Categories
AFHE Home AFHE News Blog Community Homeschool Law Legislative Updates Uncategorized

Election 2020

It’s election season. And, that means we are all bombarded with information. To be sure, there is much to decide–everything from candidates for public office (federal, state, local), to judges (in the three most populous counties the vote is whether judges should be retained in office), to ballot propositions (laws and ordinances proposed for direct adoption by the voters).  There’s a lot at stake. How do you plan to cast an informed vote?  One tool we recommend highly is www.azvoterguide.com. Our friends at Center for Arizona Policy have surveyed the candidates on a variety of important issues. You can review candidate responses–or, if they elected not to respond, you can view their public position. The website allows you to customize a voter guide for you, focusing on the local candidates and issues that appear on your ballot. The guide may not answer every question you have, but it is a very good starting point for your own research. Here are a couple of specific thoughts: Judges: One of the most asked questions is: “How do I find out information about the judges that appear on the ballot?” Judges play an important, and often controversial, role in public life–but they do so in a way that is fundamentally different from elected lawmakers. Unlike elected officials, judges are forbidden from taking public positions on issues that are likely to come before them as they decide cases. This is the reason why this week Judge Amy Coney Barrett–as every nominee to the Supreme Court of the United States before her–declined to answer questions about her specific position on issues, yet readily answered questions about her judicial philosophy. When you look at the responses from judges to the survey at azvoterguide.com, you will see that many judges did not respond. Other judges responded with a statement of their judicial philosophy.  There is also a system for rating the performance and competence of judges in Arizona called the Judicial Performance Review Commission, which relies on surveys from attorneys and litigants who have appeared before the judge being evaluated. Learning of a judge’s approach and temperament is challenging, even for attorneys, so every piece of information you can glean is valuable.  It’s not a perfect system. At the end of the day, there is no reason to cast an uninformed vote on judges. If you are unable to locate information that satisfies you that a judge should be retained in office you can simply not cast a vote for or against that judge. Ballot Propositions: This year there are two statewide ballot propositions on the ballot: Proposition 207 (legalizing recreational marijuana) and Proposition 208 (new taxes for increased public education spending). In the voter guide you will see that our friends at CAP are urging a “no” vote on both measures.  Our Take: No on 207: The AFHE Board has decided to also recommend a no vote on 207. This is the second time in four years that legalizing recreational marijuana has been on the ballot in Arizona. Arizona voters said no to legalization in 2018 (by contrast, medicinal use of marijuana was approved by the voters in 2010). Like it was in 2018, the effort to legalize recreational marijuana is overwhelmingly funded by marijuana dispensaries.  AFHE exists to support home education because children are important. They are so important that parents make tremendous sacrifices to give their child the best education at home they possibly can. Ultimately, we are not persuaded that legalizing recreational marijuana use in Arizona will help children in any way. And there are many ways that it could be harmful. Take these examples:
  • In the states that have legalized marijuana, use by people younger than 21 has risen dramatically.
  • The human brain is still developing until the early-to-middle twenties and marijuana use has been shown to stunt and impair that development.
  • Prop. 207 would decrease the penalties for underage use of recreational marijuana, sending the message that it is not a big deal and fueling a culture of underage use.
  • Prop. 207 places strict limits on law enforcement’s ability to stop impaired driving.
  • Many neighborhoods will have a surge in marijuana growing, because HOA’s will no longer be permitted to place restrictions on marijuana home growth.
  • In other states, recreational marijuana has adversely impacted the availability of marijuana for medical reasons such as chronic pain.
As a final matter, Prop. 207  will take away the ability of lawmakers to make changes to its provisions–even for emergent priorities like public safety, public health, or financial downturns. This problematic feature of our state Constitution that hamstrings the ability of our elected representatives to respond to our needs is known as “voter protection.” Voter protection is a good reason to be wary of any law proposed at the ballot.  For more information on what is at stake in the vote on Prop. 207 please visit www.no207az.com. However you come down on this issue, and on the other decisions on the ballot in 2020, we wish you the best as you exercise the wonderful privilege of voting, and demonstrate civic engagement and responsibility to the young learners in your home. Peter Gentala Board President
Categories
AFHE Home AFHE News Blog Community Leaders Uncategorized

New AFHE Board Couple – Michael and Kristina Abbott

We are pleased to introduce AFHE’s newest board couple, Michael and Kristina Abbott.

