After working for over 33 years in the power industry, I know the importance of good paying jobs in a growing economy, job retention, and business development. When one chooses to raise their families in Northern Arizona, they need to be able to provide for their family. Northern Arizona should have the same job opportunities and safety as is provided in Phoenix. Workers are being impacted by the closing of some local coal power plants, now more than ever we need to work together with the local utility companies on creating and sustaining renewable clean jobs.
Northern Arizona public schools are vital to the success of our children. Many of the students in Holbrook School district travel from the Navajo Nation, a commute of 1 to 2 hours by school bus or family member. The voucher program would affect my school district In funding, by taking money away from our more rural districts.
In addition to ensure not only our school funding is not being taken away, but being increased, we need to revert back to funding our trade school programs. Many students won't go off to college and that’s okay, but we need to have options for them. I went to a trade school - apprenticeship program that was funded, in part, by the state. We need to work with the Unions and make it available to all students in the last 2 years of High school. This is similar to the opportunity I was given, and have been able to do quite well for myself thanks to the education I was awarded.
In order to be competitive in the global economy and prepare our youth for the world, we cannot continue to support both a budget that takes money from our schools, and programs that lessen the qualifications for our teachers.