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Arizona Graduation Rates Ranks 43rd in United States

July 15th, 2013

By Cathryn Creno, Arizona Republic,  June 17, 2013 Arizona ranks ninth from the bottom in a new national report on high-school graduation rates. Using numbers from 2010, a report called “Diplomas Count” ranks Arizona’s graduation rate 43rd on a list of 50 states and the District of Columbia. The report, compiled by Editorial Projects in  Continue Reading >

How US Schools Compare: Highlights from the Lastest OECD International Report

July 15th, 2013

By Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, June 25, 2013 A new report that analyzes education trends in several dozen countries says that the United States is behind in early childhood education even though it spends more and that American teachers spend more time in class than their international peers. The report, called “Education at a Glance  Continue Reading >

Arizona Leaders Indroduce School Safety Legislation Following Newtown Tragedy

January 25th, 2013

January 25, 2013 This issue hits home for all of us as we want to make our schools as safe as possible, following the tragedies in Newtown and other communities. . The Governor has allocated only $3.6 million for school-resource officers (police officers trained to work with students) in schools, amounting to only 100 officers  Continue Reading >

Governor Brewer’s Education Budget

January 25th, 2013

January 25, 2013 . Gov. Jan Brewer released her proposed education funding budget late last week (1/18/2013).  It calls for an additional $110 in continual funding ($110 per student) and $61 million in one-time funding (mostly for building repair and construction).  For more details, click here. . This is far less than the $725 million  Continue Reading >

A Message to All Prop 204 Supporters

December 5th, 2012

The Arizona Education Parent Network wishes to thank all of the supporters of Prop 204–Quality Education and Jobs–for their passionate grassroots effort to help Arizona’s schoolchildren.The executive branch, legislative leadership and special-interest lobbyists who created this education funding mess put up quite a fight.  The Prop 204 campaign was able to clear every hurdle they put  Continue Reading >

Proposition 204 Officially Kicks Off Campaign with Rally

September 17th, 2012

Supporters officially kicked off the campaign for the Quality Education and Jobs Initiative, Proposition 204, on Sunday in Phoenix and Tucson.  Advocates handed out t-shirts, yard signs and bumper stickers and encouraged supporters to paint “YES on 204” on their car windows.    The proposition provides a floor for education spending in Arizona and will strategically  Continue Reading >

Supreme Court Upholds Education Supporters’ Will: Quality Education and Jobs Will Be on Ballot

August 15th, 2012

The Supreme Court rejected an appeal by Secretary of State Ken Bennett who fought to thwart the will of over 290,000 voters who support the Quality Education and Jobs Citizen’s Initiative–Proposition 204.  In July, Bennett rejected the record-number of petition signatures filed by the campaign on a technicality.  Superior Court Judge Robert Oberbillig–in a speedy,  Continue Reading >

Important Voting Information

August 15th, 2012

As the November 6th election gets nearer, we wish to provide you with this important voting information: Last day to register to vote:  October 9, 2012 On- Site Early Voting Begins:  October 11, 2012 Last Day to Request a Mail-in Ballot:  October 28, 2012 How To Request a Mail-In Ballot:  Click Here As you know,  Continue Reading >

Arizona Public Schools Spend Least in Nation on Administrative Expenses

June 26th, 2012

The US Census Bureau report released last week–Public Education Finances: 2010–shows Arizona public schools spend the least in the nation on administrative expenses.  These figures are contrary to the much-touted mantra that Arizona schools waste tax dollars on hefty administrative salaries and expenses and thus do not merit continued and further investment by our taxpayers.  Continue Reading >

New Poll Finds Arizona Voters Overwhelmingly Support Increased Funding for Public Education

May 19th, 2012

A new poll by the Merrill/Morrison Institute released May 17, 2012 shows overwhelming support by Arizona voters for increasing funding for public education.   Among the findings in the poll:   97 percent of Arizona voters say a top-quality public school system is either crucial (70%) or very important (27%).   More than seven in ten  Continue Reading >

