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Guest Commentary

Kurland: Menzel works for all Scottsdale Unified students


So, once again a bunch of educational terrorists are holding our community schools hostage.

In a Jan. 26 press release from our LD3 State Representatives they stand “unanimously opposed” to any attempt to override the voter-approved Aggregate Expenditure Limit. They go on to spout “…government-run school districts continue to increase class sizes, strip teachers of critically needed classroom resources, and force feed a far-left worldview on children.”

Where to begin? First off, Arizona has been run by Republicans for the last five decades and counting. School funding went from 26th in the nation on a per-pupil funding basis to 49th during those years. The voters created the “limit” in 1980. Without this archaic device being lifted, the already budgeted dollars from last year will not be able to be spent this academic year.

Schools will essentially need to close by April Fool’s Day (nope, not a joke). Everyone will say that there is no greater priority than our children. But look at the actions of the talkers and then look at the actions of the doers.

Speaking of which, these same terrorists are now calling on the leader of one of these “government-run” school districts to be fired. Why? Because he is a doer; he works for all our children and not just the crème de la crème.

What was his offense? A wide-ranging interview from 2019 where he had the temerity to speak openly and honestly about some data driven decisions. “We’re going to hold ourselves accountable for the ways in which we’re disrupting and dismantling systems that deny access and opportunity for kids of color, kids in poverty, and kids with IEPs.” I would encourage everyone to read the interview here https://torchlightmedia.net/2019/06/07/public-schools-and-social-justice-an-interview-with-dr-scott-menzel/

Dr. Menzel labors for each and every kid. He asks the tough questions and listens to the difficult answers. After having spent time with him on a district committee updating the SUSD mission, vision, and goals, I came out of retirement to rejoin the district. He is inspiring.

I also ran for the Legislature in 2018 and 2020 to protect our students from these terrorists. Unfortunately, I lost those two races. But, the struggle matters. The doers matter. I will continue to stand behind Dr. Menzel and hold my breath as we approach this funding apocalypse while our representatives continue to play political games.