American Federation for Children Welcomes State Senator Steve Smith to Lead Arizona Team
The American Federation for Children (AFC), the nation’s voice for educational choice, is happy to announce that State Senator Steve Smith will serve as the first AFC Arizona State Director. Sen. Smith just completed his final term in the legislature and is a passionate proponent of school choice. Sen. Smith has an impeccable track record at the Arizona State Legislature of fighting on behalf of parents and children who need additional educational opportunities. As Arizona continues to lead the nation in innovative school choice options, AFC is expanding our team to better serve Arizona families and help them access the best education possible for every child. Sen. Smith will be a valuable addition to that effort.
Statement from John Schilling, President of the American Federation for Children:
“We welcome the Honorable Steve Smith who has proven to be a fearless and powerful voice for all families who want the best education for their children but lack the resources and opportunities needed. We are excited to forge ahead with Steve at the helm of our Arizona efforts as we fight together to ensure every Arizona student has access to a quality education.”
Statement from State Senator Steve Smith:
“I am very excited to join the Arizona AFC team to have the opportunity to continue working on improving education for our state’s children through school choice, an issue I believe in whole-heartedly. My goal is to help further our efforts to make existing school choice programs like Empowerment Scholarship Accounts easier to use, more effective for families, and more accountable to taxpayers so that we can achieve greater educational outcomes for our students.”
A member of Arizona’s Senate Education Committee for six years, Sen. Steve Smith is incredibly knowledgeable on the overall education issues in Arizona as well as the needs of students, parents, and teachers.
Sen. Smith was a Prime Sponsor in 2011 when the nation’s first Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) legislation was introduced in Arizona and he helped lead the groundbreaking program to it’s historic passage. Since then, he has been integral in leading additional ESA reforms as well as championing legislation to increase school funding and teacher pay.
Sen. Smith comes from a family of teachers including his wife, brother, sister, and parents who have a combined 100+ years of public school teaching experience. Last legislative session Sen. Smith was one of the few legislators who took a hardline stance stating that he would not vote for the budget unless the 20% increase for teacher pay was included.
During his tenure at the Arizona Legislature in both the House and Senate, Sen. Smith won multiple awards and accolades from a wide variety of Arizona organizations including the Golden Apple Award for his work in education and top honors from the Unified Arizona Veterans/Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame, the Arizona Police Association, The Arizona Association of Providers for People with Disabilities, The Goldwater Institute, and Americans for Prosperity.
Sen. Smith joins the current Arizona AFC team including Sydney Hay, Arizona Government Affairs Advisor, Sarah Raybon, Arizona Implementation Director, and Kim Martinez, Arizona Communications Director.