Education Legislative Priorities

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We’ll hear from education advocates about what they would like to see from the state legislature in the upcoming session for schools. Arizona Education Association Vice President Marisol Garcia and Chris Kotterman, the director of government relations for the Arizona School Boards Association, and Jennifer Johnson, executive director of Support Our Schools Arizona, will discuss legislative education issues.

TED SIMONS: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO ARIZONA HORIZON, I'M TED SIMONS. ARIZONA SENATOR AND SENATE ARMED SERVICES COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN JOHN MCCAIN SAID TODAY THAT ADVERSARIES OF THE U.S. NEED TO KNOW THAT THE CONSEQUENCES FOR CYBER-ATTACKS AGAINST THE COUNTRY OUTWEIGH ANY REWARD. MCCAIN ADDED THAT CURRENTLY THE REWARD FOR SUCH ATTACKS OUTWEIGH THE RISKS DUE TO THE COUNTRY'S LACK OF A DEFENSIVE CYBER- STRATEGY. ALSO TODAY, NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR JAMES CLAPPER STOPPED SHORT OF DESCRIBING RUSSIAN CYBER-ATTACKS AS ACTS OF WAR, BUT HE SAID THAT THE ATTACKS DID CARRY, QUOTE, GREAT GRAVITY.PRESIDENT-ELECT DONALD TRUMP HAS QUESTIONED INTELLIGENCE CLAIMS THAT RUSSIAN CYBER- ACTIVITY MEDDLED WITH THE NOVEMBER ELECTION.
TED SIMONS: THIS WEEK WE'VE BEEN ASKING LEADERS AND ADVOCATES ON A VARIETY OF ISSUES ABOUT THEIR HOPES AND CONCERNS FOR THE UPCOMING LEGISLATIVE SESSION. TONIGHT: WE LOOK AT EDUCATION. JOINING US NOW IS ARIZONA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION VICE-PRESIDENT MARISOL GARCIA, CHRIS KOTTERMAN, THE DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT RELATIONS FOR THE ARIZONA SCHOOL BOARDS ASSOCIATION, AND JENNIFER JOHNSON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SUPPORT OUR SCHOOLS ARIZONA. GOOD TO YOU YOU HAVE -- GOOD TO YOU YOU ALL HERE. MARISOL, STARTING WITH YOU. WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE FROM THE LEGISLATURE THIS GO AROUND?

GARCIA: WE WANT TO SEE WHAT MOST PARENTS AND EDUCATORS WANT, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE EDUCATION IS A TOP PRIORITY IN THE STATE. WE HAVE SEEN IT OVER THE LAST FEW ELECTIONS THE SPECIAL ELECTION AND THE NATIONAL ELECTION THAT PARENTS AND ADVOCATES THROUGHOUT THE STATE WANT TO MAKE THIS THE NUMBER ONE ISSUE OUR LEGISLATURE TALKS ABOUT. NOT ONLY FUNDING BUT MAKING SURE THERE IS A RESPECT LEVEL FOR THE EDUCATORS IN THE CLASSROOM AND MAKING SURE STUDENTS ARE TREATED WITH THE RESPECT THEY DESERVE.

TED SIMONS: IS THAT RESPECT, PROMINENCE, MORE OR LESS THAN THE ISSUE OF JUST STRAIGHT FUNDING?

KOTTERMAN: FOR THE ARIZONA SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION WE ARE COMMITTED TO PRESERVING AND STRENGTHENING THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AS THE FOUNDATION OF THE EDUCATION SYSTEM INT HE STATE OF ARIZONA, THEY ARE THE SYSTEM THAT HAS TO SERVE EVERY STUDENT, EVERY TIME, EVERY DAY NO MATTER WHAT. WE EQUALLY EMPHASIZE FUNDING AS WELL AS THE PRESERVATION OF THE AUTONOMY OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AND RESPECT OF THE SCHOOL DISTRICT AS PROFESSIONALS AND ELECTED OFFICIALS BY THE WAY THAT GOVERN THE DISTRICT AND EDUCATE OUR STUDENTS EACH AND EVERY DAY.

TED SIMONS: IS THAT AUTONOMY BEING THREATENED?

