SHERIFF JOEIn an effort to shine a light on the importance of full-day kindergarten, Representative Brenda Barton and Senator Jeff Dial will be joined by Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio to tour a full-day kindergarten class at Horseshoe Trails Elementary School in the Cave Creek Unified School District.   The tour will take place tomorrow, Friday, February 13 at 10 AM. Barton and Dial are the authors of House Bill 2426 and Senate Bill 1068, the “Additional Classroom Time for Kindergartners” legislation.  The legislation will require Arizona public schools to provide optional, free, full-day kindergarten to all eligible students. “Sheriff Joe endorses the wise words of Benjamin Franklin that ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ and we are thrilled he is joining us in supporting Arizona’s youngest students,” said Representative Barton. “Our legislation makes full-day kindergarten the responsibility of all schools and an option for every parent.” “What makes this legislation so unique is that it has no impact on our state budget and is being championed by those who are charged with maintaining the overall health and wellness of schools – their superintendents,” stated Barton. The National Institute on Drug Abuse recently reported that events and circumstances early in a child’s life can influence future decisions, life events, and life circumstances – or what is called our life course trajectory. Senator Jeff Dial stated, “Sheriff Joe knows that when we do not position kids for academic success, we set them on a path of poor choices, poverty, and crime.” The tour will be led by Dr. Debbi Burdick, Superintendent of the Cave Creek Unified School District and lead litigant in the Cave Creek vs. Ducey inflation funding lawsuit. Dr. Burdick is the incoming president of the Arizona School Administrators Association, which represents over 230 public school superintendents and a member of the Additional Classroom Time for Kindergartners Coalition, which is supporting this legislation. “While school districts have a myriad of needs ranging from aging school buses and outdated text books to ever-growing student-teacher ratios and STEM education aspirations, there is no greater priority than kindergarten classroom-time to develop effective social skills, teach the fundamentals of English and math, and set trajectories for future success,” states Dr. Burdick. The Sheriff and legislators will be at Horseshoe Trails Elementary from 10 am to noon, and will have lunch with the children after the tour.

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