Yuma African American community voices education concerns

YUMA, Ariz.-The Arizona Commission of African American Affairs made a visit on Thursday to Yuma County.

Arizona Commission of African American Affairs Executive Director said, “We hope to accomplish a couple of things and get the issues of the African American community addressed.”

The Arizona Commission focuses on six pillars: health, criminal justice, youth issues, sustainability, economic development and education. Education was one of the major topics of discussion at Thursday’s meeting.

Norma Nelson, Castle Dome Middle School counselor said, “I personally feel that our youth really needs to be supported.”

Nelson said there aren’t enough teachers in the Yuma classrooms, but the teachers are still performing.

“I have noticed larger class sizes and teachers coming in earlier. I looked at the scores and our teachers are still doing their jobs,” Nelson said.

Leah Landrum Taylor with Department of Economic Security says it comes back to proper funding for education.

Taylor said, “We are one of the lowest in the nation in per people spending, which is formula for disaster.”

Another topic addressed was the salary for a teacher in Arizona. Taylor said, “Teachers need to make enough to pay their student loans back.”

The Arizona Commission will take all of the concerns back to the Governor’s office.

Campbell said, “We will share this information with Governor Doug Ducey, those six pillars we talked about and explain to him what the issues are in the state of Arizona.”

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