I’m a public school education veteran. Most of my career has been in middle schools in the roles of teacher, assistant principal, and principal. I’ve also spent time at the district level in technology and grant management. I’m proud to be part of such an honorable and essential profession.

I know from the inside that incredible miracles take place daily in classrooms across Arizona. I was fortunate to be my granddaughter’s online partner when she entered public school Kindergarten in 2020; the teachers did not disappoint. During the unprecedented challenges of educating during a pandemic, her teachers connected with her and connected her to the curriculum over a screen. It was amazing to witness; and I know her experience wasn’t unique.

Increase Education Funding

Unfortunately, I also know that Arizona ranks at or near the bottom for funding public schools. Students deserve teachers who are rested and free from distractions such getting to their next job. Teachers and counselors deserve professional pay because they earn it. They are well-educated and continually attend classes to bring the best to their students. Schools are uniquely positioned to be immediately available to identify and provide academic, physical, and/or emotional interventions. But the class sizes must be small enough for teachers to connect and professionals must be available to provide counseling, and/or hearing, speech, and/or visual support. Classified staff deserve better pay also; their positions are critical for the safe and efficient management of school facilities. I support the repeal of the Aggregate Expenditure Limit (AEL) to give schools the confidence that their budgets cannot be limited or held hostage during the school year.

Accountability and Transparency

Public school school boards and financials are fully transparent. School board members run for office, following election laws, for this demanding volunteer position. Procurement laws dictate how and from whom purchases are made. However charter schools, funded from the same tax dollars, are not held to the same level of accountability and transparency. This imbalance in seeing how your education taxes are spent needs to be corrected.