Tag: education funding

Study: Poverty, Location Factors In Arizona Student Literacy. See more state education news here

| March 26, 2019
Study: Poverty, Location Factors In Arizona Student Literacy. See more state education news here

A study of literacy programs for Arizona third-graders found that children who live in poverty or attend rural schools are at a disadvantage in learning to read. The report evaluated how effective reading instruction programs were for third-grade students based on a number of key metrics derived from AzMERIT, Arizona’s statewide learning assessment test. Study author Robert Vagi is a researcher at the University of Minnesota; he said economic and geographic factors play a significant role in a student’s ability to achieve age-appropriate literacy.

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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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House panel OKs asking Arizona voters to increase sales tax to pay for education. See more state education news here

| February 19, 2019
House panel OKs asking Arizona voters to increase sales tax to pay for education. See more state education news here

A House panel voted (Feb. 18) to ask voters to increase what they pay in sales taxes to fund public education.

The proposal would put a measure on the 2020 ballot to boost the current 0.6-of-a-cent sales tax earmarked for schools to a full penny.

That would bring in an extra $450 million to $500 million a year, with 75 percent earmarked for K-12 education, 20 percent to keep tuition affordable at public universities and the balance for community colleges.

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Arizona teachers hope to move from the classroom to the Capitol. See related news here

| August 7, 2018
Arizona teachers hope to move from the classroom to the Capitol. See related news here

Months after a massive teacher walkout over low school funding, at least 20 Arizona teachers are running for seats in the state Legislature.

“It’s so very important right now,” Jennifer Samuels, a seventh- and eighth-grade English teacher in the Paradise Valley Unified School District, said. “Our elected leaders have failed to fund our schools for a decade or more. We have to stand up for our children and colleagues and classrooms.”

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Opinion: Simple facts about public school funding, not rhetoric or fake news. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
Opinion: Simple facts about public school funding, not rhetoric or fake news. See related news here

Recently, the state has made respectable strides in moving education funding toward more effective levels. The future is optimistic if one disregards the recent rash of editorial assaults in the media by people trying to halt that momentum.

We all look forward to the next auditor general’s report on school spending to see some progress. 

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Arizona teachers collecting signatures for education initiative. See related stories here

| June 5, 2018
Arizona teachers collecting signatures for education initiative. See related stories here

Over 300 teachers hit the streets (June 2) across the state collecting signatures to get an education initiative on the November ballot.

“It wasn’t because we were unhappy with our pay it was because we need to improve public education in Arizona,” said Kelley Fisher.

Fisher is a kindergarten teacher at Las Brisas Elementary where she has taught for 20 years. She was out in Glendale today for several hours braving the hot temperatures for her kids and her school.

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Senate President willing to consider cap on school tax credits

| January 3, 2018
Senate President willing to consider cap on school tax credits

The architect of an ever-increasing siphoning off of state tax revenues to help send students to private and parochial schools said Thursday he’s now willing to consider a cap — now that the diversion has topped $74 million a year.

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Guest column: Education dollars should be a priority

| August 16, 2017
Guest column: Education dollars should be a priority

Elections in Arizona from now until 2018 midterms must become referendums on education funding, not on the president.

Nearly every candidate in Arizona running for office publishes their stance on education on their website, and multiple organizations have stated goals and deep war chests put to use to push candidates and the electorate in one direction or the other on this very issue.

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Opinion: Where the New Education Money Goes

| June 7, 2017
Opinion: Where the New Education Money Goes

Now that the Arizona budget has been on the books for a few weeks, some reporters are taking a look back, and I’m beginning to read a new take on education funding that gives Governor Ducey and Republicans measured praise for putting some new money into schools. It may not be enough, the articles are saying, but it’s something. Educators should give our governor credit for making an effort to help our schools and accept the money graciously instead of bitching and moaning because they don’t think it’s enough.

I beg to differ. It’s not enough, not nearly. And most of it will find its way to fewer than 20 percent of the state’s public schools.

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Schools brace for a flurry of legislative changes

| March 8, 2017
Schools brace for a flurry of legislative changes

A blizzard of bills affecting local schools continue to make their way through the Arizona Legislature, Payson Unified Superintendent Greg Wyman reported last week to the school board.

“Out of the 75 bills affecting education in the Senate, 15 have moved onto the House. Out of the 90 bills affecting education in the House, 21 moved forward,” he reported.

One of the most closely watched and controversial bills hasn’t made it out of the Senate — the dramatic expansion of “empowerment scholarship accounts,” essentially vouchers that can be used for private school tuition, he said.

“They’ve had difficulty getting enough votes in both the House and Senate,” he said.

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