Tag: 91.5 KJZZ

Arizona Lags Behind In Higher Education

| December 5, 2018
Arizona Lags Behind In Higher Education

Over the course of the Great Recession, funding for Arizona’s state universities was cut dramatically by the legislature. And Arizona is behind many other states when it comes to residents who have some kind of post-high school degree or certificate.

Continue Reading

Arizona Lawmakers Return Next Week For 2018 Legislative Session

| January 3, 2018
Arizona Lawmakers Return Next Week For 2018 Legislative Session

When state lawmakers reconvene Monday for the 2018 legislative session, they will enter as a sexual harassment investigation is underway.

Despite that, Arizona’s House Speaker JD Mesnard has insisted lawmakers will remain focused on top priorities. …

As Arizona remains at the bottom of national numbers for teacher pay, Mesnard said that lawmakers will review the state’s education spending formula.

Continue Reading

Children’s Action Alliance To Arizona Gov. Ducey: Raise Taxes To Pay For Quality Education. See related stories here

| December 6, 2017
Children’s Action Alliance To Arizona Gov. Ducey: Raise Taxes To Pay For Quality Education. See related stories here

Critics of Gov. Doug Ducey’s plans to pay for education costs without tax increases say that mode of thinking has led to a huge shortage of permanent teachers, outdated textbooks and technology, overcrowded classrooms with not enough books and not enough desks.

Dana Wolfe Naimark, president and CEO of Children’s Action Alliance, released a new policy brief this past week, making a case study for higher taxes.

“We can’t turn this around until we restore revenues and reinvest in public schools,” she said. “And simply sitting around waiting to watch the economy grow cannot catch up to the needs of our public schools.”

Continue Reading

Breaking Down The Basics Of School Bonds And Overrides In Arizona

| November 8, 2017
Breaking Down The Basics Of School Bonds And Overrides In Arizona

This year, 39 school districts in Arizona have bond and/or override elections, according to the Arizona Association of School Business Officials. And if you live in the Valley, it’s hard to miss all of their campaign signs. So, why are we seeing so many of them?

Well, to answer that question, we need to back up and talk about where public schools in Arizona can get funding.

Continue Reading

Arizona Gov. Ducey Facing Pressure To Accept Education Tax. Please see related stories here

| September 6, 2017
Arizona Gov. Ducey Facing Pressure To Accept Education Tax. Please see related stories here

Governor Doug Ducey’s aversion to the word “taxes” could keep Arizona’s students from competing for jobs in the 21st century.

That’s what even staunch allies are finding after the Governor’s own appointed Classrooms First Initiative Council reviewed its two year study on school finance and reform.

The leader of the Classrooms First Initiative Council, Jim Swanson, normally supports the Governor.

“In some regard I give him credit for keeping his word,” Swanson said, referring to the Governor’s pledge to cut taxes every year.

But, he indicated education is not the place, nor is this the time. “I think that we have an extraordinary need in this state,” Swanson said.

Continue Reading

Save Our Schools Arizona Responds To Latest Lawsuit

| August 30, 2017
Save Our Schools Arizona Responds To Latest Lawsuit

The fight over expanding our state’s school voucher program continues this week as a coalition of conservative activists filed a lawsuit over an attempt to delay the expansion going into effect. 

Save Our Schools Arizona filed more than 100,000 petition signatures to attempt to block the voucher program from taking effect until voters can weigh in in a statewide vote next year. 

In response, the Goldwater Institute and others filed the suit Wednesday saying the attempt to delay the law puts families who were hoping to use the vouchers to enroll their children in private schools this year in a tough spot.

Continue Reading

Arizona Launches Program To Get More Teachers Into STEM Fields. Please see related story

| August 2, 2017
Arizona Launches Program To Get More Teachers Into STEM Fields. Please see related story

The latest numbers show Arizona is still in the midst of a dire shortage of teachers in our classrooms. A recent report from the Morrison Institute at ASU showed 74 percent of Arizona school administrators said their campuses don’t have enough teachers.

Now the Department of Education is starting a pilot program that aims to help current teachers here get certified to transfer into high-need fields. The High Quality Teacher Professional Development Pilot Program is accepting applications now for teachers who want to get up to $2,000 for training at an accredited post secondary institution.

Continue Reading

Report Shows Many Challenges Rural Schools Face In Arizona

| June 28, 2017
Report Shows Many Challenges Rural Schools Face In Arizona

In the debate about education in our state, schools outside of the big cities often get overlooked.

But a new report from the Rural School and Community Trust shows that when it comes to rural schools in Arizona, there are many challenges. 

The report found more than half of all of Arizona’s rural student population are minorities. We have a high percentage of English Language Learner students, and seven in 10 rural students in our state live in poverty. And, at the same time, spending on instruction per student here is the second lowest in the nation.

Continue Reading

Trying To Prioritize Both K-12, Higher Education In Arizona

| May 31, 2017
Trying To Prioritize Both K-12, Higher Education In Arizona

Last week, Gov. Ducey signed a $1 billion university-bonding package. He’d been pushing the idea that’ll provide around $30 million a year for the next 10 years to state universities for building repairs and other infrastructure needs.

By way of contrast, earlier this month four Arizona school districts sued the state over inadequate capital funding, which goes to pay for things like building repairs. Advocates for K-12 schools were also upset by the increase in teacher pay included in the new state budget – 1 percent this year, and 1 percent next year.

Continue Reading

Arizona Board Of Education To Review Feedback On School Grading System

| March 29, 2017
Arizona Board Of Education To Review Feedback On School Grading System

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.

Continue Reading