Tag: The Republic / azcentral.com

Arizona Democrats try to ride wave of frustration from #RedForEd to win power at Capitol

| October 17, 2018
Arizona Democrats try to ride wave of frustration from #RedForEd to win power at Capitol

Five months after more than 50,000 teachers and their supporters stormed the Arizona Capitol complex, aftershocks from the #RedForEd protests continue to reverberate in state legislative races.

No campaign between candidates is ever about a single issue, but the red wave has made the 2018 battle for control of the state Legislature as close to a one-issue contest as it gets.

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After Arizona’s #RedForEd protests, teachers in drive to win offices across U.S. See related story here

| October 9, 2018
After Arizona’s #RedForEd protests, teachers in drive to win offices across U.S. See related story here

Last September, school speech therapist Kathy Hoffman was settling into the new academic year, working with youngsters in her small classroom behind a playground at Sahuaro Ranch Elementary School in a blue-collar neighborhood outside Phoenix.

This year, the political novice is gone from her classroom and on the campaign trail across Arizona full time as the Democrats’ choice in the race to become superintendent of public education, overseeing the state’s schools.

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Counselor crisis: Arizona has highest ratio of students to school counselors in US. See related news here

| August 15, 2018
Counselor crisis: Arizona has highest ratio of students to school counselors in US. See related news here

Arizona’s student to school counselor ratio is the highest in the nation, averaging 903 students to every one counselor in public schools in the 2015-16 school year, according to data from the American School Counselor Association.

Arizona held a 743-1 ratio a decade ago, but climbed as high as 941-1 in the post-recession years before slowly improving, data shows.

The improved ratio — still more than three times the recommended number — has been a sticking point for Arizona’s March for Our Lives student and #RedForEd teacher movements.

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Families will spend up to $1,355 per child on back to school, Backpack Index shows. See related news here

| August 7, 2018
Families will spend up to $1,355 per child on back to school, Backpack Index shows. See related news here

Back-to-school supply lists can be long — folders, glue sticks, pencils, notebooks. Not to mention new school uniforms and items needed for baseball practice, cheerleading or glee club. Shopping carts brim with goods this time of year, and they often come with a hefty price tag.

Although families across the nation can still expect to pay several hundred dollars per student for school supplies and activities this year, there’s some good news.

According to the 2018 Backpack Index, a study that tracks classroom supply and fee costs, the cost of outfitting a child for back to school fell slightly this year.

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Parents, teachers struggle to cover cost of school supplies. See related news here

| August 1, 2018
Parents, teachers struggle to cover cost of school supplies. See related news here

Displays of sharpened crayons, kitten-covered notebooks and fresh markers distract crowds at the front of stores, encouraging them to buy.

It’s that time of year again, when students beg for school supplies featuring their favorite Disney character, and parents and teachers panic at the cost.

And this year in Arizona, as students return to school after a year that ended in a historic educator walkout, the issue of school supplies has gotten seriously political.

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5 tips parents can use to prevent summer reading loss. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
5 tips parents can use to prevent summer reading loss. See related news here

Children have more free time in the summer to have fun. From enjoying summer camps to video games and TV, there are endless possibilities of entertainment. 

But beware of summer brain drain. 

For elementary school students, the loss of reading skills over the summer accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their middle-income peers by ninth grade, according to the National Summer Learning Association. 

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Arizona’s #RedForEd movement evolves into quieter, broader political force. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
Arizona’s #RedForEd movement evolves into quieter, broader political force. See related news here

Colleen Gentry, who has taught in Arizona for 17 years, arrived at the state Capitol Saturday morning in a red T-shirt as the #RedForEd Spirit Band played a rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

It was not nearly as large or raucous a spirit band as had played during the six days of rallies that took place when teachers walked out starting in late April. Nor was the crowd as large — about 150 on this morning instead of an overwhelming wave of tens of thousands.

Gentry pointed out the spots on the Capitol lawn where she had sat during the six-day walkout. She said she was in the House during the marathon all-night session at which the teacher-pay-raise package was passed.

“I learned a lot, which is why I’m back here,” she said.

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AzMERIT results: 56 percent of Arizona third-graders aren’t proficient in reading. See related stories here

| June 20, 2018
AzMERIT results: 56 percent of Arizona third-graders aren’t proficient in reading. See related stories here

After four years of Arizona students taking the consequential AzMERIT standardized test, reading and math scores have improved statewide across the board — though mostly by only small percentage points.

Preliminary 2018 AzMERIT results obtained by The Arizona Republic from the Arizona Department of Education show upticks in passage rates since 2015, when nearly two-thirds of Arizona students failed the reading and math portions of the test.

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#RedForEd returns to the Arizona Capitol on Saturday to rally for education funding. See related stories here

| June 20, 2018
#RedForEd returns to the Arizona Capitol on Saturday to rally for education funding. See related stories here

Arizona teachers will return to the Capitol on Saturday for a rally, a month after tens of thousands of educators walked out of class and flooded Arizona’s statehouse for six school days.

This time, teachers are rallying to collect signatures for a proposed ballot measure that would bring in $690 million in additional education funding by raising income taxes on Arizona’s wealthiest residents.

Saturday will be the first gathering since the historic April 26 walkout that impacted more than 850,000 students and changed the course of state budget discussions.

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School’s out, but here’s where kids can still get a free breakfast and lunch. See related local summertime meal programs for children here

| June 13, 2018
School’s out, but here’s where kids can still get a free breakfast and lunch. See related local summertime meal programs for children here

During the school year, schools provide free breakfasts and lunches to hundreds of thousands of children in need. 

To assure children don’t go hungry during the summer, the state has established more than 1,100 locations statewide where children can continue to get free meals. 

Last year, more than 3.1 million meals were served at sites during the summer.

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