In the midst of an educational crisis in our state, Arizona Faith Network is supporting Arizona’s students as we stand in solidarity with school staff. Arizona’s children deserve a safe, nurturing school environment where they can be free to learn, play and grow.
Please join us at a clergy press conference on Wednesday, April 25 at 12 noon at the State Capitol, Rose Garden to pray and speak out on behalf of the safety, nourishment and education of Arizona’s children. There will be non-partisan statements and a time of prayer by clergy in support of a permanent funding solution to public education in Arizona. We support our students, families, teachers and school staff in publicly-funded schools, and we support the role of public education in democracy.
For too long, Arizona’s teachers and school support staff have been asked to provide a positive and nurturing learning environment without sufficient resources. AFN stands in solidarity with school employees in calling for adequate compensation. We stand ready to help our faith communities and constituents participate in the efforts to ensure Arizona’s children are tutored, fed and have a safe place to go during school hours in the event of a teacher and school employee walkout.
Although we understand the complexity of the issue, given that each school district will customize their response, we want to alert our constituencies across the state of the need to be ready to help. The daily routines of parents and children are going to be shifted if a walkout takes place. And for some families, it may be very difficult. Those who care about Arizona’s families will be asked to help, particularly in districts with high percentages of students on free and reduced price lunch.
AFN is working with various stakeholders to strategize on how we care for Arizona’s children in the event of a long-term walkout. Many houses of worship have already stepped up to provide meals, child care, activities and transportation support. Partnerships between school districts, youth serving organizations, churches, businesses and government agencies are developing to ensure that students continue to have the support they need and that parents have a place to take their children. If your house of worship is involved or is looking for ways to get involved, please let us know by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.