• 2022 Gubernatorial Candidate Forum



    Arizona's Public Education Challenges, 2022 and Beyond: A Gubernatorial Candidate Forum



    Kari Lake  ~  Matt Salmon  ~  Karrin Taylor Robson  ~  Aaron Lieberman  ~  Katie Hobbs  ~  Marco Lopez


    Join us to learn more about where the candidates stand on the public education issues that concern you!


    When:  Friday, May 27, 2022, 10am - 11:30am  |  Where:  a virtual event on the Zoom platform

    Scroll down for the virtual event link -- you do not need to register for this event. 

    Download the Flyer. 


    Purpose: The purpose of the forum is to give each candidate an opportunity to present what is important to them on the future of public education in Arizona and to respond to issues and challenges that they choose to highlight as part of their message to the audience. This forum will be unique to each candidate as their priorities will be reflected in the questions they choose to respond to and the order they wish the questions to be asked.  Each candidate will be given equal time and opportunity to address the questions they choose.  Questions from the attendees will be submitted via the Q&A feature.

    Format:  This will be a fully moderated forum for the candidates to present their views to a virtual audience, not a debate.  Time will be equally allotted for the candidates.  And candidates’ responses to each question will be limited to 3 minutes.   This will be a virtual event on the Zoom platform. 

    Presented by: Arizona Business & Education Coalition (ABEC).   The Arizona Business & Education Coalition is a non partisan, non profit, statewide coalition of business, education, and community leaders.   

    Attendees: This forum is open to all, there is no fee; and there are no sponsors.   Other education, business, and community organizations are joining ABEC to distribute this free invitation to a statewide audience.  This is offered as a public service to all those interested.

    Moderator’s Questions for candidates. Each candidate will select from the following the questions they want to be asked and choose the order they are to be asked in.

    1)  Arizona’s school finance system was once considered a nationwide model when first adopted.  Much has changed since then.  Numerous changes to statutes including many school reforms and tax laws have altered the original distribution.  As a principle going forward, do you believe Arizona’s school finance system is in need of change?  If so, what are the major components of possible changes you would advocate as Governor?

    2)  School performance has become a mirror image of Arizona’s socio-economic spectrum.  This has led to the discussion of “student equity” as one means to get all students to the graduation finish line; providing more resources to poorer districts in hopes of achieving gains in both graduation and achievement metrics.  Should state school funding be used to address achievement gaps and as tool to combat poor student performance in economically depressed public charter and traditional district schools?

    3)  The pandemic has had an ubiquitous, nationwide impact on student performance.  In light of the lowered growth in test scores and virtually all student achievement metrics as nearly universally agreed to by both Arizona business and education leaders (the Education Progress Meter), is it time to move away from “high stakes” testing and focus more on grade level achievement as a means of recognizing higher performing schools and getting students back on track?  Do you have other ideas you’d like to share that will achieve higher student performance possibilities?

    4)  Capital construction in Arizona is largely made up of a mix of local bonds or loans and funding from the Arizona School Facilities Board (SFB).  However, funding must be approved by the legislature and arguably is not generally awarded at a level sufficient to both maintain and operate Arizona’s aging facilities plus fund new construction as well.  Is the default of state funding sufficient to maintain and operate schools in any given year a concern of yours?  Do you support the current system of bonds and overrides to make up for capital needs not otherwise available?  Do you have other ideas on how we can relieve the pressures on secondary property tax payers that cannot provide equal funding across Arizona’s public school systems, seemingly in contradiction to the Arizona Constitution and court mandates?

    5)  The safety of children has continued to be a concern in Arizona and across the entire country.  What are your thoughts on improving student, staff and community safety in and around our traditional public and charter schools?

    6)  Do you support greater investment in the mental and behavioral health needs of Arizona students?  Why or why not?

    7)  Accountability and transparency have always been a significant concern to taxpayers and parents.  Do you believe the current system of accounts for traditional and public charter schools is adequate?  Should all taxpayer dollars expended in Arizona’s public education system be accounted for the same as one way to ensure transparency and accountability?  Do you have other ideas?

    8)  School governance has become a significant debate in Arizona and all around the country.  As a matter of principle, do you believe that local control as is exemplified by locally selected boards of directors or publicly elected governing boards is the proper foundation to be deferred to for optimum school governance?  

    9)  The role of parents has always been important to student success.  Should this extend to individual parents ability to alter the education process for other students other than their own, such as causing books in the library or required reading lists to continue to delete curriculum offerings based on even individual objections?

    10) Parents make up about 35% of the Arizona population, but schools are paid for by taxpayers, a much larger subset of Arizona residents.  Do you feel taxpayers have enough voice in school affairs, too much, or too little?

    11)  Bonus Question:  What question should we have asked but did not?  (Candidates may include any question they prefer to answer).  


    Download the flyer. 

    You do not need to register for this event.   

    Here is the Virtual Event Link (if you didn't capture it from the email):   

    Hi there,

    You are invited to a Zoom webinar.
    When: May 27, 2022 10:00 AM Arizona
    Topic: Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

    You can click on the link below or copy the link to your browser or  add it to your calendar to join the webinar:

    Passcode: 653308
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    Webinar ID: 885 1917 6237
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