Tag: azfamily.com

FBI warns posting fake school threats & hoaxes can lead to arrest, prison time

| September 5, 2018
FBI warns posting fake school threats & hoaxes can lead to arrest, prison time

“Think before you post.”

That’s the message from the FBI to anyone thinking about posting fake school threats or hoaxes in public forums.

Law enforcement, prosecutors, and educators are joining together to educate the public about the consequences of posting hoaxes.

In recent months, the FBI and law enforcement around the country have investigated a number of hoax threats of targeted violence against schools and other public places.

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Teacher shortage appears to ease, but special ed spots tough to fill

| August 1, 2018
Teacher shortage appears to ease, but special ed spots tough to fill

School districts across the state appear to have an easier time filling open teacher positions this year, when compared to last year. But the news is not all positive for districts that are looking for candidates with teaching degrees, and for districts that need to fill special ed spots. That is according to a CBS 5 Investigates survey sent to every school district in Arizona.

“I would say the trend is similar to the last couple of years in that, during the summer, the well is dry,” said Justin Wing, who is the director of Human Resources for the Washington Elementary School District.

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After Gov. Ducey signs tax extension, teachers say it’s not enough. See related education stories here

| March 28, 2018
After Gov. Ducey signs tax extension, teachers say it’s not enough. See related education stories here

On the same day Gov. Doug Ducey extended a tax to pay fund education, leaders in a growing teachers group vowed to keep up the pressure on state leaders for better teacher pay. 

Noah Karvelis, one of the top organizers of the “#RedForEd” movement, said a widespread teacher strike is still an option. 

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Group submits petitions to halt expanded school-voucher program. Please see related stories

| August 9, 2017
Group submits petitions to halt expanded school-voucher program. Please see related stories

Foes of giving out more vouchers of tax dollars to let children go to private and parochial schools filed petitions Tuesday with more than 111,000 signatures to force the issue to a public vote.

The group Save Our Schools contends that SB 1431 will drain dollars from an already underfunded public school system.

“Class sizes have swelled to almost 40 children per teacher,” said Beth Lewis, a fifth-grade teacher in the Tempe Elementary School District.

“Many schools no longer have tutoring, school nurses, summer school or field trips,” she said at a press conference after the petitions were delivered to the Secretary of State’s Office. “What more can be cut?”

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Teacher gives latest pay raise low marks. Please see related story

| March 29, 2017
Teacher gives latest pay raise low marks. Please see related story

State lawmakers are now looking to boost teacher pay above and beyond Gov. Doug Ducey’s offer.

House Speaker J.D. Mesnard, a Republican from Chandler, said legislators are considering a one percent increase for next year.

While this is more than Ducey’s proposal, it wasn’t well received by at least one teacher who believes the state can do better.

“It’s frustrating and it hurts a little bit. I’ve dedicated myself to this career and to not feel valued is really frustrating,” said Valerie Meyer, who been teaching in the Valley for 22 years.

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Arizona adopts cursive requirement in schools

| December 21, 2016
Arizona adopts cursive requirement in schools

Arizona will soon require public schools to teach cursive, part of a slate of new education standards approved by the state Board of Education Monday in its push to revise national guidelines known as Common Core.

The new K-12 math and language arts learning standards will take effect in fall 2018.

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Arizona education chief pushing for more money for teachers. Please see related stories

| November 30, 2016
Arizona education chief pushing for more money for teachers. Please see related stories

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has released a new funding proposal aimed at giving pay raises to teachers, repairing school facilities and buying new school buses.

Douglas’ 2017 “AZ Kids Can’t Wait” education plan unveiled Tuesday would give Arizona’s public schools $680 million to pay for the improvements and changes.

Of the $680 million, $200 million would be given to schools without strings attached; $140 million just for boosting teacher salaries; a combined $60 million to increase rural transportation funding and address teacher recruitment; and $280 million to address schools’ capital funding needs.

Douglas will need to work with Gov. Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature to make the funding plan a reality and also work with the Board of Education to push through many of her proposals.

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Arizona experiences up for auction this holiday season

| November 30, 2016
Arizona experiences up for auction this holiday season

Attracting visitors to Arizona and raising money for educational programs in the process is the goal behind the Arizona Lodging and Tourism Association’s Stay in AZ campaign.

“There’s everything on there from a five-night stay down in the Tombstone area, complete with horseback riding and meals to local resorts here,” said AzLTA executive vice president David Drennon.

The auction kicked offed last week but new deals are being added including a VIP Spring Training package that was added on Cyber Monday.

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23 AZ students for every 1 teacher; ratio among country’s highest

| August 10, 2016
23 AZ students for every 1 teacher; ratio among country’s highest

Talk to just about any Valley teacher and he or she will tell you it’s the personal connections with the kids that keep them coming back year after year.

“You believe in them, and they don’t yet,” Jonathan Parker, a teacher at Thunderbird High School, explained. “And when they realize their own potential, it’s unbelievably rewarding.”

Christine Marsh, 2016 Arizona Teacher of the Year, says forging those personal connections is harder now than it used to be.

“I remember when I would think to myself, ‘How could I possibly teach 32 kids in one class?’ Because that was, like, a really big class then,” she said. “Now it’s ‘How can I possibly teach 42 or 40 or 39?’ Thirty-two is now a relatively small class — or at least average. It’s no longer my big class. And it makes a difference because that leaves less time to have any kind of individual impact or individual relationship with kids.”

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