Budget Deal Underway for FY 2012-2013

May 1st, 2012

News that Governor Brewer and legislative leadership reached a deal on the budget went out late last week. Today, both chambers are scheduled to consider multiple floor amendments to bills that were passed through the appropriations process in February. The budget package is expected to pass both chambers today, allowing the Legislature to sine die  Continue Reading >

AEPN’s President Ann-Eve Pedersen to receive Crystal Apple Award May 4th

April 30th, 2012

Our own Ann-Eve Pedersen is one of five people who will receive the Crystal Apple Award bestowed by the Metropolitan Education Commission, an organization which recognizes those who improve our academic environment and promote graduation from high school.  On Friday, May 4, 2012, Ann-Eve will be the first ever recipient of the Education Advocate Award  Continue Reading >

The Quality Education and Jobs Act–New Stories and Opinions

March 27th, 2012

Check here for news stories and editorial opinions in support of the Quality Education and Jobs Act.   Leadership Council Supports 1-Cent Tax, Arizona Public Media, April 23, 2012 Into the mind of . . . Ann-Eve Pedersen, Arizona Republic, April 23, 2012 Campaign seeks to retain 1-cent tax hike, Arizona Daily Star, March 10,  Continue Reading >

It’s Official – We’ve Launched the Quality Education & Jobs Initiative Campaign!

March 9th, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012 Dear Friends: We want to share some very exciting news!  Today at 10 a.m., we launched the Quality Education and Jobs Campaign to strengthen our children’s education and our state’s economy.     We filed paperwork with the Secretary of State’s Office that allows us to begin collecting signatures to place a once-in-a-generation measure  Continue Reading >

Legislative Alert: AZ Senate Appropriations Hearing Budget Bills Tuesday, February 20, 2012

February 21st, 2012

Word came out mid-afternoon Monday February 19, 2012 that a package of ten budget bills had been assigned to both the Arizona Senate and House Appropriations Committees for Tuesday, February 20, 2012. Both committees are scheduled to begin at 8AM.  The late notification gave fewer than 18 hours for the public to review and prepare  Continue Reading >

Legislative Strikers Alert **Updated**

February 14th, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012 . Here is a quick summary of four education related “Strike Everything” amendments that will be moving through the Senate Committee on Government–bypassing the Senate Education Committee–at 8 AM on Wednesday, February 15, 2012. “Strike Everything” amendments basically “gut” existing bills, regardless of topic, and insert new language on often unrelated  Continue Reading >

It’s Back–Arizona House Tries to Revive TABOR Via House Rule

January 30th, 2012

House leadership is attempting to bypass the legislative process and enact a procedural rule that imposes the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR) on the state of Arizona. The TABOR rule would require backing from the majority of the 60-person House and would preclude it from even considering a budgetary bill that would exceed the rule’s  Continue Reading >

Superior Court Rules in Favor of Empowerment Scholarship Accounts

January 26th, 2012

A Maricopa County Superior Court has rejected a legal challenge by the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) and the Arizona Education Association (AEA) to Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs). ESAs were established by legislation passed in a prior session allowing parents of special needs students to “cash out” of the public school system.  Ninety percent of  Continue Reading >

PRESS RELEASE: Arizonans Support Continuation of 1-Cent Tax for Education

January 5th, 2012

Arizona Voters Support Sales Tax Continuation to Fund Public Education. Poll shows high level of support as well as demands for reform. Seven out of 10 Arizona voters support the continuation of the existing one-cent sales tax to fund public education. That was among the findings of a poll commissioned by a number of educational  Continue Reading >

A Wake-Up Call for All Arizonans

December 5th, 2011

Today’s Arizona Republic offers a laundry list of issues Arizonans need to address before it’s too late.  In We’ve got problems, the Republic summarizes the Arizona Directions 2012 report. The state budget is about to go over a one billion dollar cliff as the one-cent sales tax expires in 2013.* Just 25% of Arizona fourth-graders were  Continue Reading >

