Sunday, April 18, 2010

Support for Our Teacher Friends

As much as I love writing about our little family I feel it necessary to take a little break from that to support some very important people -- TEACHERS! As most know, Andy taught high school math for three years before going back to school (which, by the way, he is DONE with... more on that in another post). We love teachers, we appreciate teachers, yet understand (sadly) how underappreciated they are in politics! Arizona always ranks disturbingly low, compared to other states, in regard to funding for education. But this year, I think they've outdone themselves. Thousands of teachers in Arizona were given pink slips last week as a result of state budget cuts. One of those teachers is one of our dearest friends, Sara. She married one of Andy's oldest friends, was one of my bridesmaids, graduated from UofA's math program with Andy and our kids call her Aunt Sara. She's an amazing person and a great teacher. She's also seven months pregnant and will lose her insurance six days before her due date (don't worry, they have a back-up). Anyway, the only shot Sara has at getting her job back is if Arizona voters pass Prop 100. It's a temporary 1% sales tax increase. Two-thirds of the revenue generated from the increase will go to K-12 education, the remainder to health and human services and public safety.

I would have supported this five years ago when Andy started teaching, but as a mother, it takes on new importance. I would be outraged if my kids had to sit in classrooms with 40+ other students, or if their school removed all arts programs and many extra-curricular activities (like Andy's alma mater, Prescott High School). Education is too important to be neglected the way it is in Arizona.

Andy and I obviously don't live in Arizona and can't vote, but we ask that you do! The election is Tuesday May 18th. Please, please, please support all of our teacher friends in Arizona!!


Rob and Sara said...

Thanks Bekah! Your support is greatly appreciated!

Brian and Janette said...

What's happening in AZ is a travesty, for sure and I feel badly for your friend Sara. However, I'm not sure this temporary tax increase will fix it. Almost like placing a band aid on a hemorrhage. And I'm not so sure how "temporary" the increase will be. What they don't tell you is that in 3 years, when it's supposed to expire and be up for a vote again, is that only the legislature gets to vote on it--not the people. I really am torn on this prop--still not sure which way I'll vote. It's no question that AZ education is seriously lacking but I'm not sure that the tax increase will change that. I think I considered home schooling my children for the first time in my life this past week!

Bekah said...

Janette, I think at this point a band-aid is better than nothing! I'm aware it expires in three years and that the legislature will then vote on it, I don't expect the temp. increase to fix anything long-term, but if it keeps good qualified teachers in AZ schools, even if for only three years, that's much better than the alternative: thousands of teachers losing their jobs, removal of the arts in schools and 50-60 kids in a class!

I too have considered home-schooling my kids and we're not even in AZ. The state of education across the country is horrible. It's unfortunate that good teachers are being lost to lack of funding. Being the wife of a former teacher, and a concerned parent, I'd be willing to pay ALOT more than 1% to help education in my state!!!