The public school system in Arizona is a complete mess. But during the past few years, it really hit a new low.
Attempts to indoctrinate children with Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory have been spreading throughout our public school districts. COVID shutdowns have wreaked havoc on students’ education—especially low-income parents and children. In the meantime, public school spending surged during COVID while teacher pay didn’t keep pace. But that didn’t stop failed teachers’ unions like Red4ED from trying to use the “low teacher pay” narrative in their attempts to push more ridiculous tax increases on taxpayers like you.
Of course, all of this is only more infuriating when you consider that the majority of Arizona students continue to fail the statewide assessment. And ACT scores for Arizona students have fallen below the standards for our state universities. That’s why the Club made it a priority to drain the public school swamp in this past November’s election.
19 Club-Endorsed Candidates Won School Board Seats
Defeating the Left isn’t just about winning statewide races. If we are ever going to stop the radical woke agenda, local school board races are critical. Altogether, the Club endorsed 28 different candidates for school boards throughout the state, and 19 of them won a seat. When you consider that school boards have been overrun by leftist activists for years, this is a huge victory, especially in a city like Scottsdale.
Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) has been one of the worst offenders when it comes indoctrinating children with gender identity ideology. SUSD allows and even encourages students to replace their “deadname”—the birth name that individuals reject upon transitioning genders—with their preferred name on their school ID. On top of that, one Scottsdale principal required middle school teachers to attend grooming training without facing any accountability from the school board. Another Scottsdale teacher pushed radical sex theories that were not approved by the district. And the district also went on to promote a “Drag Queen Story Hour.”
But in this past November’s election, Club-endorsed candidates Amy Carney and Carine Werner won the two available seats to serve on the Scottsdale School Board. Both these moms have made it a commitment to root out controversial indoctrination programs and refocus the district on strengthening students in the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic. And they will serve as a crucial voice for parents throughout the city.
Tom Horne Will Replace Union Darling Kathy Hoffman as Superintendent
Along with the great success in local school board races, Republican Tom Horne triumphed over Kathy Hoffman in the race for Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction. Tom served in this same position from 2003 to 2011, and now he will make it a priority to stop indoctrination like Critical Race Theory, fight back against cancel culture, and improve student performance.
In addition, Tom has been a strong advocate for school choice and empowering parents—which stands in stark contrast to current Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. Kathy was a vocal opponent of the state’s recent law that expands Empower Scholarship Accounts (ESA) to all K-12 students. And she supported the failed Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) ballot initiative that sought to stop universal school choice. Hoffman was everything the radical left and K-12 spending lobby wanted in a candidate, and she lost.
Tom hasn’t wasted any time getting to work as our top education official. He has already appointed Christine Accurso, who led the Decline to Sign movement to stop SOSAZ’s ballot initiative, to be the Executive Director of the ESA division of the Department of Education. This was a critical hire given the bureaucratic roadblocks erected against the ESA program by the Hoffman regime.
Fixing the management and application process for the ESA program is an important step, but it’s just the beginning. Arizona’s public education system needs a significant overhaul, and the people of Arizona know it. Now, Tom Horne and the newly elected conservative board members need to get to work making that happen. And the GOP needs to build upon the momentum it created in winning the education debate.
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