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 Teacher’s Salaries and Provide Additional Support in Classrooms
As a specialist in Special Education, I am reaching out to you to present an education proposal. The aim of this initiative is to bring attention to the crucial need for enhancing the compensation of public and charter school teachers across Arizona and to furnish them with additional support in the form of aides, specialist teachers, and extracurricular activities beyond English Language Arts and Mathematics.
According to TeachThought Staff (2016), teachers make over 1,500 split-second decisions on every school day, comparable to the demands faced by rocket scientists and brain surgeons. Despite this heavy workload, teachers often do not receive the recognition they deserve. In fact, 30% of teachers hold a second job to make ends meet due to their low salaries, with the average teacher in Arizona earning only $48,372 per year, among the lowest in the country (Texas State Teachers Association). Teachers spend long hours creating engaging lessons, tracking student progress, fostering supportive learning environments, and even spend their own money (The Education Market Association, 2019) to improve their students’ experiences. Despite these efforts, teachers are not paid commensurately for the invaluable work they do. As Jennifer Wieberg (2019) puts it, “I teach because I believe today is the day I will make a difference in the life of a child.” The people of Arizona must prioritize fair compensation for their dedicated teachers.
A study conducted in 2018 (Anthony) revealed that a staggering 65% of teachers reported experiencing burnout in their jobs and 85% were operating “unsustainably” with heightened health risks. At what point does the pursuit of “improvement” in outcomes take into consideration the effects on both the teachers and the students they instruct? This is where providing teachers with additional support, such as aides, specialist teachers, and a range of extracurricular activities beyond English Language, Arts and Mathematics, becomes crucial. Not only would this improve the well-being of teachers, but it would also broaden the horizons of students. Teachers already dedicate countless hours to their students, and with the support of others, their productivity could be doubled and students could receive more personalized or small-group instruction.
“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).