education

Arizona has joined a lawsuit filed by the state of Texas seeking to block an Obama administration directive that says public schools must let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their gender identity.

Arizona voters head to the polls tomorrow to decide on an Education Finance Amendment, Proposition 123. It would settle a lawsuit brought against the state by public schools for failure to increase K-through-12 funding based on inflation during the recession. It would also give a $3.5-billion-dollar cash injection to public schools over the next 10 years. More than 60 percent of that money would come from the State Land Trust, given to Arizona upon statehood in 1912 as a means to generate revenue for schools. Opponents of Prop 123 say the settlement jeopardizes the land trust and should be paid entirely out of the state’s general fund. Supporters believe it’s an immediate opportunity to pump money into K-through-12 education. Both sides admit it’s a short term plan to the issue of school funding. KNAU reached out to voices on both sides of Prop 123. Morgan Abraham, a Tucson investment advisor and the chairman of the No on Prop 123 campaign, spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Gillian Ferris. Flagstaff City Councilman, Jeff Oravits supports the amendment and spoke with Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius. 


Northern Arizona University

The Arizona Board of Regents has approved tuition and fee increases at all three public universities for the 2016-2017 school year. It comes as state higher education continues to grapple with last year’s steep budget cuts. Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports.


AZ Central

The Arizona Board of Education has lowered the state’s requirements for teaching 6th through 12th grade math. As Arizona Public Radio’s Justin Regan reports, the move is designed to address a statewide shortage of math teachers. 


Northland Preparatory Academy 6th Graders

Arizona ranks high in the nation for growth in science and technology careers—but it’s near the bottom when it comes to preparing students for those fields. That’s something a Flagstaff science teacher has set out to change. For the third year running, Kaci Heins of Northland Preparatory Academy has put her sixth graders in charge of launching a weather balloon to the edge of space. It’s a project meant not simply to teach, but to inspire.


Felicia Fonseca, AP

Dozens of people gathered in a small Navajo Nation community Tuesday to encourage the tribe's education department to take over a school in financial ruin.

Nearly one-third of the employees at Leupp Schools Inc. will lose their jobs Friday as part of a reorganization plan.

Tribal officials say the school system has been financially unstable for years, paying out too much in salaries while enrollment declines, posting a deficit of almost $2 million last year, and garnering the attention of the Internal Revenue Service by failing to pay more than $100,000 in employee taxes.

File photo/AP

A new report estimates the state will end this fiscal year with a balance of more than half-a-billion-dollars. It follows the announcement of Governor Doug Ducey’s 2017 budget proposal, which doesn’t include last year’s steep cuts to higher education and other state services. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Howard Fischer/Capitol Media Services

Arizona schools chief Diane Douglas is set to testify before a Senate committee as she tries to derail legislation designed to settle ongoing fights between her and the state Board of Education.

Douglas is set to appear Thursday before the Senate's education committee. She said Wednesday that she was "shocked" at the "repulsive nature" of Republican Sen. Jeff Dial's proposal. Senate Bill 1416 would by detail specific duties for each body in an effort to end a pair of lawsuits and other problems between the board and Douglas.

The Arizona Legislature will begin its 2016 session next week, and lawmakers have already introduced several bills for consideration. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


Evan Vucci/AP

President Obama has signed the Every Student Succeeds Act into law. It’ll increase state and local control over public K through 12 instruction, but is also designed to bolster Native American education and preserve tribal culture. Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports.


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