Vote 2014: Superintendent of Public Instruction Democrats’ Debate

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Join us as the Democratic candidates running for Superintendent of Public Instruction debate issues dealing with the superintendent’s office.

Ted Simons: Good evening and welcome to the special Vote 2014 edition of Arizona Horizon. I'm Ted Simons. Tonight's show is a debate, sponsored by Clean Elections. We'll hear from candidates competing in a democratic primary for state Superintendent of Public Instruction, as with all of Arizona Horizon's debates, this is not a formal exercise. It's an open exchange of ideas, an opportunity for give and take between candidates for one of the state's most important offices, as such, interjections and even interruptions are allowed provided that all sides get a fair shake, and we will do our best to make sure that that happens. The state superintendent's office oversees all of Arizona's public schools, including charter schools, two democratic candidates are competing to be Arizona's next top schools chief, they are, in alphabetical order, Arizona State University education professor David Garcia, and high school English teacher Sharon Thomas. Each candidate will have one minute for opening and closing statements. Earlier we drew numbers to see who goes first, and that honor goes to David Garcia.

David Garcia: Ted, thank you very much. My name is David Garcia. Dr. David Garcia and I am working to be Arizona's next Superintendent of Public Instruction. I'm an Arizona success story, I am a first generation college student, I'm an army Veteran, who had to work their way through college, and eventually got a Ph.D. in education policies from the University of Chicago. What differentiates me is I am the only candidate with both classroom and state level policy experience. I have worked at the state legislature, I was a former associate superintendent for the State of Arizona, which means I was in the office right next door, and what that means for democratic voters, what that means for Arizona, is that I'm ready to lead day one, the office is too important, and education is too important in Arizona to learn on the job. What I bring is both the experience, and the leadership necessary to put Arizona in the lead and to have the kind of impact we need at the state level. Thank you.

Ted Simons: Thank you. And for the next opening statement, we turn to Sharon Thomas.

Sharon Thomas: Thank you, Ted. Good evening, I'm Sharon Thomas. I'm a mother, a businesswoman and a certified experienced public school teacher. And I am running for Superintendent of Public Instruction because I believe a real teacher matters. We've had more than 20 years of so-called policy experts running our schools. We will never legislate our way to student success; we can only educate our way to student success. I'm the only candidate with public school kindergarten to high school experience, as well as college teaching experience. I'm the only candidate who is a certified teacher, and certification matters. I'm the only candidate experienced in teaching, teachers, the common core curriculum, in writing curriculum in the common core, in piloting the part test, and in training teachers and implementing the core. A real teacher matters. We need an experienced educator to lead our schools, to success.

Ted Simons: All right, thank you very much. Let's get started with what seems to be certainly the impression that Arizona students rank poorly in a variety of tests and a variety of ways. Why is that, how do you change that?

David Garcia: Well, first off, I don't think this is an issue of Arizona students, I think this is an issue of Arizona's policy makers and um the commitments and lack thereof we've had at the state level. Um I disagree, one of the issues we've had is we haven't had policy experts working in this position. We've had politicians in this position, what we need is somebody who understands state level policy. Ted you know this is a state level policy position, working with the state board of education, working with the legislature, what we need to impact those kinds of work is we need the change at the state level so that we can have the policies necessary to bring Arizona up from the bottom.

Ted Simons: How do we bring Arizona up from the bottom?

Sharon Thomas: Ted policy is not going to do it. This goes back to my statement about educating, and my experience in the classroom tells me, our students are struggling to reach these achievements that we are setting up for them, especially when the rigor of the common core comes in. We are not providing the resources and the support for our students, and this does come from actions to the legislature, as well as the lack of leadership, as Dr. Garcia said, from our superintendent. We need a superintendent who will reach out, work with the districts and work with the legislature to make sure that our district gets those resources. Teacher training, professional development, needs to be one of the areas that our Superintendent of Instruction focuses on, not just being administrative. It's not just policy walk, it's about educating students and preparing teachers.

Ted Simons: Lack of resources a factor? How much?

David Garcia: It's a huge factor, and in fact, it's going to be one of my very first and most important issues, Ted. My opponent in a recent debate said she would eventually get to education funding.

Sharon Thomas: That's not true.

David Garcia: We can't eventually get to it. We need to get to it right now. To get down there, we need to have an impact on school finance policy, and pushing the legislature to fund, to restore public school funding, which is very very very important, but also, to put in place the targeted programs that we know are going to be successful.

