Tag: Arizona Daily Star

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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Race, income-based achievement gaps remain as Arizona kids make small gains on AzMerit. See related education news here

| August 7, 2018
Race, income-based achievement gaps remain as Arizona kids make small gains on AzMerit. See related education news here

Arizona public school children showed small gains on this year’s AzMerit tests, as the number of students passing the annual English and math test grew by one and two percentage points respectively.

Still, only 41 percent of students statewide passed either portion of the test, which was administered last school year.

AzMerit, like many standardized tests, has been criticized by scholars and policymakers as being overly reflective of a student’s socioeconomic status.

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Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

| July 25, 2018
Arizona Chamber of Commerce files suit to quash education tax proposal. See related news here

PHOENIX — The fate of whether voters get to decide on a higher income tax on the wealthy could depend on a judge’s math decision.

A lawsuit filed Tuesday by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry contends the petitions circulated by the #InvestInEd committee are “objectively false and misleading.” Attorney Kory Langhofer wants a judge to block the issue from getting on the November ballot.

The measure, if approved, would boost income tax rates on individuals making more than $250,000 and couples in the $500,000-plus range, to raise an estimated $690 million for education.

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Arizona not keeping up when it comes to helping vulnerable kids, report says

| July 4, 2018
Arizona not keeping up when it comes to helping vulnerable kids, report says

If Arizona’s progress were measured on a growth chart, recent years haven’t seen even an inch for the state’s most vulnerable children.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s annual Kids Count report finds Arizona failing to keep up with national trends in several categories, most notably child poverty, which has fallen nationwide for four consecutive years and now averages about 19 percent.

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