In the month of November, the Arizona Education Association is hosting four gubernatorial town halls across the state.
Would you be surprised to learn that the Governor hasn’t been invited to participate?
Of his challengers, would you be surprised to learn that the only candidate who has released a comprehensive education platform has been told he isn’t invited to participate? Would you be even more surprised to find out this candidate is a former junior high teacher and college professor?
In fact, the AEA has decided only to invite Democratic candidates to its education town halls. This disappoints me because I’m the candidate I just described, and I’m an independent.
You probably aren’t surprised though, because you expect political entities like the teachers’ union to play politics, in the worst sense of the term. But maybe you are annoyed, angered, or even outraged.
The AEA has certainly anticipated your negative emotions, and they’ve tried to slyly avoid them. All of their marketing materials refer to these events simply as “Education Town Halls with Governor Candidates.” They make no mention of their partisan bias. You have to dig deep to find out it’s just a marketing opportunity for Democratic candidates.
And speaking of those candidates, just like the current Governor, they leave a lot to be desired regarding a coherent education policy. As of this writing, Steve Farley’s website has just 1 sentence about education. David Garcia’s website has just one education policy – free community college. Several months ago he said that details about how he would pay for the program would be forthcoming, but we’re still waiting. It’s pretty obvious he was just rushing to announce a policy that would attract young volunteers early in his campaign. Additionally, it’s just not that great of a plan. My higher education proposal is to price a 4-year university education at $10,000 per year including room and board. That way students can pay for a bachelor’s degree on a part-time, minimum wage job and graduate debt free.
But while policy details are important, that’s not really what we’re trying to discuss in this moment. That kind of thing is better addressed in… oh, I don’t know… an education town hall?
The thing that’s most important right now is that the AEA is throwing its substantial weight into reinforcing the broken party system that has left teachers and all Arizonans disillusioned. Aside from the fact that the AEA is overlooking the best candidate for reforming Arizona’s broken education system, it’s also disheartening that the AEA is neglecting its fiduciary responsibility to its members, 50,000 Arizona teachers.
Teachers are not predominately from one party or another. There are Republican, independent, Green, and Libertarian teachers. Unfortunately, when the AEA tries to pick political winners, it loses. Forced to either support the anointed Democrat or sit on the sidelines, many of its most thoughtful members get disheartened and just check out. They decide not to participate in the political process. The changes teachers need to happen don’t happen because the people who remain to fight for them aren’t strong enough by themselves to get it done.
If you’re disappointed in the AEA’s blatant disregard for the best interest of the teachers they represent and their bald-faced partisan preference, let them know! Go a step further by telling your friends to let them know, too.
- Tweet to @arizonaea
- Post to facebook.com/ArizonaEducati
- Email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call 602-264-1774
I’m Noah Dyer. I’m the independent candidate for Governor of Arizona. And I have real ideas to fix our broken education system and empower our talented, dedicated teachers and administrators. Visit noahdyer.com/education/