Think Tank looks at the citizen movement Save Our Schools

Jul 29, 2022, 11:03 AM

(AP Photo, File/Ross D. Franklin)...

(AP Photo, File/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo, File/Ross D. Franklin)

They say that there are two things you should never watch being made too closely: sausage and legislation.

Our guests this week took an altogether too close look at the latter, did not like what they saw and decided to do something about it. And the movement, Save Our Schools Arizona, was born.

Our guests, Beth Lewis and Sharon Kirsch, along with a handful of other educators, were in the gallery of the Legislature in 2017 when they watched, after midnight, as the Legislature made a series of last-minute alterations to several bills, including a radical expansion of private school vouchers.

These educators decided to pursue a citizen referendum to undo what the Legislature had just done. This required that they collect about 76,000 signatures in about two months. At that time, they numbered a half-dozen volunteers who had never undertaken such an effort before. And they had no money.

All the political “pros” were skeptical that these novices could take on such an undertaking on short notice and without funding. They organized 2000 volunteers and collected 111,000 signatures. But the signatures had to be validated; could they pass muster? The verification process yielded 87% valid signatures, about the cleanest batch of signatures in recent memory.

In this week’s Think Tank, we meet two of the group’s leaders and discuss their origin story and plans for the future. Save our Schools Arizona has become a potentially transformative voice in Arizona politics that could change Arizona politics for years to come.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR 92.3 FM on Saturday 6-7 p.m. and Sunday 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after broadcast. Older shows are archived at

The Think Tank

Kris Mayes (Getty Images File Photo)...

Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank talks law with Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes

Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has been in office less than four weeks and has hit the ground running. But she stops long enough to talk on this week's Think Tank.

4 months ago

(Library of Congress Photo)...

Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank tells you everything you need to know about polling

Polls: To believe or not to believe? Polling’s history provides some clues. This week's Think Tank visits the topic.

5 months ago

(Pixabay Photo)...

Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Crystal ball: Think Tank’s annual political predictions show for 2023

Panelists will offer their insights into what will happen in 2023 in both Arizona and in the country at large.

5 months ago

(Pexels Photo)...

Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Drum roll, please: Think Tank gives out 2022 political awards for Arizona, nation

Retired journalists Steve Goldstein and Steve Krafft and political operative Chuck Coughlin join the Think Tank for an irreverent discussion of 2022 politics.

5 months ago


Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

What’s in the future for the Republican Party after the 2022 election?

Can traditional conservative business/growth Republicans retake the GOP from the MAGA faction? That's this week's Think Tank topic.

6 months ago

(Facebook Photo; Screenshot/Maricopa County)...

Mike O'Neil/The Think Tank

Think Tank guests Stephen Richer, Adrian Fontes explain Arizona’s election process

Think Tank guests this week Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer and Secretary of State-elect Adrian Fontes discuss the running of Arizona’s elections.

6 months ago

Sponsored Articles


OCD & Anxiety Treatment Center

5 mental health myths you didn’t know were made up

Helping individuals understand mental health diagnoses like obsessive compulsive spectrum disorder or generalized anxiety disorder isn’t always an easy undertaking. After all, our society tends to spread misconceptions about mental health like wildfire. This is why being mindful about how we talk about mental health is so important. We can either perpetuate misinformation about already […]



Why drug-free weight loss still matters

Wanting to lose weight is a common goal for many people as they progress throughout life, but choosing between a holistic approach or to take medicine can be a tough decision.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.

Think Tank looks at the citizen movement Save Our Schools