As our children, grandchildren and neighbors go back to school this month, it's a great time to remind ourselves how important education is to our families and the future of our state.
After all, the top job of our schools today is to prepare our children - and our state - to compete in the rapidly changing economy of tomorrow. The needs of employers are changing and ultimately, Arizona must produce a well-educated and English-proficient workforce if we are to successfully move our state forward and lead the knowledge-based economy.
Although the nature of the global economy continues to change, the education system we use to prepare our students for it has not. We're beginning to lag behind other nations around the world, and in Arizona, we have a responsibility to change that.
That's why I'm proud to share with you information about my new P-20 Council, which will work to modernize Arizona's schools, better prepare our students for the future, and ensure that quality teachers keep teaching.
The P-20 Council, which met for the first time last Friday, will focus on the concept that learning is a lifelong process. The "P" stands for early education - from preschool to childcare and more. The "20" represents the number of years students who decide to seek post-graduate degrees will spend in school.
The Council will bring together leaders from all levels of the educational system, including the three state university presidents, K-12 educators, community college representatives, legislators, and other leaders across the spectrum of Arizona's workforce. They will help link the segments of the education continuum and ensure that graduates at every level are prepared for the future.
As school bells ring again this month and our children start working to make the grade, we must remember that we also have a job to do. I encourage every Arizonan to stay informed about education issues and take every opportunity to support your local schools. Arizona's children are depending on us, and this is a test we must not fail.
As always, if you have any questions or comments, please contact my office at 1-800-253-0883 and ask to speak to Constituent Services.
Yours Very Truly,