Arizona offers unique opportunities for direct democracy based on initiative power. In 2012 the Arizona voters, for example, rejected the Proposition 204 initiative that sought to convert a temporary sales tax that funded education into a permanent tax.
In a 500-750-word “Letter to the Editor,” propose an initiative for an educational issue that you feel needs to be addressed. Include a plan about how this issue could become an initiative under Arizona law.
Your letter should be written to persuade others to agree with your position. Support your position with examples from case law, the U.S. Constitution, or other readings.
While APA format is not required for the body of this assignment, solid academic writing is expected, and in-text citations and references should be presented using APA documentation guidelines, which can be found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center.
“Arizona offers unique opportunities for direct democracy based on initiative power. In 2012 the Arizona voters, for example, rejected the Proposition 204 initiative that sought to convert a temporary sales tax that funded education into a permanent tax” (Heywood, 2019). In this letter, I will propose an initiative for an educational issue that I feel needs to be address, such as proposition 123 which would increase the salary of all public and charter school teachers throughout the state of Arizona, in addition to provide them with more support in the classrooms with aides, specialized teachers, and extra curricula activities outside English Language Arts and Mathematics.
In Article IV of the Arizona Constitution and as a citizen of Arizona, I have the right to propose proposition to help support teachers around the state of Arizona. In the Arizona Constitution under Article IV section 2 it reads, “Initiative power. The first of these reserved powers is the initiative. Under this power ten per centum of the qualified electors shall have the right to propose any measure, and fifteen per centum shall have the right to propose any amendment to the constitution” (AZ Constitution, Art IV, Sec. 2). I understand that I will need ten percent of the registered votes whom of which has voted in the previous election for governor signatures to get this proposition on the ballot.
Letter to the Editor
1531 Shaw Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85007
Dated: June 12, 2019
Arizona Capitol Museum
1700 W Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Subject: Increase Teaching Salary and Provide Additional Supports in the Classrooms
I am Courtney Hunter-Quevedo, an educator who specializes in Special Education. I am writing to you to propose an education initiative in order to highlight the importance of increasing the salary of all public and charter school teachers throughout the state of Arizona, in addition to provide them with more support in the classrooms with aides, specialized teachers, and extra curricula activities outside English Language Arts and Mathematics.
Teaching have been compared to a rocket scientist or brain surgeon with an average teacher making over 1,500 split second decision throughout a school day, (TeachThought Staff, 2016), most will never be treated like one. Nevertheless, they still have enough energy to lesson plan, attend meetings, parent conference, receive additional training, grade papers, attend to e-mails, prep for the next day activities, volunteer with all the extracurricular activities, yard duty and so much more. Over 30 percent of teachers have a second job (Texas State Teachers Association) to help support classroom funds and basic living needs. Not only should a teacher receive salary compensation for all the work they do, with more money teachers do not need to work a second or third job. The issue, that the people of Arizona are supporting and agreeing with me, is that teachers in Arizona are paid among the lowest in all fifty states with the average salary being $48,372. An average teacher works 50 hours a week doing more than the basic necessities of standing in front of a classroom and teaching out of a book. Teachers are creating engaging lessons, tracking and motivating students’ goals, developing intriguing learning environments, and spending more than $500 a year of their own money (The Education Market Association, 2019) to make all this happen. Stated by Jennifer Wieberg (2019), “I teach because I believe today is the day I will make a difference in the life of a child.” As teachers are only doing this for the students’ best interests, the people of Arizona need to consider this as a top priority.
A study conducted in 2018 (Anthony), states that 65 percent of teachers identified signs they were burning out in their jobs and 85 percent were diagnosed as working “unsustainably” with significantly increased risk to their health as a result. At what point does the relentless drive to “improve” outcomes, take account of the impact that this is having on the human being who teacher and the humans we teach? This is where the importance of supporting teachers with additional support in the classrooms with aides, specialized teachers, and extra curricula activities outside English Language Arts and Mathematics can not only improve the health of the teacher, but expand the minds of the students. Teacher put in countless hours during the school year and during the summer to ensure that students are thriving with the support of others this could double productivity and provide the one on one or small group instruction students need.
“Teaching is the one profession that creates all the other professions” (Anonymous). Teaching, education, and learning are extremely important to his state as well as the nation. Underpaying the public and charter school teachers devalues our education system. It sends a very important message to teachers and students all over the country and should be at the forefront of legislation. Help change the mindset of this state and other states by taking into account the pay of our teachers and providing them with support in the classrooms.
Anonymous. (n.d.) The 34 Most Inspirational Quotes About Teaching. Retrieved from https://www.rd.com/culture/teaching-quotes/
Anthony, James. (2018, Dec). 7 Conclusions from the World’s Largest Teacher Burnout Survey. Retrieved from https://notwaitingforsuperman.org/teacher-burnout-statistics/
Arizona Constitution. (1911). Retrieved from http://www.azleg.gov/const/arizona_constitution.pdf
Heywood, Chad. (2019). Letter to Editor and Draft Initiative. Grand Canyon University: POS-500 Retrieved from https://lms-grad.gcu.edu/learningPlatform/user/
TeachThought Staff. (2016, March). A Teacher Makes 1500 Educational Decisions A Day. Retrieved from https://www.teachthought.com/pedagogy/teacher-makes-1500-decisions-a-day/
Texas State Teachers Association. (2017). 11 Surprising Statistics That Sum Up the Life of a Teacher. Retrieved from https://www.weareteachers.com/life-of-a-teacher-stats/
The Education Market Association. (2019).