KOTTERMAN: YEAH, I THINK IT. EVERY TIME A SCHOOL BOARD OR DISTRICT BEHAVES IN A WAY THAT MAYBE CERTAIN PEOPLE DON'T LIKE THEY TEND TO RUN TO THE LEGISLATURE AND SAY LOOK WHAT THESE GUYS DID AND NEXT THING YOU KNOW WE HAVE A BILL ON THE DESK INSTEAD OF SAYING THEY ARE LOCALLY ELECTED OFFICIALS, THEY'RE ACCOUNTBALE TO YOU, THEY'RE YOUR BOARD MEMBERS, AND TAKE IT UP WITH THEM AND IF YOU DON'T LIKE THEM VOTE THEM OUT NEXT TIME.

TED SIMONS: WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR THIS GO AROUND? WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?

JOHNSON: I WOULD AGREE WITH MARISOL AND CHRIS. WE WANT TO SEE TANGIBLE SOLUTIONS TO THE ISSUES THAT ARE AFFETING EDUCATORS. WE WANT TO SEE TANGIBLE EVIDENCE IN TERMS OF FUNDING SUPPORT TO STEM THE TIDE OF TEACHERS LEAVING THE CLASSROOM. WE WANT TO SEE FUNDING FOR THE SIGNIFICANT CAPITAL NEEDS THAT SCHOOLS HAVE. WE WANT OUR KIDS TO BE EDUCATED IN SCHOOLS THAT ARE SAFE, TRANSPORTED IN BUSES THAT ARE SAFE, AND TEACHERS COMPENSATED AS PROFESSIONALS. FUNDING IS A TANGIBLE SIGN OF THAT RESPECT.

TED SIMONS: EVERY TIME WE TALK ABOUT EDUCATION IT COMES BACK TO FUNDING. IS THAT THE ALPHA AND OMEGA RIGHT NOW OF EDUCATION IN ARIZONA?

JOHNSON: I THINK IT IS HARD TO ADDRESS THE ISSUES THAT FACE SCHOOLS WITHOUT INCLUDING FUNDING. ITS NOT THE ONLY THING. I THINK THERE ARE ISSUES OF RESPECT THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED. THAT LEGISLATIVE BEHAVIOR THAT LEGISLATIVE RHETORIC AND THE KINDS OF BILLS THAT ARE INTRODUCED AND THE KIND OF RULES THEY WANT TO IMPOSE ON SCHOOLS ARE ALL PART OF THE ISSUE AROUND THIS RESPECT.

TED SIMONS: WHY DO YOU THINK THAT RESPECT IN SOME CASES, OR THE VIEW HERE, LACKING?

GARCIA: I THINK PART OF IT IS IT IS EASIER TO DEMONIZE FOLKS THAN TO HOLD THEM UP AS STELLAR PERFORMERS AND EASIER TO DIVIDE THE DISCUSSION AND NOT TALK ABOUT THE WONDERFUL THINGS HAPPENING IN OUR CLASSROOMS EVERY DAY. I HAVE BEEN A TEACHER FOR TEN YEARS. IT IS AN EXTREMELY DIFFICULT JOB. I HAVE 160 STUDENTS EVERY DAY. IT'S DIFFICULT FOR PEOPLE TO UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS LIKE ON A DAILY BASES IN THERE. WE REALLY WANT TO INCLUDE PARENTS IN THESE DISCUSSIONS, WE WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT COMMUNITY MEMBERS GO BACK TO THE FACTS OUR SCHOOL ARE COMMUNITY BEACONS AND THAT IS WHERE WE SHOULD ALL FOCUS OUR ENERGY ON TO MAKE SURE WE HOLD THEM UP.

TED SIMONS: AS FAR AS FUNDING IS NEEDED, WHAT ABOUT ACCOUNTABILITY FOR THOSE FUNDS?