Regents Weigh In On Education’s Benefits to the Economy

December 5th, 2011

In their 2011 Student Financial Aid Report, the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR) highlights the affect of state budget cuts on university students in Arizona. The report tells us: The number of students demonstrating financial need for higher education has increased by 88% in the last five years. Less than 1% of the roughly one  Continue Reading >

Preliminary Results of November 2011 Bond and Override Elections

November 26th, 2011

Below are posted  the preliminary, unofficial bond and override results from the November 2011 election (as of November 9, 2011).  Results will be updated when all election returns are finalized in early December 2012. Several observations can be made: A higher percentage of bond projects was approved than of budget override measures.  (Ten of fifteen  Continue Reading >

The Arizona Capitol Times Goes on the Road to Educate Arizonans

November 26th, 2011

AEN is happy to pass on this invitation from the Capitol Times: Introducing the 2011 Arizona News Service Capitol Roadshow Join Arizona News Service, parent company of Arizona Capitol Times, as we go on the road across our state to help educate Arizonans about the legislative process. Our mission, as a non-partisan newspaper and media  Continue Reading >

Education Groups Strategize for Long-Term Public Education Funding

November 7th, 2011

What will happen to public education funding when the temporary one-cent sales tax expires in 2013? What will happen to public education funding when $538 million in corporate tax breaks go into effect in 2014. With no legislative attention being paid to these massive losses to the general fund–or to the $500 million structural deficit  Continue Reading >

UA President Sander on Public Education, Budget Cuts and the Looming Funding Cliff

October 31st, 2011

Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star printed excerpts  from a wide-ranging conversation with UA’s President,  Eugene G. Sander. Sander talks about: UA’s national and international reputation and its benefit to the community; The $182 million cut in funding at the university level and its effect on the school; Providing an enrichment experience and engaging students; The challenge of  Continue Reading >

Diverse Education Groups Unite to Fund Public Schools in Arizona

October 1st, 2011

A diverse group of education supporters has been meeting this summer to hash out a people’s initiative to fund public education in Arizona.  Moderated by Susan Carlson of ABEC (Arizona Business and Education Coalition), the groups include AEN, the Arizona Education Association, Teach for America, Stand for Children and  charter school advocates.  The aim of  Continue Reading >

How Will Surplus State Revenues Be Used?

September 12th, 2011

Governor Brewer will not commit to applying excess tax revenues to restore funding cuts made to education, according to the Arizona Daily Star on September 12, 2011. Nor would she go on record to to protect education from additional cuts in future budget talks.  The Governor does commit to spending the surplus wisely. Since the  Continue Reading >

Arizona Education Funding Cuts Dramatic

September 7th, 2011

On September 2, 2011 the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released the first study examining funding cuts to public education from FY2008 – FY2012.  Data was available for the period for 24 states, including Arizona.  Arizona spending per student adjusted for inflation has decreased 24 percent. While many states have experienced substantial cuts to  Continue Reading >

AZ School Districts Cut 10,000 Jobs in a Year

September 6th, 2011

On September 3, 2011, the Arizona Daily Star reported that Arizona school districts cut more than 10,000 employees–including 6,640 instructors–from March 2009 to March 2010, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.  Arizona Department of Education spokesman Andrew LeFevre said a decrease in student population is partly  responsible for the drop in funding  Continue Reading >

US Education Reform Efforts Far Different From Finland’s Successful Education Model

August 24th, 2011

Anyone remotely involved in advocating for public education in this country has come across the Finland comparison. America’s public school system measures in the middle of the international pack in reading, math and science against Finland’s top-of-the-heap results. What are some of the differences? The US is busy trying to reform public education by introducing  Continue Reading >

