Tag: vouchers

Before voting: Check Legislators’ support for public education. See more state education news here

| August 20, 2019
Before voting: Check Legislators’ support for public education. See more state education news here

With students back in school, education advocates hope Arizonans will examine state legislators’ support for bills that impact K-12 public school students before they turn in their ballot for local or special elections to be held Aug. 27, 2019 and the general election to be held Nov. 5, 2019.

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Film: Challenges of raising a family on a teacher’s salary continue. See more state education news here

| June 25, 2019
Film: Challenges of raising a family on a teacher’s salary continue. See more state education news here

Arizona’s state test scores are improving, but only by a few percentage points.

Early AzMERIT standardized test results obtained by The Arizona Republic show small increases in the percentage of students passing the test in most grade levels in reading and math.

But the scores still show more than half the students in most categories, including in third-grade reading, aren’t passing the test.

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Legislative GOP leaders share budget bills highlights with lawmakers. See more state education news here

| May 21, 2019
Legislative GOP leaders share budget bills highlights with lawmakers. See more state education news here

Details of the $11.9 billion proposed budget plan by Republican Legislative leaders who worked on the deal with Gov. Doug Ducey were released Monday evening.For education, the budget proposal includes funds for the 5 percent teacher pay raise, $15 million for school counselors and police officers on campus, $25 million for school building repairs, an increase to $136 million to partially restore additional assistance funding that public schools use to pay for books, software, buses and other soft-capital needs.The budget proposal also includes a $542 million deposit into the state’s rainy day fund and $325 million in tax breaks.

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Arizona universities travel the state helping students learn more about college admissions, financial aid. See more state education news here

| October 3, 2018
Arizona universities travel the state helping students learn more about college admissions, financial aid. See more state education news here

As part of the Achieve60AZ initiative, organizations across Arizona – including the state’s three public universities Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University and University of Arizona – are seeking ways to increase the number of Arizonans with post-secondary degrees or credentials from the current 42 percent to 60 percent by 2030.

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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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Proposition 305 – Expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Referendum. See more education news here

| September 19, 2018
Proposition 305 – Expansion of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Referendum. See more education news here

Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) have been part of the school choice landscape in Arizona since the 2011-12 school year when they were originally created to serve students with special needs. Since then, ESAs (also known as vouchers) have been expanded to serve other students. …

Senate Bill 1431 was introduced during the 2017 legislative session to make all Arizona public K-12 students eligible to apply for ESAs. …

Expect More Arizona opposed Senate Bill 1431 because the proposed rapid expansion of ESAs lacks meaningful academic accountability and does not address issues of transparency of taxpayer funding. …

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Arizona school-choice backers promote vouchers to undocumented immigrants. See other education and political news here

| August 29, 2018
Arizona school-choice backers promote vouchers to undocumented immigrants. See other education and political news here

A group promoting school choice in Arizona is marketing the state’s controversial voucher program to Spanish-speaking parents by telling them immigration status isn’t a barrier to receiving public money to attend private school.

American Federation for Children’s online Spanish-language pitch states: “Arizona has a state-funded program that pays for private schools for thousands of children who live in this state. They don’t verify income or immigration status. Children don’t need to have or maintain certain grades.”

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In Arizona, all children can potentially access public dollars for private education. Please see related stories

| April 11, 2017
In Arizona, all children can potentially access public dollars for private education. Please see related stories

All students in Arizona will potentially be able to access public dollars for private education under a bill that Gov. Doug Ducey (R) signed into law Thursday, creating one of the nation’s most expansive school-choice programs.

Advocates for vouchers and other alternatives to public schools, including Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, hailed the measure for extending choice to more families.

Critics said it would weaken Arizona’s public schools by siphoning away students and needed funds, and would be more likely to subsidize affluent families’ private-school tuition than to help poor children access new opportunities.

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