Arizona Public Square believes in the constitutionally guaranteed right to a public education. We believe in and advocate for constructive local involvement in our children’s education. The best way to do this is to get involved on a local level with your school board and county superintendent elections, volunteer in your neighborhood schools and be informed the ways in which your elected officials support public education.

Save our Schools Arizona

Our Public Schools Breathe a Bit Easier….For Now

Our Public Schools Breathe a Bit Easier….For Now   Original article by Gabe Acosta Volunteers and activists with Save Our Schools delivered 111,540 signatures to the AZ Secretary of State in hopes of stopping SB 1431, Arizona’s school-voucher law. If they are successful, the decision to implement the school-voucher programs will be put in the […]

0 comments

July 15th Pima County Drive-in & Sign Day of Action!

This is the most important thing you will do today! Save Our Public Schools! This is the only concrete way to stop this. Show Up & Sign on July 15th, 9-2pm. Volunteers will have SOS buttons or shirts on and are waiting for you at each of these locations Click locations below to view maps: […]

0 comments

Stop DeVos/Trump Education Cuts

This morning Betsy DeVos testified before the Senate Education Committee about the budget she and Trump are promoting. It’s awful. Will you call your reps today and urge them to Vote NO on the proposed Trump and DeVos education budget? Their budget cuts $10.6 billion from public school funding and eliminates numerous programs that support […]

0 comments
Save Our Schools Petition

AZ School Vouchers, SB 1431 & Petitions. What you should know.

We support this effort: Save Our Schools (SOS) We support our public schools! View More Articles About This Issue   Petitions are now available from SOS.This is in response to the AZ Legislature passing and Governor Ducey signing SB 1431, ramping up the process of bankrupting our public schools and shifting our public education dollars […]

0 comments

Arizona Education Issues 2/15/2017

Hello AZ Public Square Followers, View Bill Updates One of the pillars of Arizona Public Square is to value the importance that education takes in our community. We believe that a strong education system is necessary for a deliberative democracy to function. Recently, the Arizona Legislature has advanced a number of bills that could fundamentally […]

0 comments

WHO CARES if kids in Arizona know stuff?

THOMAS JEFFERSON, our 3rd President and one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence, did. We at AZ PUBLIC SQUARE do. And a whole lot of YOU probably do as well.

JEFFERSON CARED because he believed the only way our democracy could remain viable and continue to function successfully as a system of self-government was to create a well-educated population for generations to come. That’s why he started the idea that every State that wanted to join the United States, after the original Colonies, was required to provide free public education for their State’s children. Otherwise, they couldn’t become a State.

WHY should the rest of us care if our kids know STUFF?

EVERY DAY WE, who are lucky enough to live here:

  • Drive on roads that People-Who-Once-Were-Kids (PWOWK) built.
  • Eat food and drink water that PWOWK endeavor to keep safe.
  • Use medicines that fight disease developed and manufactured by PWOWK
  • Depend on police and fire fighters who are PWOWK.
  • Have educational services provided to our kids today by PWOWK.
  • Are treated in the hospitals and defended by our military by PWOWK.

LEARNING STUFF is one definition of ‘Education’ and if we want to be free to pursue happiness, all our children must be educated so our Democracy remains strong.

AS OF AUGUST 2016 the state of Arizona ranked 48th in the Nation according to WalletHub, and Education Week gives Arizona a D+

So, how did we get here and how can we improve?  This is one of our goals at AZPS. We want Arizona citizens to understand the history of education in Arizona and the players in the system, and to discuss and learn ways to make a difference together.

The voters of Arizona elect the Superintendent of Public Instruction; whose job is to manage the K-12 public education system for the Arizona Department of Education. Our Constitution states that the State of Arizona is responsible to provide for the establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system, which system shall include Kindergarten, Common, High, Normal & Industrial schools and Universities. The Arizona Department of Education, the State Board of Education, 15 County Education Agencies and hundreds of district and charter governing boards currently make up our Ed ucation system.

