January 3, 2005
Conservative lawmakers gained ground during November’s election in the state House and Senate, which bodes well this session for advocates of parental choice issues such as private school tuition vouchers.
The power shift, meanwhile, bodes ill for anyone hoping Arizona’s Instrument to Measure Standards test will go away before 2006.
Five East Valley lawmakers will serve on the House Education K-12 Committee, and all five are Republicans.
The only East Valley Democrat on the Senate Education K-12 Committee will be former Tempe mayor and retired teacher Harry Mitchell. Overall, Republicans will outnumber Democrats 12 to six on the committees combined.
Both committees also will include lawmakers with ties to and experience with charter schools.
Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, on the House education committee, operates the Benjamin Franklin charter schools in Gilbert, Mesa and Queen Creek. Rep. Mark Anderson, R-Mesa, has had children attend charter schools as well as schools in the Mesa Unified School District.
On the Senate side, Sen. John Huppenthal, R-Chandler, sits on the governing boards of Ball Charter School-Dobson in Chandler and Ball Charter School-Hearn in north Phoenix.