Ted Simons: Did you say the funding goes down the line a little bit?

Sharon Thomas: Let's be honest about what I said. We have problems with our funding. I did not say I get to funding down the line. I said I would do, and I come from a family of many medical people. So, I said, I focus it like a triage, we're going to look at what is immediately needed right now. And that's going to be things like technology and some of the resources. We have to do something about funding. But coming in, as my opponent stated in that interview, that this is a honeymoon period, and we have a short time to do everything. I'm looking at this as building relationships over a period of time with our legislators. That's what is lacking now, this is a shared responsibility. So we have to do triage, we have to look at funding, but this is a long-term, four to eight years that we have to really fix this.

David Garcia: I think that is a great point, we do need to build those relationships, and we built them as part of this campaign. Our state level democratic leaders, almost every single one of them, have endorsed my campaign. I have also gotten support, the kind of broad-based support you need to win from Chambers of Commerce as well. As well as our key education organizations. I agree, we need that kind of leadership and collaboration, and that's exactly what I bring to this office.

Ted Simons: Inflation adjusted funding we just found out that a whole lot of money is on the line here.

Sharon Thomas: Yes sir.

Ted Simons: Where does that money need to go?

Sharon Thomas: The money needs to go back into the schools, immediately, and the first thing we need to do is meet the needs of the oncoming test, the teacher training that's needed for the par test, the resources for the students, the financing for the tutoring, the ELS, the extended learning opportunities for the students so they will be able to meet the par test, and these are some of the first things we need to do, as well as giving teachers the support they need because the new evaluation is also coming in, along with a new test that is just coming like a train for our districts that are just so poorly prepared.

Ted Simons: Where does that money need to go?

David Garcia: Ted, I think that you're jumping the gun a little bit. We still have a battle with the legislature to get that money, and that's what the superintendent needs to spend their time and energy. As you know, the legislature is going to have to make tough decisions in order to bring that, that -- the $1.6 billion to our schools, that's the role of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.

Ted Simons: Talk more about that, because the -- I think a lot of people see the idea of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, superintending public instruction as opposed to hanging out there at the capital trying to get lawmakers to do x, y, and Z. You say different?

David Garcia: What the Superintendent of Public Instruction does, there are some key things, number one they sit on our two-key policy board, the state board of education and the Arizona State board for charter schools, they set state level policy. It's a unique position that nobody else in the state has. Second, the legislature counts on the Superintendent of Public Instruction, and the department of education for analysis and resources. Last time I was here it was on some research I did on a performance pay plan that had an impact on changing legislation at the state level. That's what our Superintendent of Public Instruction does.

Ted Simons: The importance of dealing with the legislature, you talked about having politicians in these roles, do you need a politician in this role to get something done?

Sharon Thomas: Well I would say that we're all politicians once we file paperwork and once a campaign starts and when we see the dirty politics that have happened coming out of my opponent's campaign. So we're politics, politicians, Mr. Garcia is a politician as much as the rest of us. We need someone who has political skills in working with legislators, and that's where my years of experience as a community activist, as a lobbyist with working with AESA teachers lobbyists, and working within politics. My endorsements don't come from those legislatures, as many of them. Where they come from is students, teachers, parents, and many people that are currently running for office to change the face. And that's what we need to do, is change the face, as well as work to build those relationships.

Ted Simons: I can't let you get past this idea of dirty politics, what are you talking about here?

Sharon Thomas: Well certainly you know that I was attacked. The county recorders wanted to sue Garcia's campaign to refund the money that they invested in, you know, spending checking signatures when we had more than 4,000 good signatures. That's not the kind of politics Democrats should be playing against each other.

Ted Simons: Dirty politics?

David Garcia: Ted I didn't want to attack at all, we checked signatures, I expect every good campaign to check signatures. Now, one of the things different here.

Sharon Thomas: Too bad you didn't check Huppenthal's.

David Garcia: One of the things to check here, Ted, is I'm not running for an office, I've never run for an office before, I'm running for this office, and that's the difference between my opponent and myself. As for the legislature, it's very key to know that the Arizona Education Association has backed my campaign. Why? Because they know I have a long history of having an impact at the state level.