Common Core Standards Reach Arizona Classrooms, Starting With Our Youngest Students

August 17th, 2011

All public kindergartens in the state are implementing the newly adopted Common Core Standards into their curriculum beginning this school year, resulting in a more rigorous academic program for the state’s youngest students. The Common Core Standards have been voluntarily adopted by 48 states in an effort to standardize the public education curriculum across the  Continue Reading >

Schools in Arizona Try Out Move On When Ready Grand Canyon Diploma Program

August 17th, 2011

A few schools across the state are implementing the Move On When Ready program approved by the Legislature last session. Under the program, high school sophomores take rigorous core subject exams and, in effect, test out of the remaining two years of high school.  Awarded the Grand Canyon diploma, these students can immediately go on  Continue Reading >

Affect of Budget Cuts Highlighted by Back-to-School Supply Lists

August 14th, 2011

Parents are being asked to provide an increasing amount of basic supplies to their children’s schools as Arizona students return to class.  As Alexis Huicochea reports in her article, Teachers Leaning on Parents for Supplies, (Sunday, August 14, 2011) some schools are starting the academic year with no budget for supplies.  These schools have asked  Continue Reading >

Schools or Prisons? Is Arizona Investing Taxpayer Dollars Wisely?

August 14th, 2011

The Arizona Daily Star’s Josh Brodesky reports that Arizona’s divestiture in public education has occurred alongside the rising investment in an unlikely industry:  private prisons. (Private-prison expansion a crime, Sunday, August 14, 2011). As Brodesky puts it “education is a path to economic development and innovation.  But we are cutting it while funding hundreds of  Continue Reading >

Education News Publishes 5th Annual PEPG Survey of Public Opinion on Education

August 14th, 2011

Education Next, a journal reporting on school reform efforts, published its 5th Annual PEPG Survey—a snapshot of stakeholder opinion on issues related to public education. The survey indicates the current controversies over public education have not yet altered public opinion, but teachers’ views differ sharply from that of non-teacher respondents.   Click here to read  Continue Reading >

Traditional Public Schools Continue to Outperform Charters

June 23rd, 2011

An analysis by the Arizona Education Network of the Arizona Learns 2009-2010 Achievement Profiles for All Schools published by the Arizona Department of Education shows that traditional public schools, once again, performed better than charter schools over the same period.  To see last year’s results, click here.   The report also shows a significant decrease in  Continue Reading >

AZ Achievement Profiles Show Top Schools Suffering From Budget Cuts

June 18th, 2011

An analysis by the Arizona Education Network of the Arizona Learns 2009-2010 Achievement Profiles for All Schools published by the Arizona Department of Education shows a significant decrease in the number of excelling schools in Arizona.  In 2008-2009 there were 321 traditional schools and 74 charter schools excelling in the state.  In 2009-2010 the number of excelling school dropped  Continue Reading >

Legislature Silences Defenders of Arizona’s Students

April 21st, 2011

As the First Regular Session of the Arizona Legislature concluded in the early hours of April 20, 2011, a disturbing pattern emerged: the silencing of those who would defend Arizona’s students.  This Legislature passed five bills–HB2002, SB1329, SB1365, SB1116 and HB2219–aimed at stifling stakeholders in public education. If all these bills become law (two have already been  Continue Reading >

Bill Allowing Public Schools Flexibility with Tax Credits Awaits Governor’s Signature **UPDATED**

April 18th, 2011

**UPDATED 4/19/2011** Governor Brewer signed HB 2301 on Tuesday, April 19, 2011. To read about the benefit to public schools, see original post below. . On Wednesday, April 14, the Legislature sent a bill to the Governor’s desk that would allow public schools some flexibility with tax credit funds allocated prior to 2011. Currently, tax  Continue Reading >

Close loopholes, and money will be available for state – AEN Guest Commentary in East Valley Tribune

