In part three of the continuing series on Senator Russell Pearce and his stance on the tough issues facing Arizonans today we are taking a look at his stance on education. The misconception that Pearce does not support educators in our state is put to rest in the following statements.
By reading these statements, you may receive greater understanding and come to the realization that he does value education from a different viewpoint than some of the school boards in our state share. Pearce places the value of education to the students and parents, (the ones most effected by the quality of the education offered in our state and the ones who should be benefitting most from the tax dollars that your property taxes supply to your local schools), first.
Administrators and teachers are affected yes, but the fact of the matter is that our children have suffered the most in our schools from the ongoing money battle between teachers and teacher unions who want more money any way they can get it (side stepping necessary budget cuts by repeatedly asking taxpayers and voters for bond overrides. Ever notice how even when these overrides are granted, your school officials still want more money?) and taxpayers in our state.
Foreclosures have plagued the Arizona economy for the better part of two years, and yet, your local school districts have no problem asking you indirectly to vote to increase your property taxes. With all that money going into our schools, why do we still have schools that are not performing to standard, and teachers still in classrooms who are not performing their job responsibilities, yet demanding more pay?
Heres where Senator Pearce stands on these issues, and also, what he and the legislature have done, as well as plan to do to improve the educational environment for your children.
5 What are the top 3 actions the Legislature can undertake to improve the academic performance of Arizona students in the K-12 education system?
1. Reduce non-classroom spending. I support requiring at least an additional five cents of every education dollar be spent in the classroom. We need to reduce administrative expenses just as businesses have done in the marketplace.
2. Reward our best teachers and principals financially. The State of Arizona is creating new accountability systems for schools, principals, teachers and students. We need to use these systems to reward financially our best teachers and principals.
3. Stop funding failing schools. We need to fund results -- not seat time. Schools that do not educate children should be closed. The new school letter grading system ("A" through "F") will help clarify how schools are doing in an easily understandable way.
6 Does Arizona’s school financing system need to be reformed? If so, what are the major elements that should be addressed? Yes
As I said above, we need to fund academic achievement of students, not attendance. If a public school (charter or district) is not performing, it should be closed down. Our school financing system needs to direct the money into teachers and classrooms.
7 Do you support the creation of a performance pay system for public school teachers that rewards them for improving the academic achievement of their students? Yes
We have enacted such a system, which is currently in the process of being implemented.
8 Do you support legislation to further expand school choice for students and families? What specific action do you believe the state legislature should take to expand school choice? Yes
Arizona leads the nation is school choice from open enrollment in district schools, a thriving market in charter schools, tuition tax credits for scholarships to private schools and home schools. We must ensure that parents have the most up-to-date information so that they can properly exercise their choice of education for their children.