Dave Hodges

More About: Education: Government Schools

Unification-The ONLY Option


How would you, the voter, like to increase the quality of education without an equivalent raise in taxes?

In my role as the Libertarian candidate for the County Superintendent of Maricopa County, I find myself constantly having to take sides on very difficult and controversial issues. However, when it comes to the question of school district unification, I do not have the slightest bit of hesitation in lending my full support towards the passage of this proposal.

Presently, the biggest waste of Arizona tax monies is the extreme duplication of school districts which finds that Arizona currently having over 220 elementary, high school and unified school districts. The number of school districts in the state is three times the number of Arizona’s 87 cities and towns. The burden upon the taxpayer is enormous and the resulting discontinuity of our educational system hinders student performance.   

In the Old West, elementary districts were created because it was believed, at the time, that an elementary education was all that was needed for a child to successfully transition into adulthood. As education demands for Arizona increased, high school age children were educated in a separate and newly created district. This unneeded layer of expensive bureaucracy was no doubt made by and for administrators seeking to protect their own turf.
When a child passes from elementary to high school, in the present plan, there is little in the way of curriculum continuity and children’s learning is impeded by this disconnection. Certainly, the decision to not merge the high school grades into the elementary districts was not done in the best interest of the child.

By eliminating much of the Arizona’s administrative duplication and its associated costs, school districts can allocate money back into the classroom where it belongs. The present unification effort will result in a need for fewer administrators, support staff and will save money on costs associated with multiple elections, construction costs, transportation expense and food service.  The public has long advocated for an increase in teacher pay where Arizona lags significantly behind the national average. The money saved from the unification effort will result in not only increased teacher salaries, but in lower class sizes and the ability for school districts to offer new and enriched academic programs.

In the upcoming November 4th election, Arizona has a chance to step forward and direct more of its tax dollars to teacher pay and lower class sizes by supporting school district unification. For more information on this tax saving and educational enhancement idea, please visit www.yesonthequestion.com.

Arizona's public school system is dysfunctional and disorganized. It has allowed separate elementary and high school districts to have continued well beyond their usefulness to the children. The plethora of school districts creates a multitude of obstacles in relation to the academic instruction of our children. It further burdens taxpayers with extreme administrative duplication and inefficiency. Therefore, I urge the public to join me and vote "Yes" on the question of unification.

1 Comments in Response to

Comment by Don Cordell
Entered on:
I agree, that additional education supported by the taxpayers is the same as the original supposition that education benefits the entire nation.

If any grade school education is worthwhile, then all education should be the goal of our educational system.

Up until 1940, most children were only required to attend school to 8th grade, or age 16. After 1940 we deemed it beneficial that all children should graduate from High School.

Now in todays High Tech work place, I believe at least 2 years of Jr. College are the minimum, or at least 2 years of Trade School, to learn hands on skills, Painters, Auto Workers, Machinists, Computers, all manufacturing type jobs, Chemistry, and skills not taught in many of our High Schools anymore for fear the child might be injured.

We need real education, not passed on to the next grade by age.

We need to meet the needs of our employers so they can**Q**t say, We have to hire Aliens on Visa**Q**s to find workers educated to do the jobs.

Look how many Congress and Senate members we have that I doubt if they have even an 8th grade education. There does not seem to be any educational requirement to run our nation.

It**Q**s time we Restore education for our childrens future.

BUT: I also believe we need some restriction on children of various age groups in school. It is not safe to mix 6 year olds with 12 year olds, or 9 year olds with 16 year old children, and I believe we must be more aware for the safety of our children in the school setting.

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