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NAPA, Calif. — Hot air balloons drifting in multicolored splashes against a blue heaven are a common sight in the Napa Valley. But lately, more than balloons have been taking to the wine country skies.
In high schools across the nation today, teenagers will dutifully shuffle in to their classes, take their seats, and learn facts that they could easily Google. In doing so, our schools waste both the teachers’ and the students’ time and energy (and the taxpayers’ money) by focusing too much on memorization, too much on information that anyone with an internet connection and a vague understanding of how to use it can find in less than ten seconds.
Q: Why are you running?
A: I want to grow our economy and provide a bright future for our children. Our Legislature needs to focus on long-term goals, not just short-term requirements.
I’m running because a strong economy demands a prepared workforce and a reliable infrastructure. For over 25 years, I’ve been in business. I’ve worked for multi-national corporations as a computer systems analyst, and I’ve been an entrepreneur. For 25 years, I’ve been building coalitions of parents and community members for quality public education. With a team, I co-founded the local group, Yes Public Ed, and the statewide group, the APPLE Coalition, to develop continuous dialogue between elected officials and community members — parents, teachers, retirees, and business leaders — for quality public education.
We need leaders who understand technology and collaboration because those are the keys to the innovation economy and the good jobs with great pay and a ladder to advancement. I will work to bring business and education leaders together to focus on preparing our most important resource, our people, for the challenges of global competition. I will always keep a keen eye for innovations that can support Arizona’s businesses, because when our businesses are strong, Arizona is strong.
Q: Arizona is predicted to be among the fastest-growing states in terms of job growth in the coming years. What can Arizona do to accelerate the growth and what industries should it target, especially for residents of your district?
A: There are several opportunities to accelerate job growth in Arizona, and growing jobs is my No 1 priority. We need high-paying jobs that have a ladder for advancement, and create positive economic ripple effects for all of Arizona.
The Research and Development Refundable Tax Credit has been a successful program to help startups in the innovation economy to grow. The return on investment has been beneficial. With a $15 million investment, we can attribute $2.26 billion of growth in our economy. From millions to billions is a good ROI! I have been meeting with innovation entrepreneurs in places like TechShop and Gangplank to learn more about the resources they need to grow manufacturing jobs here.
To encourage more companies to relocate or expand in Arizona, we need a great business environment that includes a full complement of factors: talented workforce, low taxes, reliable infrastructure and quality of life. We need a talented workforce to continue to attract companies, like Intel, Honeywell and Fuji Film, as economic anchors. In conversations with people who work in these large multinational firms, I’ve heard repeatedly that they want more Arizona graduates in STEAM — science, technology, engineering, arts and math. I’ve attended the Sci-Tech Festivals to learn more about how excellence in these important fields is being encouraged.
By supporting education, and certain capital programs for startups, we can help more and more people to not only get a job, we can help them to make more jobs!
Q: Given the state’s decision to back out of the PARCC test, should Arizona continue to follow Common Core standards? If not, what standards should the state implement for its students?
A: The ACCRS (Arizona’s College and Career Ready Standards) are not perfect. We need an Arizona solution to prepare our students to be college and career-ready. We must have high standards in our schools so that we will have high standards in our workforce and quality of life.
Q: The approval of Gov. Jan Brewer’s Medicaid funding was a contentious issue in 2013. Now with a year gone, was the decision by Brewer and the Legislature the correct decision for Arizona?
A: It was the correct decision. With the AHCCCS Restoration, we have a healthier workforce and a healthier budget. Repealing the plan is and extreme reaction. That would leave a huge deficit in the budget and it would mean that our tax dollars — paid by Arizonans — would go to other states instead of helping our state.
With the plan in place, health care providers — that are major economic pillars — are reporting much better financial results. The math continues to work. The health care industry provides not only great jobs with high pay, but also helps to keep more Arizonans healthy and productive at work.
Q: Given recent protestations about “dark money” affecting political campaigns, is there a problem with the campaign finance system in Arizona? Similarly, would you vote to present campaign finance reform legislation to voters in the next two election cycles?
