Education Reform

Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career.

<p>Too often, the traditional public-school model fails students and teachers. Charter schools, scholarship tax credits, and merit pay are giving students a better education and teachers a better career. </p>

All parents want an effective school for their child. But no parent should have to take the drastic steps that Yolanda Miranda took to give her children a chance at a good education: Yolanda went to jail and was charged with grand larceny for sending her children to better schools in their grandmother’s district instead of their assigned schools.

“If I had to do it again 10 times over, I would,” Yolanda says.

The Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team is headed to the “Sweet 16” round of the NCAA tournament, having thumped their first two opponents, Belmont and Harvard. USA Today reports that it’s “hard to find flaws” with the Wildcat’s performance in the tourney so far.

All eyes will be on Arizona when they play second-seed Ohio State on Thursday.

Until February of this year, the Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) had never had to compete for funds in the marketplace of ideas. ASA is a private organization formed in 1974 as a student group claiming to represent the approximately 150,000 students attending Arizona’s three public universities. Until 1998 ASA was directly subsidized by taxpayers through the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), an arm of Arizona state government. In 1998 ABOR began collecting money for ASA directly from students through their tuition bills.

Contact: Robert Kramer, (602) 633-8961

From tax-credits to fund tuition scholarships to charter schools to the revolutionary education savings account program, Arizona is the national leader in school choice; the state has a broader range of school options than anywhere else in the country.

Contact: Robert Kramer, (602) 633-8961

The Goldwater Institute is representing five public university students whose First Amendment rights were violated when the Arizona Students Association used mandatory tuition surcharges to support a 2012 ballot initiative that the students opposed.

You may be wondering what the “sequester,” or cuts in federal funding due to a Congressional budget impasse, will mean for Arizona schools. The estimated reductions in federal money to Arizona schools could amount to $17.7 million, but before we stock up on canned goods and head for the hills, let’s put in perspective what $17.7 million represents.

From tax-credits to fund tuition scholarships to charter schools to the revolutionary education savings account program, Arizona is the national leader in school choice; the state has a broader range of school options than anywhere else in the country.

"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood" is how Robert Frost opens his famous poem about choosing the "road not taken," and Arizona is now staring down two different paths when it comes to the future of education funding. Let’s hope state leaders take the less-traveled road because the regularly-traveled one is a road to nowhere.

Arizona policymakers could take a lesson from the classic comedy Ghostbusters. Near the beginning of the film, Stantz (Dan Aykroyd) and Venkman (Bill Murray) are trying to decide what to do after being kicked out of Columbia University’s paranormal research department for wasting the school’s money.

Everyone would like to be first in something. First across the finish line. First one picked for a team at recess. First one to explore uncharted waters. Thanks to Arizona's private school scholarships, Sarah is going to be the first person in her family to go to college.

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