Yesterday, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against the Invest in Education campaign and ordered the removal of Proposition 207 from the November ballot. This is a final decision, with no possibility of appeal. It is utterly outrageous that the court has joined the politicians at the Capitol in protecting the elite and wealthy over the rights of voters and the needs of Arizona's children. They’ve blatantly ignored the basic right, enshrined in the Arizona Constitution, of Arizona voters to enact laws on their own behalf.  

Corporate lobbyists have worked for weeks to concoct a complaint against the initiative that could reach the Supreme Court. The lower court had denied their claims that a common syntax error about the use of the word percent was grounds to deny the voters of Arizona the opportunity to vote on a measure that would provide critical funding to support the education of our children.

We were very confident their appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court would be denied based on many similar cases that had been decided in the past. At the same time, we had doubt because we know that in his first year in office, Governor Ducey worked with legislative leaders to expand the number of Supreme Court Justices from five to seven allowing him to potentially stack the court. Governor Ducey appointed judges including anti-public school activist Clint Bolick of the Goldwater Institute.  

We knew the system is rigged against average Arizonans, but now we know that the politicians who got us into this mess will do anything to keep our schools and students last. Yesterday’s unprecedented court ruling means that voters in Arizona have been stripped of the right to vote on whether to restore nearly $700 million to our schools.  

Just like politicians ignored teachers during the walk out, the governor and his cronies now are ignoring the 270,000 volunteers who signed the Invest in Education petitions to do the job he won’t do and fund our schools. He can block our initiative, but he cannot block our resolve to make a difference for our students.  

Those in power think they have beaten us. Once again, they are wrong. Remember why the #RedforEd movement started. Remember who you are doing this for and keep fighting. We are all in this together, and we will see this through together.

Many schools are wearing red today. Some educators in Phoenix organized a protest at the Supreme Court today. Tucson educators are organizing a stand out for the weekend. We encourage your staff to act in solidarity.  

We are building plans for a statewide response. This movement is led by educators in every school across Arizona like you. Please convene educators where you work today or tomorrow and discuss this issue. Answer these key questions as a team and submit a report to us. Your staff input will guide our statewide next steps. We will report back to you with plans to fight for the funding our students deserve.
In Solidarity,

Joseph H. Thomas, President
Arizona Education Association