The Political Action Committee of the MEA is chaired by Tom Lynch and Shane Rozamus.
This committee interviews candidates for local offices and makes recommendations to the Executive Board. Committee meetings are held at various times throughout the year, depending on political season. Please refer to the calendar for meeting dates and times.
The PAC often holds fundraising activities throughout the year to build our political action account. This account is used to contribute to candidates who stand with MEA on education issues, and who MEA recommends. Dues dollars do not go toward Political Action.
Our next social event is in March!! Join us for a social at The Backyard Brewery (The Yard) after school on April 13. We will be in the Green Room with the pool tables.
Think Education: The MEA asks for all members to contribute $5 each year to build the PAC fund. For every $5 donated, the members name goes into a box used for multiple raffles throughout the year.
Postcard Campaign!! This is on now!! Contact your legislators and tell them to vote NO on SB 193 (Voucher Bill). It will devastate public schools. The vote is one of the first in January, so send the postcards NOW!!
Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS) News:
Koch Brothers Announce a War – But Lose an Early Battle
This week, the Washington Post covered news that the billionaire conservative Koch brothers, Charles and David, are setting their sights on raiding public K-12 education for their own financial advancement. The news emerged from a swanky resort outside of Palm Springs, CA where the brothers Koch were holding forth with 550 of their favorite big-money donors. The group gathers annually to decide how to target their money in political and “charitable” giving. This year, the group plans to pump about $400 million in to wrecking public schools. The agenda seemed to include fighting for the expansion of voucher programs, and increased marketing of online education options (which many of them are no doubt invested in).
“The lowest hanging fruit for policy change in the United States today is K-12,” said one participant. Reports from the gathering point to a strategic decision that Arizona is ground zero for the effort. No big surprise: one of the guys in the room was Doug Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery and current Governor of Arizona, who last year signed legislation last year to dramatically expand the state’s tax credit voucher program. The state also has a robust charter industry that’s expanding rapidly and is largely unregulated. Seems like a smart pick for investment.
But hold on. Because the people of Arizona have already shown that they can fight back. After the new voucher measure was signed, public school supporters gathered thousands of petitions to require the state to put the expansion measure to a vote of the people. Though many said it couldn’t be done, the petition drive wrapped up well ahead of schedule with well above the required number of signatures.
Predictably, the American Federation for Children and other pro-voucher groups filed a lawsuit arguing that, for a number of reasons, the petitions were invalid, and the referendum should not be allowed to go forward. But last week, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge denied the suit, allowing the planned referendum to go forward. While the pro-voucher groups will appeal, it looks like this is going to become a massive effort to prevail at the ballot box. While funding from the pro-voucher forces will be seemingly insurmountable, let us not forget Question 2 in Massachusetts in 2016, which was also a national target for the charter industry, yet went down to defeat. Turns out money talks, but people vote. Much more to come from Arizona—and the Kochs—this coming year.