Sharon Thomas: That's not what Andrew Morrill told me why. Andrew Morrill told me it was the money. I'm an excellent candidate, according to Andrew Morrill, he's known me for many years, I've been a member of the AEA for more than 10 years since I've been a teacher, Andrew told me I was an excellent candidate, I knew the issues well, but there was one reason, and that was because I'm a clean candidate, they thought Mr. Garcia would reach that half a million dollars he's claiming he will reach, and thus swayed by money.

Ted Simons: How do you respond to that?

David Garcia. I don't respond for Andrew, I don't speak for him. What I -- I'm happy to bring him onboard. I have a long history of winning issues at the state legislature, with a -- that's the reason why they backed me, I am not going to speak for Andrew, but, you know him well enough to bring him onboard and have him speak for himself.

Sharon Thomas: And we might talk about that money, because I am a clean candidate, this is a clean election's debate, I am a clean candidate because there will not be dark money, there will not be ALEC money, there will not be private school, charter school -- clean elections, puts the, the power in the voters' hands, not the donor's hands, and that's who I will be beholding to.

David Garcia: Ted, we are on the same page, there is no dark money, there's no ALEC money coming in. The -- I am going to tell you who has backed my campaign. Planned Parenthood has gotten behind my campaign, the Arizona Education Association, the Maricopa Democratic party, and the majority of my -- almost over 84% of my donors are less than $100, they are the ranking file Democrats that want to see a change, and they're behind my campaign.

Ted Simons: Last point on this, does it make a difference who is endorsing you? Does it make a difference that all these folks are endorsing him?

Sharon Thomas: Oh I think the fact, that's why I have gone for teachers, students, parent endorsements. I didn't go after legislature endorsements because those are not the people who I think I am beholden to. I talked to my students, that's who got me to run is former students, and my fellow teachers, and parents that I have been experienced with for many years, and I have -- I work with many candidates running across the state, and they are backing my campaign, because they know we need a change, and I should say I am endorsed by both Sandra Kennedy and Paul Newman, the highest elected Democrats in Arizona, of recent times since we don't have any, and they have endorsed me because of the years they have known me and their experience with me as a leader.

Ted Simons: Okay, I want to get back to funding here. The idea of basing funds for teachers and for districts on academic improvement, good idea?

David Garcia: Ted we got to be clear, it is an academic improvement, it's standardized test scores.

Sharon Thomas: That's not accurate either.

David Garcia: The evaluation system and the accountability system, is based, almost exclusively on standardized test scores. 96% of the letter grades, which I know you know pretty well, 96% of those letter grades is based off of standardized tests.

Ted Simons: Good idea or bad idea?

David Garcia: I think that basing - overemphasis on standardized testing is a bad idea, why? Because students, there are no multiple choices in life. And the more we get students ready for multiple choice tests, the less prepared they are for life after high school. What I'm going to focus on, and I'll be very clear this is one of my signature issues, is measuring what matters. We need to change the accountability system so you have real world outcomes that matters to students and parents, and that change happens at the legislature with the very folks who have endorsed my campaign, giving us a hand.

Sharon Thomas: You know Ted, I think you asked a different question than Mr. Garcia answered. I believe you were talking about the evaluation of teachers is going to be based on student achievement, is that what you were speaking about?

Ted Simons: That's my question, is that a good idea?

Sharon Thomas: That's not -- Mr. Garcia answered that incorrectly then, because each district based the amount of student achievement from test scores and other measures, which comes from the district development of their evaluation, their assessment of teachers. That can be through legislation, which a policy person should know. 33% to 50%. AEA has recommended that districts use 33% on student achievement, some districts, if you're familiar with the Rail test and then the KEYSA test that some are using or the evaluation, excuse me, goes to the 50%. It is a good idea that that is examined, but not just the standardized tests, and districts have that option to look at other measures of student growth. But student growth, excuse me, should be a factor in evaluations.

David Garcia: Even though districts have the option, their evaluation system is based off of standardized tests. We have no meaningful discussion at the state level of having additional real world indicators that should count. And that's going to be a change you're going to see under my administration.

Sharon Thomas: I do agree that we put too much emphasis on standardized testing. And as an experienced teacher, I know how many days we spent, we spent 36 days last year testing students, Ted, testing them, and then retesting them, and retesting them. And now, these were standardized tests, these weren't classroom tests, and that is a huge waste of classroom time. We need that time for teaching. We need to limit the amount of standardized tests, we need to pick one that works, and that needs to be our standard assessment.

Ted Simons: Do you agree with that?