KOTTERMAN: ACCOUNTABILITY IS SOMETHING SCHOOL DISTRICTS DO NOT SHY AWAY FROM. WE ARE ACCOUNTABLE TO OUR CONSTIUENTS ON A DAILY BASIS. BOARD MEMBERS ARE CERTAINLY NOT SHY ABOUT HOLDING THEIR ADMINISTRATORS ACCOUNTABLE. WHAT WE TEND TO SEE IN TERMS OF PUBLIC POLICY AND THIS IDEA ACCOUNTABILITY IS IN THE FORM OF A LABEL OR RATING WE SLAP ON SCHOOLS BASED ON TEST SCORES OR SOME OTHER THING. IN REALITY TO THE PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN THE COMMUNITY, THE SCHOOL IS MUCH MORE THAN A TEST SCORE, MUCH MORE THAN A SET OF CRITERIA AND IT IS VERY DIFFICULT TO MEASURE THAT. BUT I CAN GUARANTEE PARENTS ARE NOT SHY ABOUT HOLDING SCHOOL DISTRICTS ACCOUNTABILITY.

TED SIMONS: ACCOUNTABILITY AS FAR AS FUNDING IS CONCERNED, ACCOUNTABILITY AS FAR AS RESULTS ARE CONCERNED; WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE THERE?

JOHNSON: I THINK WE NEED TO BROADEN OUR VIEW OF ACCOUNTABILITY RELATIVE TO THE SUCCESS OF A STUDENT, THE SUCCESS OF TEACHERS AND SUCCESS OF THE SCHOOL. THERE ARE SKILLS THAT ARE NOT MEASURED BY STANDARDIZED TESTS THAT ARE VERY IMPORTANT TO THE SUCCESS OF OUR CHILDREN IN THE 21ST CENTURY. WE OUGHT TO DEVELOP SCHOOL RATING FORMULAS THAT ENCOMPASS THE NUANCES THE SOPHISTICATION AROUND ALL THINGS THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR DOING. I ALSO THINK ACCOUNTABILITY SHOULD BE FOCUSED IN THE DIRECTION OF THE LEGISLATURE. WE OUGHT TO BE ABLE TO FIND WAYS TO HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE FOR PROVIDING THE RESOURCES IT TAKES TO MATCH THE EXPECTATIONS THEY HAVE ESTABLISHED. IT ISN'T JUST ABOUT HOLDING STUDENTS, TEACHERS AND SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLE IT IS ABOUT HOLDING ALL OF US ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR RESPECTED CONTRIBUTIONS.

TED SIMONS: THE WORDS NUANCE AND SOPHISTICATION WHEN YOU TRY TO PUT THOSE TO ACCOUNTABILITY I CAN JUST SEE IT NOW …WHY CAN'T WE JUST GIVE A LETTER GRADE IS THE RESPONSE TO THAT?

GARCIA: I THINK TEACHERS DON'T MIND ACCOUNTABILITY. THE ONLY WAY MY CLASSROOMS COULD EXIST IS HOLDING MY STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE, AS A MOTHER HOLDING MY SON ACCOUNTABLE. THE ISSUE WITH HOLDING STUDENTS ACCOUNTABLE, HOLDING DISTRICTS OR SCHOOLS COUNTABLE FOR ONE TEST GIVEN AT THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR IS CONCERNING. AS A TEACHER EVERY DAY YOU SEE GROWTH WITH 160 STUDENTS I'M GOING TO SEE IT ON DIFFERENT LEVELS ON EVEYR SINGLE ONE OF THOSE 180 DAYS. BUT WHEN WE LABEL A STUDENT, OR LABEL A TEACHER AND A SCHOOL AND A SCHOOL DISTRICT WITH ONE LABEL BASED ON 90% OF ONE TEST, IT IS DISHEARTENING AND THERE IS A REASON WHY TEACHERS ARE LEAVING THE CLASSROOMS.

TED SIMONS: TEACHERS ARE LEAVING THE CLASSROOM AND THE IDEA OF RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION IS ALSO A BIG DEAL. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE THE LEGISLATURE DO IN TERMS OF KEEPING THOSE THAT ARE HERE AND GETTING SOME FROM OTHER? IT HAS TO BE DIFFICULT IN THE WESTERN PART OF THE STATE WHEN YOU CAN CROSS THE BORDER INTO CALIFORNIA AND GET A SIGNIFICANTLY HIGHER SALARY.

