What’s At Stake – Stephanie Christensen

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Dear Opponents of Invest in Education,

I grew up in Arizona schools. Horizon Community Center, a predominately white charter school, Kyrene school district, Tempe Union High School District, Arizona State University, Rio Salado College, and I return to ASU next month. Schools shape a person. Elementary years can be the most formative of one’s life, and mine was full of bullies, “1-upping”, and exclusion. Transferring to a public school for middle school saved me from adapting such behaviors. I met a range of people from different backgrounds, unique/caring/engaging teachers who bought all of the supplies in our classrooms, and began to love going to school. I took on leadership roles and was allowed to be on student council without needing to be popular. I attended and later became a counselor for 10 Minitown camps, where I helped 8th-grade students navigate challenges in their lives.

I grew up. Desert Vista High School was one of the most amazing schools full of opportunity, but as I grew close to teachers I still cherish and am friends with today, I understood how little they’ve been supported by the State. Their funding, their classrooms, their salaries. While these people dedicate their lives to forming better people of tomorrow, we give them nothing. And to again block the immense fight for funding shows a lack of care again. For years, Red for Ed has been showing up. Invest in Ed has been a popular community demand. Almost every candidate running this election claims to “support” education. Prove it. Finally, I am showing up stronger for the teachers and students of Arizona who deserve better.

Let’s get this right. Invest in Ed.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Christensen

Community Member

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