My plan for public education

My plan for education has been published on my website since the beginning of my campaign. It includes a plan for funding that looks a lot like the Invest in Ed ballot initiative, which I support 100%, as well as additional proposals. It also includes my opposition to Prop 305 and to any tax credits/vouchers that support private schools; and my commitment to making charter schools “transparent, accountable and rare.”

As governor, I will take swift and assertive action towards these goals.

This is how I’ll do it

In my first 100 days, I will sign an Executive Order to protect parents and children, support teachers, and begin rebuilding our public school system in all 15 counties. This Executive Order will include directives to:

  1. Revise the funding formula for district schools to create equity and to ensure that schools in distress and in low-income communities receive appropriate and adequate support;
  2. Require the Arizona Department of Education to release additional funding to district schools, which are required to absorb new students after the closure of a charter school outside of the 100 day attendance standard;
  3. Require that all charter schools must meet the same environmental standards of public schools, including testing for lead in the water;
  4. Establish criteria for charter schools by Jan 1, 2020, evaluate each charter school in the state by Jan 1, 2021, and WITHDRAW THE CHARTER from any school that does not meet the standard after a 12-month grace period.

This last bullet describes a thoughtful, inclusive, collaborative 3-year plan to make sure our tax dollars are only supporting those charter schools that are meeting the needs of students, whose needs cannot be met by the local public school…yet.

I predict that shady charter school operators, whose only interest is making money off of our kids, will begin closing up shop and leaving the state as soon as we start holding them accountable. That’s exactly my intention.

These are the things I can do immediately, as governor. I will work through the budget process, in the legislature and with education experts and activists to create further change in support of rebuilding our public school system.

I am not neutral in the “school choice” debate

The “school choice” movement is a scheme by people like Betsy DeVos, Doug Ducey and the Koch brothers to privatize and profit off of education in Arizona.

Any politician who refuses to say that is no friend of public education.

First, “school choice” activists defunded and systematically dismantled our public school system. Then, they created laws that made it possible for charter school operators to sweep in and set up shop with no oversight. Desperate parents, who grew frustrated with what was happening in their local district schools, pulled out and put their children in these new charter schools. Now, many of these parents are starting to see that the charter schools they put their faith in are only interested in one thing: Making money off the kids, not giving them the best education.

Here’s just a sample of recent articles exposing the school choice scam:

A word to parents

I know parents in Arizona are frustrated. As a mom, I would do almost anything to make sure my kids have every opportunity to succeed. For many of you, a private or charter school seemed like your only option. Now the truth is coming out.

Continuing down the path of privatizing our educational system is not the answer.

My goal is to make the best school for every kid, in every neighborhood in Arizona, their local district public school. And, yes! I’m talking about LGBTQ kids, kids with special needs, gifted kids, athletic kids, kids who want to be artists or scientists or change makers. There is no reason every public school in our state can’t be the best with the right investment of resources, attention and support.

Unlike the charter schools that have skipped town in the middle of the night, leaving parents high and dry, I will make sure any changes we make will be made thoughtfully, collaboratively and with the best interest of every child in mind.

It’s going to take time to undo the educational disaster created by decades of bad laws and scam schools.

I’m willing to take it on and I have a plan to get started on day one.