KOTTERMAN: YOU SEE IT IN LAKE HAVASU. PEOPLE WILL DRIVE ACROSS THE BORDER FOR THE RAISE. THEY LIVE IN LAKE HAVASU SO THEY DON'T MOVE. THEY JUST GO WORK THERE. I THINK IN TERMS OF THE NUMBER ONE THING -- THERE IS TWO THINGS I THINK WILL HELP. ONE IS OF COURSE SALARY. WE HAVE VERY LOW STARTING TEACHER SALARIES IN THE STATE. THE VOTERS JUST PASSED PROPOSITION 206 NOT TOO LONG AGO. ITS GOING TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE TO $12. THAT IS $25,000 A YEAR. THERE ARE TEACHERS SHOUTING DISTANCE WITHIN MINIMUM WAGE JOBS NOW. THEY START UNDER $30,000 A YEAR. THAT IS NO GOOD THERES NO DENYING THAT. THERE IS ALSO WORKING CONDITIONS. TEACHERS DON'T JUST DO IT FOR THE MONEY. IT IS NICE TO BE RECOGNIZED THROUGH COMPENSATION BUT WHAT CAN WE DO TO GET CLASS SIZES DOWN? WHAT CAN WE DO TO REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF TIME THEY HAVE TO ADMINISTER THINGS THAT HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH TEACHING STUDENTS? ALL THOSE THINGS MATTER AND WE NEED TO MAKE SURE WE GIVE THEM THE TIME TO FOCUS ON TEACHING AND NOT EVERYTHING ELSE PEOPLE WANT THEM TO DO.

TED SIMONS: IT IS REPORTED IF YOU GAVE TEACHERS A $10,000 RAISE IT WOULD COST THE STATE $600 MILLION. WHERE ARE WE GOING TO GET THAT KIND OF MONEY?

JOHNSON: WE CERTAINLY MANAGED TO FIND FUNDING FOR OTHER PRIORITIES. I THINK OVER TIME WE CAN MAKE PROGRESS IN THAT AREA. SO WE SHOULDN'T BE DISHEARTENED OR DAUNTED BY THIS LARGE NUMBER THAT SEEMS TO BE THE PERFECT NUMBER. WE SHOULD MAKE PROGRESS. I WOULD ARGUE THERE ARE THREE THINGS WE SHOULD DO. ONE IS CERTAINLY COMPENSATION. CHRIS MENTIONED THE SECOND ONE AND THAT IS WORKING CONDITIONS SPECIFICALLY RELATED TO DEDICATED FUNDING FOR SUPPORT TO TEACHERS. NEW TEACHER INDUCTION PROGRAMS, FOR CONTINUED PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT THAT SHOULD BE DEDICATED FUNDING COMING FROM THE STATE TO HELP DISTRICTS PROVIDE THAT KIND OF SUPPORT THAT TEACHERS NEED. THIRD IS AN ISSUE OF PUBLIC RESPECT AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT. THERE ARE THINGS THAT ALL OF US CAN DO. CERTAINLY, THE LEGISLATURE CAN ENGAGE IN POSITIVE RHETORIC THEY CAN TELL STORIES OF SUCCESS HAPPENING IN THEIR DISTRICTS IN THEIR HOME LEGISLATIVE TERRITORIES. THEY OUGHT TO BE SHOUTING OUT AND SHARING THOSE STORIES. WE CAN ALL VOLUNTEER IN OUR SCHOOLS. THERE ARE LOTS OF THINGS THAT EVERY ARIZONA RESIDENT CAN DO TO DEMONSTRATE OUR RESPECT FOR TEACHERS AND HELP THEM FEEL EVEN THEY ARE EARNING A MODEST SALARY AND THEY'RE GOING TO CONTINUE THEIR PROFESSIONAL LEARNING THAT WE VALUE WHAT THEY DO.

TED SIMONS: I KNOW FUNDING IS A BIG THING AND CHARTER SCHOOLS WERE HIT LAST SESSION AND TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS ARE UPSET WITH THE RATE WHETHER IT IS THE CURRENT NUMBER OF STUDENTS OR STUDENTS IN THE CLASSROOM LAST YEAR. IT IS BYZANTINE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE FORMULA FOR STUDENT FUNDING. HOW DO YOU DO THAT? CAN YOU STREAMLINE IT? CAN YOU SIMPLIFY IT? IS IT NUANCE AND SOPHISTICATION?