David Garcia: I agree, and that's what the state does by the way. They pick a standardized assessment. You work with the, with the state board of education, and my opponent mentioned it was John Huppenthal who will select it, it will be the state board of education, that is a policy decision, Ted. Picking that assessment is a very important role on behalf of the state, and one where I'm the only candidate who has experience, not only in Arizona, working on, on assessments, but in multiple states, as well.

Ted Simons: Let's talk about an assessment in particular, Common Core, good idea for Arizona?

Sharon Thomas: That's not an assessment Ted, those are just standards, we --

Ted Simons: Is it a good standard - Is it a good standard for Arizona?

Sharon Thomas: Yes. I am the only candidate experienced with Common Core and that's why I know that these standards, and I am also experienced with AIMS, which Mr. Garcia was I believe was part of bringing AIMS in. These are far superior standards to the AIMS standards, but we have to remember, this is some misinformation that's out there about Common Core. It is just an umbrella, goals that we try to achieve. We then, local control, writes the curriculum, our superintendent does, and should be doing more to provide leadership in that curriculum and in the professional development and training for that. But we set the curriculum to meet those standards, then we ask the state pick that test, it may be PARCC, it could be better balanced on the other side of the, of the country, is using that on the east coast, so we pick the test that aligns to the core.

Ted Simons: Better than AIMS?

Sharon Thomas: Oh far better, and they're Arizona college career ready standards test.

Ted Simons: Common Core, a no their Common Core.

Sharon Thomas: We need to make them ours. We really do.

David Garcia: One thing we need to be clear about here is we've had standards in Arizona for over 20 years. Every generation it's been better than the one before because what students know and should be able to do changes over time. The state's role is not to do curriculum, it is at the local level. The state's role is to set the standards and this one is very important, to work on an assessment that's going to measure those standards well. There is nobody else in this race that has that kind of state level experience like I do.

Ted Simons: So, Common Core, again, overall, good for Arizona? Not so good for Arizona?

David Garcia: It's good for Arizona but it needs to be implemented well, and there's what I can do.

David Garcia: But last year Mr. Garcia you did not like Common Core, what changed your mind?

David Garcia: That's actually not true at all, I have said the same thing repeatedly. I am in favor of high standards, and we need a high quality assessment of those standards, and the third one, which is, differentiates me from others candidates, is Arizona needs to be in control of the accountability side of Common Core, that to me is where Arizona needs to take the lead nationally on issues of how we're going to use the assessment to measure our schools, our students, and our educators, and there, I believe, Arizona should be in the driver's seat.

Ted Simons: Why do you think he's against Common Core?

Sharon Thomas: Well cause last year he was, he was for vouchers last year truly, now he's not. So --

Ted Simons: You were for vouchers last year?

David Garcia: Absolutely untrue, let's be absolutely clear about this. I am against vouchers. I've been against vouchers from the very very beginning.

Sharon Thomas: That's not what you wrote last year, and it's not what you've written in your research.

David Garcia: That's actually not true. Please, please look for it and find it. I am against vouchers.

Sharon Thomas: I have, yes, and Common Core, you were not for last year, either.

David Garcia: Here's the situation very very clear, I am against vouchers, Ted, for this reason, my job as Superintendent of Public Instruction --

Sharon Thomas: All vouchers or just the ESA.

David Garcia: I am against vouchers period. I'm against vouchers because vouchers do not improve public schools, and the role the Superintendent of Public Instruction is to improve public schools, and as a steadfast position of mine.

Ted Simons: Ok. And --

Sharon Thomas: I would like to correct one thing that Mr. Garcia said. We're not using one standardized test. Our students are taking AIMS, they're taking ACT, they're taking Stanford and they're taking at least one other, I am trying to remember all the names of all the tests we give our kids. We are multiple multiple testing them. Now that is not all coming from the state but it does come from districts, but that's where the state needs to step in, and again the state needs to do more than just administrative. We have to provide professional development and, and lead on this issue or we're not going to legislate our way to the student success.

David Garcia: Ted I want to be clear, I said that the letter grades were based off standardized tests, that was fact checked by the Arizona Republic, found out to be absolutely true.

Sharon Thomas: Letter grades, not teacher evaluations.

David Garcia: Absolutely, letter grades. So that is absolutely true.

Sharon Thomas: Yeah letter grades were based on that yes, I didn't --

Ted Simons: Alright. One last thing on Common Core, you stole the virtues of Common Core, yet I know --

Sharon Thomas: Well yeah, there are some problems; I'm not saying they're perfect.

