Phoenix – Today, the Goldwater Institute joined 12 other leading state and national organizations in sending a letter to Secretary..
PHOENIX –The Goldwater Institute filed a lawsuit today against Cave Creek Unified School District to stop district officials from using..
In the 2011 legislative session, the Arizona legislature passed the Empowerment Scholarship Account program that allows parents of special-needs children to withdraw their children from public schools and use a portion of the money that would have gone to the local district to design their own educational plan. Only a few months later, various groups challenged the constitutionality of the program, including the Arizona Education Association and the Arizona School Boards Association. They argued that the program violates state constitutional provisions that prohibit the expenditure of state funds for private or religious schools. The Goldwater Institute joined the State in opposing the lawsuit in order to protect the right of parents to direct the education of their children.
When the Goldwater Institute recently recruited attorney candidates from out of state, I was able to use a lure I never would have thought possible: Arizona has the best public schools in the country.
What we really need to know more about is how to give every child the chance at a great education. Charter schools generate headlines here. Arizona has 535 charter schools, and a higher percentage of charters earned an “A” on their state report card (35 percent) than traditional schools (22 percent).
In a new report released Wednesday, Goldwater Institute education director Jonathan Butcher documents the successes of charter schools in Arizona. The report recommends several key reforms to ensure that charter schools can continue to flourish over the next 20 years, including safeguarding against government red tape and ensuring they have access to underused traditional school facilities.
Over the past 20 years, Arizona teachers, parents, and community leaders have created more than 500 charter schools—independent, tuition-free public schools that operate with fewer regulations in exchange for higher levels of transparency. Some of these schools are among the highest-achieving schools in the nation, with their students routinely topping nationwide comparisons.
The wave of school building closures comes at a time when charter schools are disproportionally represented in the list of the top performing schools in the state. As TUSD shutters schools, shouldn’t the district find a way for successful charter schools to move in and give families better options?
Nearly 6,000 charter schools operate around the U.S. and enroll some 2 million children. Public charter schools are designed as alternatives to traditional public schools, and in many cases they operate independently from local school districts. Charter schools sign contracts that allow them to choose their own curriculum and teaching styles to meet the individual needs of their students. The contracts exempt charter schools from state regulations, but state agencies can close a charter school if students don't succeed.
Twenty traditional public school districts opened 59 charter schools this year and gained access to a combined $33 million a year increase in state funds, mostly by turning their traditional public schools into charters. State budget analysts warn this places additional pressure on Arizona’s tax-supported general fund.
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