Tag: The Republic / azcentral.com

Arizona schools win big as state racks up $330M in land sales. See more state education news here

| January 8, 2019
Arizona schools win big as state racks up $330M in land sales. See more state education news here

Earlier this year, a piece of state-owned land in north Phoenix sparked an hourlong bidding war. The winner? Arizona school.

The 269-acre parcel in Desert Ridge sold for $79 million, about $25 million more than its appraised value. Since then, the Arizona State Land Department has been on a selling spree.

The agency charged with managing 9.2 million acres across Arizona sold more than $330 million in land during 2018. That’s up from $44 million in 2017.

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State approves new charter school tied to controversial Primavera CEO

| December 12, 2018
State approves new charter school tied to controversial Primavera CEO

Despite its CEO paying himself more than $10 million and the public online high school that bears its name failing almost every academic measure, Primavera received state approval to open another charter school.

The Arizona State Board for Charter Schools voted Monday to grant a charter to Valor Preparatory Academy LLC, a school owned by CEO Damian Creamer’s Primavera Technical Learning Center.

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CollegeAmerica campuses in Phoenix and Flagstaff placed on probation

| December 12, 2018
CollegeAmerica campuses in Phoenix and Flagstaff placed on probation

CollegeAmerica campuses in Phoenix and Flagstaff are on probation with their accrediting body because the schools focused more on adding students than on providing a quality education, the accreditor said.

The schools focus on career education, with programs in health care, business, technology and graphic arts.

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Arizona Democrats try to ride wave of frustration from #RedForEd to win power at Capitol

| October 17, 2018
Arizona Democrats try to ride wave of frustration from #RedForEd to win power at Capitol

Five months after more than 50,000 teachers and their supporters stormed the Arizona Capitol complex, aftershocks from the #RedForEd protests continue to reverberate in state legislative races.

No campaign between candidates is ever about a single issue, but the red wave has made the 2018 battle for control of the state Legislature as close to a one-issue contest as it gets.

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After Arizona’s #RedForEd protests, teachers in drive to win offices across U.S. See related story here

| October 9, 2018
After Arizona’s #RedForEd protests, teachers in drive to win offices across U.S. See related story here

Last September, school speech therapist Kathy Hoffman was settling into the new academic year, working with youngsters in her small classroom behind a playground at Sahuaro Ranch Elementary School in a blue-collar neighborhood outside Phoenix.

This year, the political novice is gone from her classroom and on the campaign trail across Arizona full time as the Democrats’ choice in the race to become superintendent of public education, overseeing the state’s schools.

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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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Families will spend up to $1,355 per child on back to school, Backpack Index shows. See related news here

| August 7, 2018
Families will spend up to $1,355 per child on back to school, Backpack Index shows. See related news here

Back-to-school supply lists can be long — folders, glue sticks, pencils, notebooks. Not to mention new school uniforms and items needed for baseball practice, cheerleading or glee club. Shopping carts brim with goods this time of year, and they often come with a hefty price tag.

Although families across the nation can still expect to pay several hundred dollars per student for school supplies and activities this year, there’s some good news.

According to the 2018 Backpack Index, a study that tracks classroom supply and fee costs, the cost of outfitting a child for back to school fell slightly this year.

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Parents, teachers struggle to cover cost of school supplies. See related news here

| August 1, 2018
Parents, teachers struggle to cover cost of school supplies. See related news here

Displays of sharpened crayons, kitten-covered notebooks and fresh markers distract crowds at the front of stores, encouraging them to buy.

It’s that time of year again, when students beg for school supplies featuring their favorite Disney character, and parents and teachers panic at the cost.

And this year in Arizona, as students return to school after a year that ended in a historic educator walkout, the issue of school supplies has gotten seriously political.

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5 tips parents can use to prevent summer reading loss. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
5 tips parents can use to prevent summer reading loss. See related news here

Children have more free time in the summer to have fun. From enjoying summer camps to video games and TV, there are endless possibilities of entertainment. 

But beware of summer brain drain. 

For elementary school students, the loss of reading skills over the summer accounts for two-thirds of the achievement gap in reading between low-income children and their middle-income peers by ninth grade, according to the National Summer Learning Association. 

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Arizona’s #RedForEd movement evolves into quieter, broader political force. See related news here

| June 27, 2018
Arizona’s #RedForEd movement evolves into quieter, broader political force. See related news here

Colleen Gentry, who has taught in Arizona for 17 years, arrived at the state Capitol Saturday morning in a red T-shirt as the #RedForEd Spirit Band played a rendition of Queen’s “We Will Rock You.”

It was not nearly as large or raucous a spirit band as had played during the six days of rallies that took place when teachers walked out starting in late April. Nor was the crowd as large — about 150 on this morning instead of an overwhelming wave of tens of thousands.

Gentry pointed out the spots on the Capitol lawn where she had sat during the six-day walkout. She said she was in the House during the marathon all-night session at which the teacher-pay-raise package was passed.

“I learned a lot, which is why I’m back here,” she said.

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