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Red for Ed proponents canvassing in last minute push before election

Posted: 3:15 PM, Nov 03, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-04 23:07:17-05

In the dash for the election finish line, democratic candidates Kyrsten Sinema, David Garcia, Katie Hobbs, and January Contreras stood shoulder to shoulder with education advocates at the Arizona Education Association headquarters.

"The Attorney General has a role of protecting people and protecting our state constitution. It has a beautiful commitment to our families in Arizona that says our legislature has an obligation to fund and keep funding the improvement of our K-12 public schools," said Contreras.

Red for Ed proponents set out on Saturday to reach voters and rally support for candidates with pro-education platforms. Red for Ed suffered a major setback when the Invest in Education proposition was thrown off the ballot in August. It would have increased taxes on high-income earners to fund education.

"The real crime in losing Invest in Ed is it's going to be at least two years before we have a significant funding package to put in front of the voters and that's going to hurt the students," said Arizona Education Association President Joe Thomas.

Now the group has its sights set on getting people to vote 'No' on Prop 305 and repeal the expansion of a voucher system that redirects taxpayer dollars to fund students in private or home-based schooling. But gubernatorial hopeful David Garcia said their efforts go beyond this.

"More than anything, this isn't about a single proposition, it isn't about a single initiative," Garcia said. "This is about changing leadership in Arizona and I believe our teachers understand that they need to change leadership so in the future they're not having to battle the governor or legislature. They've got people that are ready to stand with public education."

And with all of the talk this election of a blue wave, Thomas said education shouldn't be a blue or a red issue.

"I want to see an education wave. If that comes on the side of the democrats that's fine. But educators need champions down there supporting us in finding permanent revenue streams so we can fund our classrooms appropriately and give our students a chance," Thomas said.

Early voting is over, however, there are five emergency vote centers  across the Valley open on Monday. If you had an early ballot and have not mailed it yet, you are asked to take it to a polling location in your county on Tuesday to drop it off.