GARCIA: I THINK IT IS NUANCE AND SOPHISTIATION. OUR FUNDING FORMULA IS MASSIVE AND DIFFICULT FOR PARENTS AND TEACHERS TO UNDERSTAND LET ALONE OUR LEGISLATURE AND THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION. I THINK THAT'S PART OF THE PROBLEM. I THINK THAT IS A PRIORITY TO CHIP AWAY AND AD TO HAVE THE LEGISLATURE INTRODUCE NEW PIECES OF LEGISLATION TO DISCUSS PORTIONS OF THE MAJOR ISSUE. YOU CAN SEE WHAT A PRIORITY OF THE STATE IS BY LOOKING AT THEIR BUDGET. RIGHT NOW, PUBLIC EDUCATION K-12 EDUCATION IS NOT A PRIORITY AND IT NEEDS TO BE. NOT JUST FOR MY CURRENT STUDENTS BUT THE STUDENTS ENTERING UNIVERSITIES WHO ARE GOING TO BECOME TEACHERS. WE'RE DESTROYING A PIPELINE THEY KNOW THE RHETORIC AND WHAT THE WILL HAPPEN ONCE THEY ENTER. THERE IS NO CONSISTENCY IN WHAT THEY WILL MAKE AND NO ABILITY TO PLAN A FUTURE.

TED SIMONS: I KNOW EMPOWERMENT FUNDS, VOUCHERS, CALL THEM WHAT YOU WILL ARE A PRIORITY WITH THE LEGISLATURE. YOUR THOUGHTS ON THAT?

KOTTERMAN: THE SCHOOL BOARD ASSOCIATION BELIEVES THE FIRST DOLLAR IN EDUCATION SHOULD GO TO DISTRICT SCHOOLS. LOCAL ELECTED GOVERNING BOARDS, CONSTITUTIONALLY MANDATED PUBLIC SCHOOLS OF THE STATE, AND NOT DIVERT SCHOOL TAX CREDITS. I KNOW THE LEGISLATURE HAS BEEN REALLY STRONG ON SCHOOL CHOICE AND RESPECTS SCHOOL CHOICE. BUT SCHOOL CHOICE IS DIFFERENT THAN PAYING PRIVATE TUITION WITH PUBLIC FUNDS. WE WILL COMPETE WITH CHARTER AND PRIVATE SCHOOLS ALL DAY LONG WE'RE HAPPY TO DO THAT. BUT IN TERMS OF DIVERTING PUBLIC FUNDS WE BELIEVE SHOULD BE GOING TO FUND PUBLIC EDUCATION TO PRIVATE ENTITIES WE DON'T SUPPORT.

TED SIMONS: WOULD YOU BE SURPRISED TO SEE THAT ENHANCED THIS SESSION?

KOTTERMAN: NOT AT ALL. WE ASSUME THERE WILL BE LEGISLATURE TO EXPAND THOSE PROGRAMS AND WE'LL BE DOWN THERE FIGHTING AGAINST THEM.

TED SIMONS: PROP 301 IS SET TO EXPIRE IN 2021. YOU ARE TALKING $600 MILLION OR SOMETHING ALONG THE LINES.THIS IS A MASSIVE TAX THAT VOTERS APPROVED IT WILL NEED TO HAVE VOTER APPROVAL AGAIN. IS NOW THE TIME TO BRING THIS UP FOR RENEWAL, TO MAYBE ADD A LITTLE BIT TO THE TAX? WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT PROP 301?

