The need for funding our K-12 public education and our three Arizona State universities is paramount. Absent state funding, these critical institutions would certainly be crippled, decreasing the quality of education for students state-wide.
In order to stay nationally competitive, Arizona needs to have a strong emphasis on education. Politicians who have actually taken action and proposed legislation to preserve and restore such funding are few and far between. We can do better.
Personally speaking, I have a long history of public education advocacy in Arizona and this district specifically. In fact, my involvement dates back to when my opponent was still in grade school. Long before I ever considered running for office, I brought the Southwest Airlines Adopt-A-Pilot program to the Tempe Elementary and later Kyrene School Districts reducing.
Adopt-A-Pilot is a nationally accredited mentorship program for 5th grade students where professional pilots volunteer their time to teach English, history, geography, sciences and math.
A few years later, I founded a Dollars for Scholars Chapter here in our community. In just over a decade, we have provided scholarships to hundreds of public high school students, assisting them on their way to the college, university or trade school of their choice.
As your next State Senator, I plan to continue my work in education by ensuring financial needs are met.
Currently, Arizona’s education system is in turmoil. The legislature recently bonded $1 billion to the three state universities and we need to oversee that it is properly implemented on behalf of parents and our students.
And still, despite efforts like this, education continues to out-pace inflation. In fact, the Arizona Constitution reads that the price of higher education is to be “at or near free.” But because of politicians like my opponent, who has proposed no legislation on the matter, this constitutional promise to the people has not been upheld. It is no surprise our teachers walked out a few months ago.
As your next Senator, I intend to solve this problem by writing legislation that can restore our education funding. I will prioritize refocusing our state funding on our most precious resources – our teachers, students and classrooms.
At Southwest Airlines, where I’ve spent a career, I’ve seen first hand how we changed an industry for the better. We’ve made service fun, efficient and affordable. The same can happen in education here in Arizona with proper legislation.
The reward in education should be in teaching. By working with administrators to eliminate inefficiencies and level the playing field between all public schools we can achieve greater transparency and more accountability while restoring funds to the classroom.
I look forward to bringing what I’ve learned as a military veteran and an airline Captain at one of the most successful companies in the world to the Arizona State Legislature while continuing to serve our educational community as I have been for decades.
-Frank Schmuck is the Republican candidate for the LD18 Senate seat.