledge.

“In this letter, it asks for them to sign on and commit themselves to demands that were made by the folks here and on the ground and most importantly the parents and teachers in the classroom every single day,” Garcia said.

The pledge calls for an immediate restoration of education funding to 2008 levels, a 20-percent salary increase for teachers, a permanent teacher salary structure including annual raises and no tax cuts until per-student funding reaches the national average.

The education association said state candidates should remember that 270,000 voters signed the Invest in Education petitions demanding better schools.

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