Tag: ABC15

Study shows high student-to-school counselor ratio in Arizona. See related stories here

| February 21, 2018
Study shows high student-to-school counselor ratio in Arizona. See related stories here

PHOENIX – A new study shows Arizona has a very high student-to-school-counselor ratio.

The American School Counselor Association (ASCA) recommends a ratio of 250 students per school counselor.

According to the ASCA study, Arizona has 924 students per school counselor.

ASCA says it compiled data from the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.

Corey Harris, Executive Director of Arizona School Counselor Association, thinks the reason for the shortage is two-fold.

One, some districts aren’t hiring in light of budget cuts and two, Arizona doesn’t offer competitive pay.

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Six-figure media campaign paints positive picture of education in Arizona. See related stories here

| January 24, 2018
Six-figure media campaign paints positive picture of education in Arizona. See related stories here

Some Arizona businesses and their lobbying groups are spending money this week in a bid to convince voters that the state’s education situation is not as bad as some would say.

Matthew Benson, spokesman for the newly formed Arizona Education Project, said it has made a “six-figure” buy of TV ads in the Phoenix area this week to counter what he called the “negative voices” in education. He would not identify who they are.

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Douglas renews call for tax hike to fund teacher raises. See related stories here

| January 24, 2018
Douglas renews call for tax hike to fund teacher raises. See related stories here

State schools chief Diane Douglas is renewing her call for a tax hike to provide a meaningful pay raise for teachers even as fellow Republican Gov. Doug Ducey insists it’s not necessary.

In her annual State of Education speech Monday, Douglas cited statistics showing that more than one out of every five teaching vacancies at the beginning of this school year still remained unfilled four months later.

“While teacher pay is not the only factor leading to the shortage, it is a big factor,” she told members of the House Education Committee.

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Schools cite incorrect data, construction, school threats in letter grade appeals. Please see related stories

| October 18, 2017
Schools cite incorrect data, construction, school threats in letter grade appeals. Please see related stories

Seventy-three schools are appealing the letter grades they’ve been given by state school officials, citing a variety of reasons that their grade should be improved.

For about two-thirds of those appealing, school officials say either that the Arizona Department of Education used incorrect data to calculate their letter grade or that the formula the Arizona State Board of Education used to grade schools is flawed. …

A small number of schools cited unusual conditions.
• Flagstaff High School received threats of “Columbine-style” violence, resulting in a spike of absences while parents kept their kids at home.

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New school year starts with same teacher challenges. Please see related stories

| August 9, 2017
New school year starts with same teacher challenges. Please see related stories

It’s back to school, and back to the same challenges in education Arizona has faced for years.

Monday was the first day of school for many youngsters, but it’s too soon to know if there will be a teacher shortage this year. That’s because, according to superintendent of public instruction Diane Douglas, each school district makes its own hiring decisions.

To ease the shortage, she said, the state legislature has helped in attracting teachers by changing the way teachers get certified.

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Arizona 8th grader advances at Scripps National Spelling Bee

| May 31, 2017
Arizona 8th grader advances at Scripps National Spelling Bee

One of the Arizona’s two representatives in the 90th annual Scripps National Spelling Bee advanced on Wednesday morning.

Penda Ba correctly spelled her first word in the preliminary round.

The 8th grader from Gilbert correctly spelled “scilicet.”

Penda will now have the chance to spell a second word in the preliminary round. If she gets that correct, the judges will factor in her score from Tuesday’s written test.

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Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding teacher certifications. Please see related stories

| May 3, 2017
Gov. Doug Ducey signs bill expanding teacher certifications. Please see related stories

Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Tuesday that will change the rules and qualifications for who can become a teacher in the state, marking another enacted education measure strongly opposed by Democratic lawmakers.

The governor called the legislation a win for schools, teachers, and students in a written statement. Arizona has struggled with a teacher shortage, and Ducey, along with other backers, say easing the certification requirements will help fix the problem.

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ESA expansion would cost state more money

| March 1, 2017
ESA expansion would cost state more money

Bills to expand Empowerment Scholarship Accounts working their way through the Arizona Legislature would substantially increase costs to the state’s general fund, not save the state money as one of the bills’ sponsors has claimed, according to two recent financial reports.

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts provide taxpayer money from the state’s general fund to parents who opt to take their child out of a public school – a district or charter school – and send them to a private school or use other education services. Currently, 4,102 Arizona students use ESAs at a cost to the state of $37 million in 2017 and $99.7 million since the program was introduced in 2011.

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Arizona Department of Environmental Quality testing water at more than 1,000 schools for lead levels

| January 18, 2017
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality testing water at more than 1,000 schools for lead levels

Officials have begun testing more than 1,000 schools across the state for possible high levels of lead in the water supply.

According to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, the testing is a proactive measure designed to see if lead levels in the water are at levels that may pose harm to children’s health.

(Proactive testing measure includes Fredonia-Moccasin Unified, Grand Canyon Unified, Flagstaff Unified, Tuba City Unified, Williams Unified, other school districts in Coconino County)

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Arizona parents, teachers rally for more public education funding

| January 11, 2017
Arizona parents, teachers rally for more public education funding

Many kids are gearing up to head back to the classrooms after their holiday break, and now Arizona lawmakers are gearing up to go back to the Arizona State Capitol — to talk about schools.

Monday marks the start of the new legislative session in our state. Governor Doug Ducey is also set to make his 2017 State of the State address.

But, on Sunday, parents and educators decided they could not wait to make their voices heard.

They decided to rally in front of Senator John McCain and Senator Jeff Flake’s offices Sunday afternoon near 24th Street and Camelback Road.

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