school vouchers AZ

AZ school voucher enrollment exceeds budget estimate

BY: - October 11, 2023

Enrollment in Arizona’s school voucher program has officially surpassed the number accounted for in the state budget, reigniting the quarrel among Republican lawmakers and Gov. Katie Hobbs over the program’s financial viability.  The budget passed earlier this year set aside $624 million to fund demand from what lawmakers projected to be a maximum of 68,380 […]

A teacher’s road to acceptance, and fighting back against hate

BY: - October 11, 2023

On July 13 of this year, River Chunnui decided to do something they had never thought about before: stand in public at a school board meeting and tell their side of the story.  “I just was terrified,” Chunnui said. “I was so scared.” For months, Chunnui, who is nonbinary and who uses they and them […]

ASU paid $11k in security costs for a white nationalist who spoke on campus in 2022

BY: - October 9, 2023

Arizona State University spent more than $11,000 on security for a speech on campus by white nationalist Jared Taylor last year, public records show.  In September 2022, the far-right student group Arizona State University College Republicans United invited Taylor to speak. Two days prior, the group hosted Kai Schwemmer, an associate of white supremacist Nick […]

NAU to launch medical school, asks state for more money

BY: - September 29, 2023

Northern Arizona University is launching its own medical school, University President José Luis Cruz Rivera announced during an Arizona Board of Regents meeting Friday.  “Our state faces a critical need for more providers in primary care, nursing, health professions, and behavioral health fields, especially in rural, Indigenous, and underserved communities,” Cruz Rivera said in a […]

education funding

Auditor: Board should improve charter school financial oversight 

BY: - September 28, 2023

The board that oversees charter schools in Arizona isn’t doing enough to ensure schools’ financial viability, according to the state auditor general.  In a report released Tuesday, the Arizona Auditor General found that the methods used by the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools to evaluate school finances are not always adequate to pinpoint financial […]

Arizona teacher shortage streak persists, thousands of classrooms understaffed

BY: - September 27, 2023

Arizona classrooms continue to be understaffed, with more than 6,000 of them missing a qualified teacher.  The latest survey from the Arizona School Personnel Administrators Association confirmed that the state’s teacher shortage has now entered its eighth year. The association analyzed 131 school districts and charter schools across Arizona and found that, as of September […]

Parents want answers on how ESA money is spent

BY: - September 21, 2023

Parents whose children go to public schools and those whose kids attend private schools through Arizona’s universal school voucher program want more transparency about how the program uses tax money to pay student tuition at private schools.  The Empowerment Scholarship Account program has existed since 2011, originally created to help special education students, those attending […]

Why did county attorney Rachel Mitchell appear at an anti-LGBTQ hate group’s event?

BY: - September 21, 2023

A Moms for Liberty event that took place in Mesa last week applauded state legislators who have actively promoted anti-LGBTQ+ policies. But the event also included Rachel Mitchell, the Maricopa County attorney, who has in the past remained silent on the debate waged by conservative lawmakers on LGBTQ+ rights in public schools. The full meeting […]

‘You think that you’re dumb’: Graduates of AZ’s English immersion model say it was traumatizing

BY: - September 18, 2023

As the Arizona Department of Education continues its fight to teach English language learners through full immersion, the department’s deputy chief said that she’s never heard that the learning model contributes to mental health issues for students.  But several former students who learned English that way told the Arizona Mirror that their experience with full […]

There are no rules for school vans because the council tasked with making them has no members

BY: - September 14, 2023

Who is ensuring that the people driving vans full of K-12 students in Arizona are properly qualified? Not the Student Transportation Advisory Council, which is tasked with making recommendations for the use of those vans, because the council effectively doesn’t exist — and hasn’t for at least a year.  When lawmakers passed a bill last […]

GOP senators accuse University of Arizona nursing school of ‘grooming’ children

BY: - September 8, 2023

Arizona Senate Republicans are accusing the University of Arizona school of nursing of “stealing the innocence of young children” by instructing doctoral candidates on how to discuss gender identity issues with patients. In a Friday morning statement, the Republicans accused the school of “catering to a radical left agenda” after learning that students at the […]

education funding

Hobbs, Horne spar over federal COVID aid for private schools

BY: - September 8, 2023

Nearly $27 million in federal pandemic aid for private schools is in limbo while the Arizona Department of Education and the Governor’s Office spar over who has the authority to spend it.  On Friday, Gov. Katie Hobbs sent a letter to Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, accusing him of dragging his feet when it […]