Michael and Kris Abbott have been married since 2006 after meeting in college in southwestern Pennsylvania. They felt called to homeschool their children shortly after experiencing the birth of their first son. With the older of their two children now entering kindergarten in 2020, they stand with excitement at the starting line of the journey to lead their children unto a knowledge of the Lord.

Michael has worked in the banking and financial industries since 2003, and he plans to leverage these skill sets to function as the Treasurer of AFHE. Michael is a passionate advocate of limiting screen media access to young children due to the complications it presents to the natural cognitive development process. Kris worked as a pharmacist from 2004 through 2020, recently stepping down from her position to lead the family academic curriculum. She tutors the third grade class of her local, cooperative homeschooling group, and she also leads a weekly women’s ministry group at her church. Michael and Kris both serve in the youth ministry program at their church in Scottsdale.

Categories
AFHE Home AFHE News Blog Community Graduation High School Uncategorized

What Makes Grand Canyon University a Great Choice for Homeschoolers?

What Makes Grand Canyon University a Great Choice for Homeschool Students?

2019 AFHE Convention Sponsor – Guest Blog Post
by Sheila Jones, Grand Canyon University

At Grand Canyon University (GCU) we absolutely love homeschooled students! They come in with a missions background, a BIG love for the Lord, and an exceptional work ethic. We are finding homeschoolers flocking to our vibrant campus from all over the nation and we want to do all we can to nurture them. Here are a few big reasons why Grand Canyon University is the best university in the nation for homeschooled students.

COMMUNITY

We have an incredible community! One of the best things about homeschoolers and their families is how well they build community. You often find homeschoolers giving back to the community and each other, worshipping, and taking adventures. This is exactly what GCU does. If you stop any student on GCU’s campus and ask them what their favorite part of being at GCU is, they will likely say “the community.” GCU is a natural fit for homeschoolers because, despite our growing campus, we work hard to keep the community at the forefront, just like homeschooling parents do.

Would you like more information on GCU?
GCU Introduction

SPIRITUALITY

According to Barna Research, roughly 70% of high school students who enter college as Christians will leave with without their faith and we strive hard to fight those odds. GCU has life leaders on every floor of every dorm who lead bible studies, Chapel on Mondays where over 7,000 students voluntarily come to listen to God’s word, and The Gathering on Tuesday evenings where students lead worship together. We have mission opportunities both in the local neighborhood and overseas. It is cool to love the Lord on our campus at GCU!

Would you like more information on our Spiritual Life? 
GCU Spiritual Life

DUAL ENROLLMENT

Our Dual Enrollment is top notch! Dual Enrollment helps homeschoolers get a jump on college and save money. Over 70% of our students graduate in less than four years. GCU understands most homeschooling parents operate off one income, so we have worked hard to make our dual classes extremely affordable or even free for local homeschooled students who attend on our campus. Our dual students save money on the front end of their college career and this helps students reduce their debt load on the back end when they graduate and head out into the workforce.

Would you like more information on our Dual Enrollment?
GCU Dual Enrollment

 

For more details on this homeschool-friendly university …
CONTACT Sheila Jones, Sheila.jones@gcu.edu
FACEBOOK: Ask to join our GCU Homeschool Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/gcuhomeschool/

Sheila Jones, Grand Canyon University

Sheila Jones currently serves as program manager for Strategic Educational Alliances, working closely with homeschool groups within GCU’s Alliance Program for Homeschool Achievement (ALPHA) program. Sheila spent her previous years in admissions at GCU and supplementing education by running and owning a private tutoring company servicing the state of Arizona. Sheila earned her undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University and completed her Master’s degree in Business Leadership and Grand Canyon University. Sheila’s hope is to explore and learn more about how she can glorify the Lord through her opportunities as a servant leader. She adores working and advocating for homeschool groups and hopes to have a hand in furthering their opportunities for growth through GCU.