With over 29,000 members, the Arizona Education Association is by far the largest professional organization in Arizona. AEA was formed more than a century ago, in 1892, when a group of Arizona educators banded together to protest the use of 14-year-old textbooks.  Since that time AEA has maintained its leading position in advocating for support of Arizona's public schools, improving the quality of public education through positive change, and improving the professional lives of teachers and school staff members.  There are more than 150 local affiliated associations statewide such as the Mesa Education Association, Tucson Education Association and Flagstaff Education Association.  More than a thousand educators and educational support personnel volunteer their services to their locals on behalf of the members. 

Association membership is open to employees of all Arizona public schools, college and university employees, retired educators, and college students studying to be teachers. If one of these categories includes you, we hope you'll join us soon. Contact us at the address listed below. 

AEA programs include professional development, bargaining and advocacy, government relations, communications and public relations, legal services, and special services.  AEA actively participates in many education, business, and civic partnerships and coalitions as part of its mission to make Arizona's public schools the best in the nation. 

AEA's positions and policies are voted on by 900 locally elected representatives to the annual AEA Delegate Assembly. The Delegate Assembly in turn elects the AEA officers and the AEA Board of Directors who employ staff and implement policy.

Arizona Education Association 
4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1600 
Phoenix, AZ 85012-1907 

1.602.264.1774, 1.800.352.5411 (in AZ) 
Fax: 1.602.240.6887
Office hours:  7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday to Friday 

The Arizona Education Association is affiliated with the 2.2-million member National Education Association, Washington D.C.  

Official Arizona Education Association Web Page On This Issue Is At:

Proposition 203 : English for the Children

[Proposition 203]  Requires that all public school instruction be conducted in English..

Proposition 203 would remove the ability of school districts to provide needed bilingual and English as Second Language classes for non-English speaking students.

Instead, students would be placed in an intensive one-year English immersion programs to teach them the language as quickly as possible.

It would eliminate well-researched programs for transitioning non-English speaking children and replace them with English immersion. It would also diminish a parent's choice in deciding what is best for their child.

Penny Kotterman  
President, Arizona Education Association  
4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1600 
Phoenix, AZ 850122  

 On behalf of more than 30,000 dedicated public school employees I strongly urge all voters to vote "no" on Proposition 203.  Students who are learning English as a second language have the fundamental right to the most appropriate and suitable method for learning English in school; this proposition eliminates that right.  All students deserve an education that culminates in their fluency in English and their mastery of academic content.  For students learning English, a foundation in literacy and academic concepts in their native language provides them equal footing as they move through a program of language acquisition. Denying students this opportunity relegates them to a second tier of achievement as they fall behind in their content studies while struggling with a foreign language.  

Parents, not state government, should make decisions regarding their child's education.  This proposition tells parents who want the opportunity of a bilingual education that the bureaucracy knows better - they can not make that choice.  Such a limitation of choice and prospect must be considered a violation of civil rights as one class of citizens finds a door to opportunity slammed in their faces.  

Furthermore, teachers could find themselves threatened by the law for using their professional judgement.  If a teacher determined that a student did not understand a concept explained in English, this proposition would legally prohibit her from teaching that concept in the child's native language.  State government has no business intruding into professional decisions made in the classroom.  

In short, Proposition 203 threatens teachers who would make educational decisions in the best interest of their students, revokes parental rights of choice regarding their child's education, and punishes children whose first language is not English by denying them educational opportunities.  Please vote "no".  

Penny Kotterman  
President, Arizona Education Association  
4000 North Central Avenue, Suite 1600  
Phoenix, AZ 850122  

This letter is at:

What can you do to help?

Itís important that every school employee is registered to vote and cast ballots in the September primary and the November general election.

Your vote is the single most powerful voice you have to tell elected officials how you feel about issues that impact your way of life.

To vote in the September primary, completed registration forms must be signed, dated and either delivered or postmarked by midnight Aug. 14, 2000.

Since Arizona is an open primary state, individuals registered as Independents can vote either in the Republican or Democratic primary. It is in the primary where most legislative races are determined.

To be eligible to vote in Arizona, individuals must be a United States citizen, a resident of the State of Arizona, at least 18 years old and not have a felony conviction.

Registering to vote has never been easier. To request voter registration forms locally, contact your county recorder. The recorderís office processes the registration forms while the county election office handles elections.

The Secretary of Stateís office allows individuals to print a registration form off its website, The website also includes information about early voting, a list of candidates running for state offices and ballot measures.

For more information, call the Voter Registration Hotline at 1-877-THE-VOTE (1-877-843-8683).

Primary Election Sept.12th
General Election Nov. 7th      Registration Deadline Oct. 9th

Last updated on August 24, 2000.
Arizona Education Association, 4000 N. Central Ave., Suite 1600, Phoenix, AZ 85012
Hq:(800) 352-5411 or (602) 264-1774, Fax: (602) 240-6887
Contact the Web Site: Administrator