State Legislatures Miscellaneous

In Their Own Words: AZ GOP Legislators on Education

Ahead of the Save Our Schools candidate forum on Wednesday, American Bridge 21st Century released a third “In Their Own Words” blog to remind voters of Shawnna Bolick (LD-20),  Anthony Kern (LD-20), and other GOP legislative candidates’ radical anti-public education agendas and their efforts to funnel Arizonans’ tax dollars to private schools under the guise of “school choice.” 

Shawnna Bolick (LD-20):

  • “Basically, the state is telling us they really don’t need our kids five days a week in school from eight to three. Hopefully, education moves from seat time on the funding side. I think this is the perfect time to blow up the school finance funding model that we currently have.” (LINK, 5/28/20)

Anthony Kern (LD-20): 

  • “We cannot let our state turn blue… You will see comprehensive, grotesque sex education for your kids. You will see all the charter schools be pulled back. You will see complete funding into the billions of dollars for public education. You will see all parental choice in education removed.” (LINK, 11/14/19)
  • “I fully support ESAs, Educational Scholarship Accounts, and school choice, absolutely.” (LINK, 2/2/20)
  • “We support parental choice. We support ESAs. We support, across the board, parents choosing where they want to school their kids. (LINK, 2/2/20)

Wendy Rogers (LD-6):

  • “I am an educational choice kind of gal… I have been blessed with being able to have choice and home school and charter school. Arizona is really at the forefront of educational choice and I will do everything I can to maintain that.” (LINK, 4/17/14)
  • “The federal government should not be in our backyard, as far as education is concerned. I am a big proponent of educational choice… I am an ‘all of the above’ choice proponent for education.” (LINK, 6/5/14)

Walt Blackman (LD-6):

  • “I have always said that one thing that we could do without is the U.S. Department of Education…  What we need to do with the public schools…but if we put them on a competitive market, because it can be done…It’s already being done. We do that on public schools, put them in a competitive market and run those schools as a business.” (LINK, 7/12/20) 
  • “There are some districts out there they don’t want to go back to teach, they want to strike because they say it’s too dangerous! Too dangerous! I bet you some of them same teachers were down there rioting. I guarantee you… If you don’t want to teach that’s fine, but you’re not coming back.” (LINK, 7/31/20)
  • “When we get back in session and we have too many teachers that don’t want to go back and they want to strike, and y’all are up in the gallery with your mask on talking about more pay? Guess what? I’m going to give you your walking papers.” (LINK, 7/31/20) 
  • “So this is what I would like to do: those schools and teachers that are in school now… maybe they should just get this raise and those folks that aren’t in school maybe they don’t need part of this $164 million that we allocated for teacher salary increase.” (LINK, 8/18/20) 

 J.D. Mesnard (LD-17) 

  • “It’s unfortunate, but you do see some hostility aimed at charter schools… I’m less concerned about the means, as much as I am that they’re getting a good education… It’s unfortunate that some have sort of their favorites in the entirety of our K-12 system.” (LINK, 2/16/20)