Office of Education

School Choice Week Rally - January 29, 2016

PDF icon1-29-16_school_choice_week_rally_speech.pdf


School Choice Rally 1.29.16


Thank you, Janice.

And good morning, everyone!


What a GREAT turnout!


I know there are

School Choice events

going on all across America

this week.


But I can’t imagine

the crowds being as great

as this one --


at our State Capitol.


So, to the elected officials --

-- the teachers, the parents --

and of course,

the BEST students

in the country:



and THANK you

for joining us today.


There are few issues in education

as critically-important --

-- and as unifying --

as a parent’s right

to choose

the best school

for their child.


And as this great annual tradition

has demonstrated

for five years running…





-- When it comes

to celebrating

educational excellence --



does it bigger

or better --

-- than National School Choice Week!


Year after year --

-- kids, parents,

principals, teachers,

and leaders from every


and philanthropic background --


-- rally by the THOUSANDS

to support

and promote



YOU all

have contributed

to making THIS coalition

the greatest education-related effort



And more importantly --

-- to making ARIZONA --

THE national model

in advancing

parental choice

in education.


This is something

we can ALL be proud of.









opportunity in education --

for ALL children --


-- is not a political

or partisan effort.

It is a PRIORITY effort.



upon OUR ability

and commitment --


to expanding OPTIONS

for kids and parents --


-- and empowering


to make the decisions

that only THEY can.



Government can do a lot --

-- and we are --

to improve

educational results

for our kids.


Whether it’s

passing Prop 123 –


-- and getting

teachers and principals

the resources

they’ve been asking for --

WITHOUT raising taxes …


Or making it easier

for our best public schools

to expand

at low cost …




Getting more kids

OFF wait lists,

and INTO the best public schools

of their family’s choosing …


We are focused

on constant improvement

for our kids.


But the resources

and the reforms

can only go as far --


-- as the options available

to families.


Which is why

we must CONTINUE

to make

parental choice



-- not just a talking point.


Across the country

and here at this Capitol today --

-- are educators and advocates

representing a variety

of GREAT schooling options.


From traditional public schools,

to magnet schools --

-- to public charters--


-- to private --

-- to online --

-- to homeschooling.








do parents need to know

these options exist …


They ALSO must have

as much information and input

as possible

about each of them.


There’s nothing

more important

for a parent --


-- than doing the right thing

for their child.


And as those of us

with kids in school,

know --


these decisions --

-- the ones

that are going to determine

our children’s success

in school, college, career and life --

-- can be daunting.


OUR goal --

-- in Arizona --

is to make the process

as stress-free

and seamless

as possible.


We’re already

doing that better

than anyone in the country.


Thanks to fantastic

education leaders

like Janice Palmer



-- and the entire membership

of AZSBA --



School Boards Association


to sign on as a partner

to School Choice Week.


Thanks to

nationally-renowned advocates

like Lisa Graham Keegan --


-- one of the most hard-working

and influential

school choice champions

on the planet …


Thanks to all the organizations

and public servants

represented at this Capitol --


-- the parents, the students,

the stellar teachers

like Christine Marsh --


-- 2016 Teacher of the Year --


--who make our state proud --

and make the difference

in our kids’ lives

every day.


Thanks to ALL of you --

-- education in Arizona

is on the rise.



And we’re not slowing down.





As we join here today

in celebration

of the largest

education rally

in Arizona history --


there are some out there

who are more interested

in protecting the status quo --


-- rather than

promoting parental freedom

in education.

All WE can do

is continue to share

our message --


-- louder, wider

and more often.


My concern is --

and always will be --

-- for these kids here today --


and all over our state --

-- in classrooms,

-- at the local library,

-- at their kitchen table --


We owe it to them

to keep standing up for them

and their families.


Great things happen

when good people

come together

and put Arizona kids first.


That’s what we’re doing

by coming out

in numbers today...

and throughout this past week.


School choice

is about more

than just a week in January.


School choice

should be our mission

today, tomorrow,

and every day.


And I look forward

to standing with you,

and working with you --


-- to make Arizona

the best state in the country --


-- for children and families

looking for a world-class education.


The momentum is on our side –

so let’s keep it up.


Thank you.

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