Tag: Arizona Daily Star

Ducey focuses on water, school safety, teacher shortage in State of the State. See more state education news here

| January 15, 2019
Ducey focuses on water, school safety, teacher shortage in State of the State. See more state education news here

Gov. Doug Ducey said securing Arizona’s water future is his chief priority during his State of the State address Jan. 14 at the Capitol in Phoenix. …

The Safe Arizona School’s plan with more school counselors, more police officers on campus, improved background checks and restricted access to firearms for people who are a lethal threat “will make our schools safer and it’s time for us to get this done,” Ducey said. …

Ducey said more is needed for K-12 education funding with a focus on results, reforms and resources. …

“Four years ago, I heard what sounded like a really good idea to address the teacher shortage,” Ducey said. “If someone graduates from an Arizona university, is willing to stay in Arizona, and teach in a public school, why not allow them to graduate debt-free by providing a scholarship?”

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Report: Lack of consistent oversight leaves struggling Arizona schools vulnerable

| December 12, 2018
Report: Lack of consistent oversight leaves struggling Arizona schools vulnerable

Arizona has long worked to give local school districts the autonomy to operate in a way that best suits their individual student populations, but a recently published national report says the state’s approach has backfired when it comes to improving its lowest performing schools.

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Cigarette use by Arizona youth on the decline as e-cigarette use surges

| December 12, 2018
Cigarette use by Arizona youth on the decline as e-cigarette use surges

Cigarette smoking by Arizona youth is on the decline, but the number of middle- and high-school students using e-cigarettes has increased at an alarming rate over the past two years, according to a newly released report.

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Ruling to block tax measure to raise Arizona education funding wrong, 2 justices say. See related education news here

| November 1, 2018
Ruling to block tax measure to raise Arizona education funding wrong, 2 justices say. See related education news here

Two justices of the Arizona Supreme Court are criticizing their colleagues for their decision blocking voters from deciding whether to increase income taxes on the most wealthy to fund education.

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Arizona education board adopts new standards, support for evolution. See more statewide education news here

| October 24, 2018
Arizona education board adopts new standards, support for evolution. See more statewide education news here

The state Board of Education on Monday rebuffed a bid by schools chief Diane Douglas to adopt standards for public schools crafted by a Christian college for Arizona.

But whether schools may be allowed to use the standards from Hillsdale College remains an open question. Several board members said it might be appropriate to have that as an option for schools that choose not to follow the standards for history, social studies and science that the board did adopt, by a 6-4 vote.

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Poll Shows That Proposition 305 Confuses Voters. See related stories here

| October 9, 2018
Poll Shows That Proposition 305 Confuses Voters. See related stories here

A new Suffolk University/Arizona Republic poll shows that the ballot language of Proposition 305 has led to a great deal of confusion among Arizona voters. With the proposition to help decide the state’s future in the expanded universal voucher program, the confusion would result in the November election’s outcome being affected. 

41 percent of the poll’s 500 registered voters were in support of expanding the voucher program that provides public money to parents in order to send their children to private school. 32 percent were opposed and 27 percent remain undecided on the subject.

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Charter school financial controversies spark talk of Arizona legislative action. See related news

| September 26, 2018
Charter school financial controversies spark talk of Arizona legislative action. See related news

Gov. Doug Ducey says he’s open to the idea of reforms in how charter schools are operated, including how they handle their finances.

For the moment, though, he has no specific suggestions. And he remains convinced that the private schools, which in Arizona can be operated as for-profit entities, are an innovation, he said.

There is some movement on the issue.

Sen. Kate Brophy McGee, R-Phoenix, said Tuesday she wants lawmakers to mandate that there be better oversight of these technically public schools run by private entities that get taxpayer funds.

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Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

| September 19, 2018
Arizona schools chief candidates debate vouchers, charters’ oversight and more. See related news here

The two contenders for state schools chief found one key agreement in a debate Thursday: Both oppose Proposition 305.

Democrat Kathy Hoffman said there is no reason for the plan approved last year by the Republican-controlled Legislature to make vouchers of taxpayers’ dollars available for all 1.1 million students to attend private or parochial schools, with an initial cap of 30,000 students. …

Republican Frank Riggs, a former California congressman, said he has no problem with the vouchers, called “empowerment scholarship accounts.” He said there is an argument to be made for greater availability. But not for all.

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Voters will get the final say on measure to tax Arizona’s rich for education. See related news here

| August 22, 2018
Voters will get the final say on measure to tax Arizona’s rich for education. See related news here

A judge has slapped down efforts by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry to block people from voting on whether income taxes on the rich should be hiked to generate $690 million a year for education.

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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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