April 18th, 2011

On Sunday, April 10, the East Valley Tribune ran an editorial praising Governor Brewer and the legislature for making the hard choices necessary to produce a balanced budget.  The editorial singled out the Arizona Education Network because of our criticism regarding Governor Brewer’s failure to protect education. . The following is a guest commentary written  Continue Reading >

Governor Brewer Vetoes Expansion of Private School Tax Credits

April 13th, 2011

Explaining that the costs would unbalance the budget, Governor Brewer vetoed the expansion of the private school tax credit program yesterday (4/12/11). . HB 2581, passed by both chambers of the Legislature would have: increased the private school tax credit to $750 for an individual/$1,500 for those filing jointly.  With the veto, it will remain at  Continue Reading >

Sen. Rick Murphy: If Empowerment Accounts for Special Needs Students Ruled Legal, Will Be Template for All AZ Students

April 13th, 2011

The Arizona Empowerment Scholarship Accounts bill (SB1553) creates a new way for public funds to be used to pay for private and parochial schools for special education students.  The Empowerment Scholarship Accounts will be used to pay parents rather than private schools directly, answering the major legal objection to the previous attempt to use public funds to pay  Continue Reading >

Arizona Legislature cuts funding for freshman JTED students

April 7th, 2011

As part of the K-12 education budget bill SB1617,the Arizona Legislature dealt a devastating cut to the successful Joint Technology Education District (JTED) program.  The following is a press release by the Pima County JTED outlining the cuts and the impact they will have on JTED in Pima County.  Cuts will apply to all JTED districts  Continue Reading >

AEN Press Release: U.S. Supreme Court Tax Credit Decision Helps the Rich, Hurts Poor Children in Arizona

April 4th, 2011

Today’s U.S. Supreme Court private school tax credit ruling is bad news for poor children in the state of Arizona and a big boon for the wealthy.

U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arizona Tax Credits for Private & Religious Schools

April 4th, 2011

On Monday, April 4, 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court released its opinion, dismissing the lawsuit challenging the Arizona’s private school-tuition tax credit program.

Arizona Education Network Press Release on Education Budget Cuts

April 1st, 2011

  April 1, 2011 – Governor Brewer yesterday showed complete disregard for our state’s faltering economy when she failed to defend public education funding as she had promised she would. . On Tuesday, former Intel CEO Craig Barrett, warned legislators that Arizona will not be able to attract good -paying jobs without investing in education.   Continue Reading >

House Passes Budget; Education Cuts Higher than Governor Promised; Senate to Act Soon **Updated!**

April 1st, 2011

**Updated with vote detail on related bills below.** . After an all night session, the House passed a budget that cuts $183.2 million from K-12 and $270.8 million from universities and community colleges for a total of $454 million in cuts to education in Arizona. The budget was a compromise negotiated among Governor Brewer, the  Continue Reading >

Companies Will Shun Arizona Due to Education Cuts

March 30th, 2011

On Tuesday, March 29 the Arizona Commerce Authority held a board meeting open to the public where members expressed concerns that the state of public education in Arizona is compromising Arizona’s ability to attract new businesses that bring high-paying jobs to the state.

Governor Brewer: High-Achieving Education System Critical to Economic Health

March 22nd, 2011

. . On Tuesday, March 22, 2011, the Arizona Republic published a statement from Governor Brewer regarding the Senate budget proposal now moving through the House.  See “Budget cuts shouldn’t devastate state priorities“. Governor Brewer asserted her budget proposal submitted in January was a restrained and reasonable approach to balancing the state’s finances, while holding as closely as  Continue Reading >

University Students Plan Rallies Against $235 Million in Cuts

March 22nd, 2011

. . On Wednesday, March 23, university students will rally at campuses across the state to protest the proposed $235 million cut to higher education in the proposed Senate budget now moving through the Arizona House.  For more details or to learn how to get involved, visit the Arizona Students’ Association website. . Campus schedule for rallies: .  Continue Reading >