AZ Teacher Of The Year, Union President Fined For Political Activity

kareem neal
Kareem Neal, 2019 Teacher of the Year

Arizona Teacher of the Year for 2019, Kareem Neal, and Resha Gentry-Balance, president of Phoenix Union’s teacher association, have been fined and disciplined for politicking for #InvestInEd on the taxpayer’s dime.

Julie Brown, a concerned citizen involved in the #PurpleForParents, filed complaints about Neal and Gentry-Balance to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office September.  #PurpleForParents is a parent group formed to fight the hyper-politicization of schools by #RedForEd activists.

#InvestInEd was national progressive campaign to elect Democrats to office by increasing voter turnout in support of “teacher pay raise” initiatives. Teacher and other labor unions union launched #RedForEd campaigns in red states in an effort to turn them blue.

Last spring, in response to what he perceived to be threat to his re-election, Governor Doug Ducey pushed a bill to appease the unions. His funding scheme involved increasing fees on vehicles while cutting programs and services.

“I hope this is a comfort to parents, to know that finally we are reigning in the political activism that is happening in our schools,” said Rep. Kelly Townsend, the lone legislator to oppose the Governor’s “InvestInEd” funding scheme.  “Educational institutions are meant to be a safe place to send our children without fear of activist teachers espousing their political opinions on their children’s impressionable minds.”

“I hope this sends a message that the people of Arizona are no longer going to tolerate this behavior. I applaud parents like Julie Brown who rightfully made the complaints and followed through with their demand for accountability in the classroom,” continued Townsend. “I appreciate the Attorney General who appropriately took corrective action.   I hope that going forward we will make sure that classrooms are a place of education, not indoctrination.”

Neal has placed an #InvestInEd sign in his classroom. He later claimed he used it to keep kids with Attention Deficit disorder focused on the classroom. He was given a mere one-day suspension without pay, and ordered to pay $225 to reimbursement the District for essentially renting his classroom.

Gentry-Ballance will only have to reimburse the District for 30 seconds of a speech she gave during the school’s convocation. The fee includes rental costs and salary costs for all 3,000 employees, who were in attendance.

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