Ted Simons: What are you saying then?

Sharon Thomas: Excuse me, that's why I said they are Arizona college career ready standards, we need to look at them, and make them ours, and they're not perfect, as no standard is perfect.

Ted Simons: Well I don't think that anyone expects perfection but what do you think of - because I know teachers, I know some teachers. They've have had it up to here with the new assessment a new test, a new idea, a new formula and in five years you're going start all over again, what do you say to those people?

Sharon Thomas: That's why we need the buy-in and that's why we have to have the leadership. Because if we don't have leadership that can engender buy-in from our teachers, we're not going to be successful. And it's you're right. It's not every five years, but as a teacher, I know, that you see something new come on, and you are like, oh, this is going to be gone in a year. This is a problem at the district level. Because the, you know, new bright and shiny, this looks good for today.

Ted Simons: What do you tell teachers? I am breaking my neck here trying to catch up to Common Core, and it could change in a couple of years.

David Garcia: I agree we need leadership, and I agree we need teachers back and that's the reason why our teachers have backed my campaign. My opponent keeps talking about district level activity. That is not what the state does. The state sets leadership at the legislative level, and with the state Board of Education, and with the state of Arizona. Teachers are, contracted out with local school districts, not with the state. You support school districts. From a financial perspective, to make sure that, that the money goes well. But, more particularly, you set policy and direction. And there is where my opponent has no state level experience to do those types of things.

Ted Simons: Empowerment scholarship accounts. Good, bad idea?

Sharon Thomas: Bad Idea.

Ted Simons: Why?

Sharon Thomas: I believe in public schools, Ted. Let's keep the money in public schools. There is more than a million dollars out there in so-called empowerment scholarship accounts that there is no accountability on where that money has gone. Once public funds go to a private entity, we also, number two on the superintendent's responsibility, is a fiduciary responsibility. We need to look at where that's going and how it's being spent, what's happening with that. And that's the same thing I should say for privately owned charter schools. For profit charter schools ones that are not -- I do not consider those public because when public funds bypass students to go into private pockets; we need accountability.

Ted Simona: Even when those private pockets are lower income kids and families?

Sharon Thomas: Well, that's not, that's kind of the hyperbole in the media isn't it.

Ted Simons: It's a legitimate question, please answer.

Sharon Thomas: Okay. The empowerment scholarship accounts are money given to, to the parents, they are not given to the schools. They can be used for whatever. There is no accountability for where those go, are you saying we should just give money to poor people? I believe in supporting education for our economically struggling student, through the best system we've got, and that's our public school system.

Ted Simons: ESAs, especially those that target lower income families and kids? Good or bad?

David Garcia: A couple of things Ted, my opponent has routinely confused private schools and charter schools. Charter schools are public schools. I am against ESAs because, and these are the scholarship accounts that go to students that go to privatization, now when it comes to, and I think you may be speaking here of the private school tax credit, which is different than an ESA. And in that respect, my concern with the tax credit is the designation that could be possible between individuals. But ESA's, I'm against, they are vouchers for all intents and purposes, but I also want to be clear about one other thing with regard to, to charter schools. 20% of our charter schools serve at-risk students. 20% of the charter schools, so it's a very important distinction here that the Superintendent --

Sharon Thomas: But how are they serving them?

David Garcia: The Superintendent of Public Instruction is going to be in the position to lead both traditional public schools and charter schools.

Ted Simons: Charter schools?

Sharon Thomas: I would say that the four profit charter schools, and we have 25 Wal-Mart charter schools coming into Phoenix within the next five years, those are mostly going to economic struggling areas. They are not serving, they are taking advantage, and we've seen this through, through the recent reports. Charter schools are not meeting expectations. They are not doing us well as public schools in Arizona and across the country. There is no accountability. There is no equity, as far as the expectations for teachers, curriculum, testing, standards within charter schools, there needs to be an equitable playing field, and the fact that these are going into economically struggling areas, for profit charter schools, those are not meeting those kids' needs, they're taking advantage, and this is the new segregated schools. We've also seen these reports --

David Garcia: Ted, I don't know if the 25 Wal-Mart schools coming in, so I can't speak to that, but what I do think -- what I should be concerned about, is I -- One of my concerns with my opponent is that she's looking to restrict school choice. That's not what we need to do.

Sharon Thomas: That's not true.