As of August 2016, the AZ Dept of Education website www.azed.gov listed these statistics:

  • AZ has 230 School Districts, 406 charter holders and 13 Joint Technological Education Districts
  • Over 2000 public schools, including over 1500 district schools and over 500 charter schools
  • Over 60,000 certified teachers
  • Over 1,000,000 students

The State Board of Education is created by the Arizona Constitution & is responsible to regulate the conduct of the public school system. The Board is composed of the following eleven members: the superintendent of public instruction, the president of a state university or state college, four lay members, a president or chancellor of a community college district, a person who is an owner or administrator of a charter school, a superintendent of a high school district, a classroom teacher and a county school superintendent. Each member, other than the superintendent of public instruction, is appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate. Members are appointed to a term of four years.

So you want to be a School Board Member?
School board members

are fairly unseen yet, they hold very important positions that truly make a difference in our community. While most people couldn’t name their local school board members, these officials have incredible influence over our local school system. They determine school district budgets, create community and school calendars and set the curriculum by which our children learn. We will go over how to become a school board member and why you should think about getting involved with this very important office! All of this information has been provided by the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona School Board Association.


How do I become a member?

Local School Board members are elected officials. However, don’t let this intimidate you. Plenty of people step up to run that have never been in public office before. Running for school board is less contentious and less partisan than running for Congress and may be a good first step if you intend to run for higher office later.


In order to run for School Board Member, you must;


1. Contact your local school superintendent to get an information packet on how to run for school board. Although there are general guidelines on how to run for office, specifics usually vary by school board district.


2. File your campaign community organization statement with your county election office, which lets you start fundraising to run your campaign. If you intend to spend $500 or less on your campaign, then all you need to do is fill out an exception form with the county election office.


3. Collect petition signatures. A minimum number of signatures are necessary in order for your name to appear on the ballot. This step is a lot easier than it seems. The easiest way to collect these signatures is to get a group of friends to stand outside of libraries and ask people as they pass by if they would support your name on the ballot for school board. Since this is not a commitment to vote for any particular candidate, most people are comfortable signing. Talk to your local county election’s office to learn more about the specifics of collecting signatures.


4. Run and win a campaign.


Why should I become a school board member?

The best reason to get involved with your local school board is if you are passionate about supporting, defending and upholding the constitutional rights of our children to the minimum of a fair and adequate Public Education. In Arizona, there has been fierce debate over what subjects and viewpoints are allowed to be expressed in the classroom. Recently, issues like whether our children should learn about Mexican-American studies, what sort of social-justice studies should be taught, and the extent of science education in local classrooms have all been up for discussion in Arizona. There is by far the best way to truly get involved on a local level. So, please contact your local election office and begin!

Education Articles

1

Teacher Shortages

Teacher Shortages Original article by Gabe Acosta During the last legislative session, the Governor signed SB1042, which would expand and lower the eligibility requirements for one to become a teacher in Arizona. Now that the bill has been law for several

0

Our Public Schools Breathe a Bit Easier….For Now

Our Public Schools Breathe a Bit Easier….For Now   Original article by Gabe Acosta Volunteers and activists with Save Our Schools delivered 111,540 signatures to the AZ Secretary of State in hopes of stopping SB 1431, Arizona’s school-voucher law. If

0

Dreamer’s Arizona Tuition in Jeopardy

Dreamer’s Arizona Tuition in Jeopardy. Original article by Gabe Acosta In Arizona, many “Dreamers” are worried after the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that they might not be eligible for in-state tuition. This is the result of a lawsuit against the

0

July 15th Pima County Drive-in & Sign Day of Action!

This is the most important thing you will do today! Save Our Public Schools! This is the only concrete way to stop this. Show Up & Sign on July 15th, 9-2pm. Volunteers will have SOS buttons or shirts on and are waiting for you at each of these locatio

1

State Sponsored Discrimination

By Linda Lyon – MAY 28, 2017 What the best and wisest parent wants for his child, that must we want for all the children of the community. Anything less is unlovely, and left unchecked, destroys our democracy.” a quote by John Dewey over a century

2

If It’s Broke: Let’s Fix It Together!

It’s no news to anyone that the Arizona education system is a mess. Believe it or not, we can fix what ails our schools in a straightforward and uncomplicated way. Here’s how: REALLY IMPORTANT INSIDE INFORMATION: This country’s Founders, who wrote a