JOHNSON: I CERTAINLY THINK THERE IS A GROWING TREND TO TALK ABOUT IT AND EXPLAIN HOW THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN USED AND WHY THEY ARE VALUABLE CERTAINLY IN LIGHT OF OTHER CUTS THE LEGISLATURE HAS MADE IN EDUCATION FUNDING IN ARIZONA. IN POLL AFTER POLL, REMINDS US THAT PARENTS AND VOTERS SAY THEY ARE WILLING TO PAY A TAX TO MAKE SURE OUR SCHOOLS PRODUCE QUALITY GRADUATES. I THINK WE SHOULD BE OPTIMISTIC IN TERMS OF A RENEWAL AND TALK ABOUT IT NOT JUST AN OPPORTUNITY TO RENEW AS IT STANDS BUT WHAT ARE THE PROS AND CONS OF POTENTIALLY EXPANDING THAT TAX. THERE IS LOTS OF EVIDENCE THAT PARENTS ACROSS ARIZONA WANT EQUITABLE, STABLE AND SUFFICIENT FUNDING FOR PUBLIC SCHOOLS. THAT IS A FUNDAMENTAL STATE RESPONSIBILITY AND PARENTS ARE STANDING ALONGSIDE GOVERNING BOARD MEMBERS AND EDUCATORS AND WILL BE DOWN AT THE LEGISLATURE TO HELP OUR LEGISLATURES UNDERSTAND WHAT IT IS WE HOPE THEY DO.

TED SIMONS: SIX TENTH OF A PERCENT NOW, $600 MILLION A YEAR. YOU MAKE THAT A FULL CENT YOU GOT BASICALLY A BILLION A YEAR AND YET THERE IS A LOUD, VOCAL AND PROMINENT CONTINGENT IN THE STATE WHO SAY YOU CAN'T BUY EDUCATION RESULTS. SPENDING MORE MONEY DOESN'T EQUAL BETTER EDUCATION RESULTS. WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM?

GARCIA: WE HAVEN'T REALLY TRIED IT YET. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENED IF WE PAID PROFESSIONALS WHAT THEY ARE WORTH, GIVE OUR STUDENTS THE TECHNOLOGY THEY DESERVE. WE ARE AT THE VERY BOTTOM OF ALL 50 STATES AND 48 IN THE COUNTRY AND THAT IS EMBARRASSING. IT IS EMBARRASSING MY SON AS A FIFTH GRADER NEVER ATTENDED A FULLY FUNDED SCHOOL. WHO KNOWS WHAT HE WOULD BE CAPABLE OF AND ALL THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ARIZONA, IF WE HAD FUNDED SCHOOLS. WE HAVE LOST A GENERATION. I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THAT. I WOULD LIKE TO TRY. SECONDLY, I DON'T KNOW TO GIVE TEACHERS THE TIME, NOT ONLY THE RESPECT BUT SUPPLIES THEY NEED, I KNOW I PERSONALLY WOULD SPEND ANYWHERE FROM $300-$400 OF MY OWN MONEY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR BECAUSE PAPERS HAVE CONTINUE TO CUT PAPER, PENCILS, TISSUE PAPER THATS KIND OF AN ONGOING JOKE. YOU NEVER HAVE TISSUE FOR YOUR STUDENTS. THAT IS AN EMBARRASSMENT AS A MOTHER, TEACHER AND A PROFESSIONAL. THIS SHOULD BE A PRIORITY.

TED SIMONS: IT IS TEACHER SALARIES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS BUT JUST THE GENERAL VIEW YOU CARE.

KOTTERMAN: YEAH, PUBLIC EDUCATION IS NOT MISSIONARY WORK. IT IS NOT. I MEAN PEOPLE ARE COLLEGE EDUCATED PROFESSIONALS AND THEY GET INTO THE PROFESSION TO DO A GOOD JOB AND BECAUSE THEY CARE ABOUT STUDENTS. BUT THEY ALSO EXPECT TO BE FAIRLY COMPENSATED FOR THAT WORK. IT IS NOT VOLUNTEERISM. IT IS A CAREER. THAT BEARS REPEATING. BUT IT IS ALSO JUST ABOUT IF WE ARE GOING TO EXPECT SO MUCH OF THIS INSTITUTION WE JUST HAVE TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS APPROPRIATELY RESOURCED TO DO THE JOB WE ASK IT TO DO.

TED SIMONS: I ONLY HAVE A TIME FOR A YES OR NO. ARE YOU OPTIMISTIC?

JOHNSON: YES.

TED SIMONS: GOOD ENOUGH. THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. GOOD TO HAVE YOU ALL.

THANK YOU.

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