My name is Albertina Sanchez and I'm from a small village in Turicuaro, Michoacan Mexico. From an early age, I saw the importance of education, even though my own might be considered “non-traditional.” Our village relied on the Tarasco dialect as our main form of communication. My parents understood that while this language provided a sense of comfort and community, it would be in my best interest to learn Spanish as well. Since the age of five, they spoke to me in Spanish until I understood, so that I could have conversations with people outside my village.
“Ensure that every child – regardless of where they live – has access to an excellent education.”
- Governor Doug Ducey, Classrooms First Initiative Council Speech, June 26, 2015
The last overhaul of Arizona’s education funding formula occurred nearly 35 years ago, and today Arizona ranks nearly last among states in per-pupil spending. Our system lacks transparency, accessibility for parents, appropriate teacher and school funding incentives, and student equity.
Norma Chavez and Lucila Maldonado, Alhambra School District parent leaders, learned about the Grand Canyon University tutoring program at a Stand for Children Arizona community meeting. They saw this program as a great opportunity for kids in their community to get the extra help they aren’t able to receive at home. Stand parents started promoting the program until they found out the University had a long waiting list and was not accepting any more kids.
My name is Luis Acosta-Herrera and I’m the Policy Manager at Stand for Children Arizona. Many people don’t know this about me -- I come from a family where I was the first person to not only graduate from eighth grade, but from high school and then college.
In a recent statewide survey commissioned by Stand for Children Arizona, Arizonans listed education as their top concern in the state, and the trend seems to be rising higher than it has ever been in the past.
We now see that 36% of likely voters currently identify education as their top concern, compared to 26% who are concerned with immigration and border issues and 14% who are concerned with jobs and the economy.
Sufficient school funding, spent wisely, is critical to student success.
This is why Stand for Children Arizona identified school funding as a key initiative last year in our 2015 Impact Agenda.
Today, Governor Doug Ducey took the first step in leading a statewide conversation about securing additional funding for our schools.
His announcement to send a ballot measure to voters in 2016 to use revenue from State Land Trusts to provide resources is the first step to getting Arizona off the bottom of the list in per pupil funding, teacher pay, and academic achievement.
That's why, when the local community brought to our attention that the Alhambra Elementary School Governing Board President Robert Zamora is not legally qualified to serve the people of the Alhambra community, we sought out the facts.
We consulted attorneys. We followed the necessary procedures. And the results confirmed what local residents had feared.
Mr. Zamora claims to be living in a temporary residence outside the district while his house is being remodeled. The house he is referring to is actually his mother’s. And, he hasn’t lived there for several years.
COUNTY ATTORNEY TO INVESTIGATE IF SCHOOL BOARD PRESIDENT IS ELIGIBLE TO SERVE
Phoenix, Arizona – For the past five months, Alhambra Elementary Governing Board President Robert Zamora, Sr. has been lying to the community he was elected to serve. Stand for Children has recently discovered that the elected school board member has been residing outside the boundaries of the district since early December 2014, making him ineligible to serve as an elected governing board member.