A: “Dark money” is dangerous because it can open the door to corruption. If we don’t know who is donating to a campaign, we cannot know the true intentions of the campaign.
Accountability and transparency have always been important to me. As a school board member, I worked hard with staff members to bring more community members into the district to be included in decisions, and I spoke up repeatedly for clear communications that did not hide the truth behind jargon. I will continue to stand for improving transparency in the state.
Q. Would you say your district is delivering quality services now and what, if any, changes would you make?
Like many middle-class parents, we promised our kids that we would pay for their college education, a reasonable promise in the 1980s from two parents who were teachers. We are still paying off their college loans in 2014, yet we feel lucky compared to students and families who are paying off college loans accrued between 2008 and 2014.
In reference to “the Committee to elect Mr. Cruz” letter in the June 15 Inbox concerning the override vote not being put on the ballot. He did state it would be for the third time and that the board ignored the wishes of the 30,000 students and families in Gilbert.
“I can hardly wait for the Tribune to start printing letters from homeowners in the new Eastmark development complaining about noise from Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport and suggesting that it be shut down. Here’s a crazy idea – if you don’t want to live next to an airport, don’t buy a house next to an airport.”
A GPS device installed and tracked by police without a warrant is illegal even if the person being targeted for tracking is not the owner of the vehicle, the state Court of Appeals ruled Monday.
Is it 10 or 20 percent off your bill?
I think I am not alone in growing so tired of Don Kennedy’s “rants” in the AFN. Surely there has to be a more productive and community-embraceable dialog than his extreme “right-wing” discourse and that of the opposing Nancy Pelosi-ish left. The best thing for our country is for those of us in the moderate middle to take back the discussion and elect public servants who will serve the interest of the vast (and too-often silent) majority of our citizens.
Last November the voters of Gilbert School District resoundingly defeated the override. This year, the GPS board has voted to give raises, increase the primary property tax rate, and is now asking for another tax increase, at a taxpayer cost of $328,000.
WASHINGTON D.C. - U.S. employers added a robust 195,000 jobs in June and many more in April and May than previously thought. The job growth suggests a stronger economy and means the Federal Reserve could slow its bond purchases as early as September.
Editor’s note: This is part four of a continuing summer series on the proposed South Mountain Loop 202 Freeway.
Garmin has spent more than four years as a Chandler renter. Now, the company plans to build its own home and become a permanent resident.
After five years as a renter, Garmin announced it will build a 60,000 sq. foot facility of its own in the Chandler Corporate Center.
Arizona public schools again had some of the lowest per-pupil spending in the nation in 2011, ahead of only Oklahoma, Idaho and Utah, according to a recent Census Bureau report.
Stephen Rayleigh and Matt Lyon thought they were done with careers in drones after they left the Army in 2010 and enrolled at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott.
They were 12 ordinary citizens who didn't oppose the death penalty. But unlike spectators outside the courthouse who followed the case like a daytime soap opera and jumped to demand Jodi Arias' execution, the jurors faced a decision that was wrenching and real, with implications that could haunt them forever.
Q: What can I do to get better battery life from my smartphone? It doesn’t even get me through the afternoon on most days. — Ed
A lone, painted white bicycle sits at the side of Usery Park Road near Bush Highway.
It’s May. Memorial Day and the end of the school year are in sight. Suddenly, you’re thinking about a summer vacation. A little advance planning — and some insider tips — can save you a lot of money. Whether you’re booking airfare, a car rental or a hotel room, there are questions you should ask first.
If it sometimes seems like no one is driving that car in front of you weaving in and out of traffic, you could soon be right.
Saying they can’t find qualified applicants for jobs, business leaders from around the state asked lawmakers Wednesday to support funding to implement the new “Common Core Standards.”
Business leaders told state lawmakers Wednesday the recently adopted Common Core Standards for education will produce a workforce better versed in the math and critical reasoning skills they need.