Bringing Up Arizona: 10 Key Primary Races Will Bear On Public Education

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District 10

Eastern Tucson

House of Representatives

Democratic Primary (vote for two)

              Kirsten Engel (D)

              Courtney Frogge (D)

              Stefanie Mach (D) – incumbent

Democrats have a challenge in filling the shoes of Bruce Wheeler, who was among public education’s staunchest defenders in the Legislature.

Wheeler’s compatriot, Stefanie Mach, is running against two newcomers for the two slots on the Democratic ticket.

Mach proved her bonafides over the past two years.  She, like Wheeler, voted in accord with the recommendations of the Arizona School Boards Association all but one time in 2015.  The one exception was on a bill dealing with tax credit donations that also drew the opposition of Wheeler and a majority of other Democrats who believe the provision primarily benefits advantaged schools to the detriment of disadvantaged schools.

The question is who should join Mach on the Democratic ticket.

Frogge shows no particular enthusiasm for education issues.  Her website is all about her own educational pedigree (a master’s degree from the London School of Oriental and African Studies) and endorsements she has received.  The website makes one affirmative statement about education:  “We can – and must – fund public education in order to improve our economy and create quality, high paying jobs as well as training the next generation of Arizona workers to fill them.“

The website provides no specifics on that or, for that matter, on any other issues.  Her answers to a candidate survey done by the Children’s Action Alliance, including questions on education, were perfunctory.

By comparison, Engel entered the race to help the public education system.

Engel, a law professor at the University of Arizona whose daughter attends a Tucson public elementary school, writes (in her public statement on the Arizona Secretary of State’s election web page): “Seeing daily the sad state of education funding in our schools, I knew I had to try to make things better . . . “

From her election website: “Education is not only a matter of personal growth and advancement; it is the No. 1 thing we can do to improve our state’s economy . . . I will fight to institute permanent sources of funding so our schools do not need to go hat-in-hand to the legislature every year.”

Engel also seeks to go to bat for her fellow teachers:  “If we expect to recruit and sustain great teachers, we must find ways to treat them with the respect they deserve as professionals.”

See full article on Bring Up Arizona.