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Education — the best investment for our future

Education — the best  investment for our future

For more than 50 years, Arizona Town Hall has asked Arizonans to identify the most pressing and important policy topics for discussion. In recent years, Town Hall members and participants have repeatedly identified education as a topic that requires immediate attention. Perhaps this has been due to widespread opinions that Arizona’s education systems are not prepared to support the most prosperous future for our state.

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New assessment, Common Core form path to Arizona students’ success

New assessment, Common Core form path to Arizona students’ success

Too few Arizona students graduate from high school prepared for college, career and life. Did you know that just seven out of 10 students graduate from high school, and of those who do, more than half aren’t eligible for admission into a state university? What’s more, 42 percent of employers say their employees lack the basic skills needed to be successful in the workplace.

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AAA urges state leaders to focus on road safety and funding

AAA urges state leaders to focus on road safety and funding

With the recent commencement of the legislative session and release of Governor Brewer’s 2015 executive budget, public policy debates on a variety of critical issues have once again assumed the spotlight. Indeed, our elected officials are tasked with making difficult choices, balancing our state’s growing needs with dwindling resources.

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Backyard chickens an appropriate topic for legislature

I’m so glad to see that the state of Arizona might take a stab at this issue! Why didn’t I know about this story (“Backyard fowl bill filed by Mesa lawmaker,” Jan. 24) a few years ago? I’ve been following “chicken fights” across the country since 2009. I chronicled many of the more humorous and poignant ones in a guide to backyard chicken keeping called, “The Backyard Chicken Fight.” I wish I had had THIS story!

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Higher pay key to solving teacher shortage

Research says that the quality of teaching is the No. 1 influence on the learning of children and will either advance them or hold them back. The Education Trust, a national research and advocacy organization says, “The caliber of teachers drives student success.”

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Securing Arizona’s future prosperity — A strategic vision for water supply sustainability

Arizona has a long history of addressing our water supply challenges. Before statehood, farmers and ranchers in Phoenix’s Salt River Valley put their own lands up as collateral to finance the construction of Roosevelt Dam, providing a more reliable water supply and reducing the impacts of flooding and drought as well as setting the stage for prosperity unimaginable in those early days.

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Families robbed of essential support system without unemployment benefits

Families robbed of essential support system without unemployment benefits

Imagine getting laid off from your job and struggling to support your family. Your first thoughts? How will you make rent or keep up with your mortgage payment? How will you buy groceries and pay the utility bills? Thankfully, unemployment benefits are a safety net while you look for work in a tough economy, to ease the financial burden and stress when you fall on hard times.

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Phoenix City Council deserves accolades for stand against puppy mills

By requiring that pet stores in the city acquire dogs only from humane sources, the Phoenix City Council took an important step toward helping to protect the millions of dogs suffering in puppy mills. The ordinance will help shrink the supply of puppy mill dogs flowing into our market, thereby boosting adoptions for homeless animals and increasing sales for responsible dog breeders.

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