Is the percentage of funding that school districts spend on classrooms going up or down? The Arizona Auditor General’s annual report on classroom spending says it was down for the 2015-2016 school year, but a broader definition used by the governor, Legislature and Arizona public school leaders shows support for the classroom is holding steady.
The auditor’s report, released March 1, focuses on the category of instruction as the barometer of support for Arizona students, which last year was 53.5 percent of available operating dollars, a slight decrease from the prior year. That includes teachers, aides, substitute teachers, supplies like paper, pencils, crayons, textbooks, workbooks and software and activities such as choir, band, field trips and athletics.
The more commonly accepted way to measure support for student learning in the classroom, however, was 67.4 percent, the same as it was the prior year.
“It’s a much better understanding that support is not just what happens in the classroom” but also the services students receive that help them achieve, said Ken Hicks, chief financial officer of Peoria Unified School District.
State lawmakers are now looking to boost teacher pay above and beyond Gov. Doug Ducey’s offer.
House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, a Republican from Chandler, said legislators are considering a one percent increase for next year.
While this is more than Ducey’s proposal, it wasn’t well received by at least one teacher who believes the state can do better.
“It’s frustrating and it hurts a little bit. I’ve dedicated myself to this career and to not feel valued is really frustrating,” said Valerie Meyer, who been teaching in the Valley for 22 years.
The state board of education is reviewing public feedback on their proposed A through F school grading system Monday morning. The meeting comes after a month of public hearings on the program.
Officials on the board said the feedback so far has been pretty consistent.
Among the top comments are: too much reliance on the state’s standardized test and concerns about the impacts of socioeconomic status on school letter grades.
Parents, teachers and students have a few options when it comes to improving their schools. One way is through the Legislature, but some people don’t have the tools or knowledge to advocate for their issues.
The Arizona Parent Teacher Association sought to remedy that Wednesday by holding advocacy workshops and a discussion panel with five state representatives.
Twenty years ago, internet access was a luxury that only a small number of schools in the country could afford. That’s no longer true .
As more instructional technology advances and more material lives online instead of on book shelves or in cabinets, nearly all schools in the country have adopted some sort of access to the internet, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
However, data from a nonprofit advocating for better internet access in schools shows Arizona is still lagging.
That’s not to say progress isn’t being made; a statewide initiative coupled with federal funding could boost internet connectivity in Arizona’s public and charter schools substantially in coming years.
Iowa educator picked as new superintendent of FUSD. See more Arizona Daily Sun education stories here
The FUSD Governing Board announced Saturday that they have entered into superintendent negotiations with Michael Penca, one of two finalists interviewed by the board, staff and students in Flagstaff Wednesday. He is expected to start July 3.
Penca currently serves as the interim superintendent of the Mason City Community School District in north central Iowa under a one-year, $173,000 contract that expires July 31. He has worked in Mason City schools for 20 years and was hired by the board last June after it bought out the contract of the previous superintendent on short notice.
Proverbs teaches us to “train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” A unique opportunity awaits Arizona to train up our children in early literacy that will chart a new course toward a legacy of literacy. With the choice of full-day kindergarten, a rich destiny awaits our state and generations to come from a literate, engaged society.
Research teaches us that students who receive high-quality, full-day kindergarten are abounding with successful outcomes
New Tuba City Elementary School features green technology, possibly opening in fall. See more Navajo Hopi-Observer education stories here
Tuba City’s new kindergarten through fifth grade elementary school, which will feature green technology, has been under construction for about a year and is ahead of schedule, according to the construction manager for the project.
Wayne Nez, construction manager, said construction of the state of the art school — the first of its kind on any northern Arizona reservation is going well.
“We are actually ahead of schedule, on budget and in a safe building capacity,” Nez said. “The new k-5 construction is approximately 75 percent complete.”
Williams Unified School District announced the March Students of the Month (SOM).
Kashaeda Page and Luis Urias are the March middle school Students of the Month
Kindergarten SOM is Kelly Gonzalez.