David Garcia: I'm a chooser Ted, I choose a traditional public school for my daughter.

Sharon Thomas: No you sent your kids to Montessori charter school.

David Garcia: In the Phoenix elementary school district, it's a magnet school that's set up for desegregation purposes. Now what I believe we need in Arizona are more school choices, and here's key, under a public school umbrella, because there is no best school for, in the state but there is the best school for your child, and more choices is healthy.

Ted Simons: How do you respond to that?

Sharon Thomas: I sent my kids to traditional public schools, not to charter schools, although my daughter did go to a charter school for a small, a short period of time, and when I walked in and they were misspelling tomato, I pulled her out. So, I know a little bit of experience about charter schools. And I have sent my kids to traditional public schools, and I believe in those schools. I am not opposed to charter schools that are not-for-profit or charter schools that are under district auspices, those serve an important service, and can reach struggling students that need alternative methods of education.

David Garcia: Ted, this is what -- your viewers can fact check themselves, my daughters go to Faith North Montessori, it's a Phoenix elementary school district, they can fact check that one and many of the other things that my opponent has spread to date.

Sharon Thomas: Yeah, Montessori is not a traditional public school, Montessori you have to pay for the programming, there is also Montessori within Phoenix union, and it is -- you may go, you may go for free, but, it's being paid for through as a charter is, it's still a charter.

David Garcia: Ted it's not being paid for as a charter. It's a magnet school, mostly through desegregation money, voters can look at this and they are going to see that my opponent is wrong on this issue and many, many others, as well.

Ted Simons: We've got a couple minutes left here. Very quickly, should Arizona education standards, assessments, you define it, should they focus more on job preparation or a well-rounded education?

Sharon Thomas: Well I am an educator because I believe in education, and Thomas Jefferson is one of my heroes. I believe in a full education. But, I am also a huge proponent of the CTE, the college, or the the career technical education, because there is no reason we can't do both. Our students can get a good, broad education, but they can also come out prepared as they have from the school I just taught to go right into the workforce.

Ted Simons: Very quickly please.

David Garcia: Ted I don't accept that dichotomy. Getting students ready for quality education is getting Arizona ready for a strong economy, one good example is we have students -- you want students ready to be internationally competitive? First thing I would do is teach them multiple languages, we have students in this state who can lead bilingual academically proficient in more than one language, that's quality education that also has a positive impact on Arizona.

Ted Simons: We've got to stop you right there. Each candidate, will now give a one-minute closing statement. And going in reverse order of the opening remarks, we start with Sharon Thomas.

Sharon Thomas: Thank you. Again, Sharon Thomas, Superintendent of Public Instruction, please go to I am a clean election's candidate, and I believe in clean elections because it's the voters, not donors that matter. And in this case, it's the parents, students, and teachers of Arizona that we need to support so that we can bring Arizona to a successful future. So, please, we need to prepare our students for college, career, and life, vote Sharon for Arizona. Thank you.

Ted Simons: All right, thank you very much. And for our final closing remarks, we turn to David Garcia.

David Garcia: Ted thank you, Sharon appreciate the opportunity. Democratic - Democrats have a chance at this, Arizona has a chance this year to elect a qualified, experienced educator, but it's going to take leadership and hard work to get it done. In this case, the choice is clear. I invite viewers to look at both campaigns, go to our websites, go to our social media and Facebook pages, how you see we're running our campaigns is the kind of effort and leadership you are going to see as Superintendent. On my side, what you're going to see is democratic leaders that use support, also support my campaign, Fred Duval wants me to win, so does Terry Goddard and many other elected Democrats. Likewise you're going to see organizations that you trust, that also back my campaign, Planned Parenthood, the Arizona Education Association, Democracy for America, and last, you are going to see the kind of broad-based support that's necessary to win in August and in November. I'm proud to have our Chambers of Commerce onboard, what education needs are some wins down at the state level, and that's what I can deliver.

Ted Simons: All right, thank you candidates, and thank you for watching this special vote 2014 clean elections debate featuring the democratic candidates for state Superintendent of Public Instruction. Arizona Horizon's next debate will take place tomorrow, July 15th, when we hear from Republicans, running for Superintendent of Public Instruction. And that is it for now. I'm Ted Simons. Thank you so much for joining us. You have a great evening.

>> Arizona Horizon is made possible by contributions from the friends of Eight. Members of your Arizona PBS station. Thank you.

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