Parents like Eva Borja are voting yes on Proposition 123 (Prop. 123) on May 17. She knows that her children, and thousands of others like them in Arizona, can’t wait. Here is her story.
1. What is your name and how many children do you have in Arizona public schools?
My name is Eva Borja. I have two children in Arizona public schools. Margarita Borja is 15 years old and is in 9th grade at South Point HS and Jazmin M. Borja is 11 years old and is in 6th grade at Andalucia Middle School.
2. How you have seen the lack of funding affect the quality of education your children have received?
I have children who are already married. With my two youngest I have seen class sizes increase because they don’t have enough teachers. Also they don’t have the same programs they used to have with my older ones.
3. Have you seen teachers leave or quit because of lack of pay?
I don’t have to think far away. Just last school, year my daughter’s teacher quit his teaching position in the middle of the school year. It took a big impact on my family. The students ended the school year with a substitute teacher that caused my daughter to lose interest in that subject and others. She started skipping classes, getting in trouble to the point she got suspended many times until one day she got expelled. As a mother who cares about her children’s education I had to look for other options and I found a Charter school where classes are not as big and they have counselors. I have to drive every day from 51st Avenue and Camelback to Central and Baseline (56 miles per day total) just to have one of my daughters get the education that my district couldn’t provide. But now, she is an outstanding student who got a scholarship.
4. Proposition 123, if passed, would inject millions of dollars into the school system immediately. How do you plan to vote?
Prop. 123 means a lot to me because of my personal story. I am informing my neighbors and community on the importance to vote YES. I want to see happy and quality teachers who don’t leave their profession in the middle of a school year. Also more counselors in district high schools to take care of the large number of students that need help. Additional security would be helpful to create and maintain a safer environment for all students.
5. What would you want to say to other parents, or voters who haven’t yet decided how they are going to vote on Prop. 123?
I want to say: Please vote Yes on Prop. 123. We can improve Arizona’s education if we work together and this is a first step. Remember, a strong community can change and improve many things.
6. Finally, what would you want Arizona legislators to know about the current state of education funding, and what is really going on in schools across the state?
I just want to extend an invitation for them to go visit low income communities schools. Please schedule a tour, learn how many school districts are struggling trying to provide a good education. In other cases they are not giving our students the best opportunities. Stop cutting education. Please make it a priority when you are planning your state funding. And the most important thing, please support education. We need your support.