I recently spoke with two participants in the recent Arizona Town Hall about their findings. After
several days of meetings, discussions, and seminars the consensus is that preK-12 education in Arizona is in crisis.
The 110th Arizona Town Hall on Funding preK-12 Education tackled Arizona's outdated and convoluted education funding system with an eye toward building a more vital and competitive state. "Stop starving our public schools of funding" was the overarching recommendation of the 110th Arizona Town Hall which wrapped on November 15 in Mesa. Three days of discussions were informed by a data-rich background report, and by input from more than a dozen smaller Community Town Halls as well as Future Leaders Town Halls held all across the state in the months preceding the statewide gathering. Using the Town Hall's tried and true process of civil discourse and consensus dialogue, participants from rural and urban places, colleges, universities, small businesses and business advocacy organizations, education professionals including retired teachers and district leaders, all weighed in to help shape the final roadmap. They recommend that Arizona reverse the effects of a decade of budget cuts by providing an additional $2.35 billion in education investment annually, in addition to one-time investment of $1.64 billion.
I spoke with Town Hall participants Kathy Knecht and Zoe Richmond for our Valley Views program.
Here is the interview ...
And here are some photos from Town Hall sessions that give you an idea of the diversity of the
participants and the idea that a town hall is really a community event.