The Arizona Latino School Board Association started as an idea in 2012-13 as a result of conversations between then State Senator Steve Gallardo and then State Representative Martín Quezada. At the time, Gallardo and Quezada were the only pro-public education legislators who were also currently serving as elected school board members. In their dual roles, they recognized that issues specific to our Latino student population were not given the priority at the state legislature that they deserved.
Public education has historically faced large challenges given Arizona’s political climate. As a result, education advocates have been battling large scale issues like school funding, teacher accountability and curriculum. Meanwhile, Arizona’s demographics are shifting and our public schools are increasingly becoming majority Latino and their unique needs are not being addressed.
Gallardo and Quezada began reaching out to young up-and-coming and long-time experienced advocates for Latino students about the idea of forming a new organization to address these issues. Over the next four years, a group of founding school board members was formed from various school districts including: Alhambra Elementary, Fowler Elementary, Gilbert Public Schools, Pendergast Elementary, Phoenix Union, Tolleson Elementary, Tolleson Union and various greater Arizona school districts. The founding Board of Directors organized around a vision of Latino student success in Arizona and worked with superintendents, administrators, educators, and community leaders to develop a vision and mission for the new organization.
AZLSBA is advocating for the unique educational needs of Arizona’s Latino students, parents and community. The organization’s founders are committed to improving outcomes for the new Arizona majority in public education, Latino students. The success of Latino students in Arizona will drive the economic success of our state. AZLSBA stands in a position to be the strongest leader in this effort.