Tag: Charter Schools

Ward: State GOP backs tax hike for education. See more state education news here

| April 23, 2019
Ward: State GOP backs tax hike for education. See more state education news here

The state Republican Party has staked out a rare policy position by backing a tax hike – as long as GOP lawmakers don’t have to do it alone.
AZGOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward announced Monday evening her support for legislation that would increase a voter-approved 0.6-cent sales tax earmarked for education to a full penny.
This new tax hike, like the original tax, would also need to be approved by voters on the 2020 ballot.

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#RedForEd redux? Arizona’s teachers, lawmakers fighting similar battles as in West Virginia. See more state education news here

| February 26, 2019
#RedForEd redux? Arizona’s teachers, lawmakers fighting similar battles as in West Virginia. See more state education news here

Teachers in West Virginia walked out of their classrooms last year and rushed their state’s Capitol.

Arizona teachers followed on their heels, walking out last spring over meager paychecks and thinned classroom funding.

As West Virginia lawmakers considered a voucher-style program this year; so did Arizona lawmakers.

And with tension growing in West Virginia over legislation educators believe to be retaliation for last year’s #RedForEd walkout, tension over similar proposals in Arizona is flaring, too.

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11 education bills to watch at the Arizona Capitol. See more state education news here

| February 12, 2019
11 education bills to watch at the Arizona Capitol. See more state education news here

Almost a year after the #RedForEd walkout, state lawmakers continue to face immense pressure from educators and parents to improve Arizona’s public schools. …

Legislators spent the first month of this year’s session introducing a flurry of education bills. Many won’t make it to even the first step toward becoming law — a public committee hearing and vote. 

But some have.

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States aim to boost school spending following teacher walkouts. See more national education news here

| February 12, 2019
States aim to boost school spending following teacher walkouts. See more national education news here

Spurred by teacher strikes and a sense of crisis, Colorado’s new governor is one of 33 newly elected leaders of states and territories who campaigned on improving education funding. In many states, both Republicans and Democrats agree that schools need more money and teachers need better pay.

Education “is probably the most important issue” facing the legislature, said Colorado state Sen. Bob Rankin, a Republican who recently co-chaired a state education council.

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Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman talks ‘dream come true’ as she heads into office. See more state education news here

| January 29, 2019
Arizona Superintendent Kathy Hoffman talks ‘dream come true’ as she heads into office. See more state education news here

The oath has been taken, the official photo is up, now it is time to get to work for Arizona’s new Superintendent of Public Instruction, Kathy Hoffman. The former teacher and speech therapist admits it is still sinking in.

“To really have my vision come to reality and to be getting to work on the issues I really care about has just been like a dream come true,” Hoffman told me.

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Arizona lawmakers urged to approve $56M for child care for needy families. See more state education news here

| January 22, 2019
Arizona lawmakers urged to approve $56M for child care for needy families. See more state education news here

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is urging lawmakers to approve a plan to put $56 million toward expanding child care assistance for thousands of children.

In a (Jan. 16) announcement, the governor’s office said half of the funds would go toward expanding the number of parents eligible to receive those subsidies, impacting an estimated 5,100 children.

The other half would be put toward increasing the average monthly child care subsidy rate by as much as 17 percent. That would affect about 39,000 children.

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Douglas: Legislature shortchanges school voucher program. See related news here

| December 27, 2018
Douglas: Legislature shortchanges school voucher program. See related news here

Outgoing Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas accused Arizona lawmakers of routinely underfunding the Department of Education’s effort to oversee the state’s voucher program, leaving millions of dollars earmarked for administrative costs untouched. …

In all but two years since the voucher program was launched in 2011, lawmakers have allowed the Department of Education to spend less than half of what’s prescribed by law, according to a memo sent by Douglas to legislative leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey.

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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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Do charter schools favor students from higher income areas? See related news here

| September 12, 2018
Do charter schools favor students from higher income areas? See related news here

Do charter schools discriminate in enrollment, favoring students from higher-income areas, and capping the number of special education and English language learner students they take?

Charter schools get tax money, and they’re an alternative to public schools, but critics say some charters try to steer clear of certain kinds of students, and they say that’s illegal and unacceptable.

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