Kids deserve a top-notch education tailored to their needs. That’s why the Goldwater Institute helped make Arizona the leading state for education choice. In 2010, five Goldwater reforms became law, including education accounts for special-needs students, a school-performance rating system, ending of social promotion, expansion of charter schools, and new certification requirements so that experts in math, science, and other areas can teach their subjects without a teaching certificate from a college of education.
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A New Day for School Choice: Education Savings Accounts Turn 3 Years OldPosted on December 16, 2013 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Jonathan Butcher
This policy brief reviews the accounts’ first years of operation. Legislative changes since lawmakers enacted the accounts have given more children access, and in 2013, researchers conducted the first studies of how families are using the accounts. This brief will cover the new legislation and research, along with developments in a lawsuit that an Arizona teachers’ union and school boards’ association filed against the accounts. Finally, this report will offer three recommendations for education savings account expansion, fraud prevention, and academic transparency.
Gaming the System: Districts Make a Dash for Cash in Charter SchoolsPosted on December 12, 2013 | Type: Investigative Report | Author: Emily Gersema
Legislators and charter school advocates worry the sudden rise in district-run charters is a money grab by the traditional public districts. Several of the districts are increasing their budgets with “additional assistance” funds for charter schools without fulfilling the state’s primary purpose for charter schools – to increase educational options for students. Public districts receive on average $8,992 per student from the state, which is $1,532 more per student than typical charter schools, according to a comparison the Arizona Joint Legislative Budget Committee released in September. This is largely because public districts receive state funding for transportation and capital funds, while charter schools do not.
Policy Recommendations: Keep Arizona Charter Schools Independent from Traditional School DistrictsPosted on December 11, 2013 | Type: Article | Author: Jonathan Butcher
Until recently, the Arizona State Charter School Board authorized nearly all of Arizona’s charter schools, independent public schools that can be closed if they do not meet the terms of their contract, or charter. Now, however, traditional public school districts are converting their local schools to charter schools. Investigative reporter Emily Gersema’s special report finds scant evidence that school district conversions will give parents like Jen more choices for their child’s education.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DISTRICT CONVERSION CHARTER SCHOOLS A MONEY GRABPosted on December 06, 2013 | Type: Press Release
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.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DOJ 'REVIEW’ ACTION COULD REGULATE LOUISIANA VOUCHER PROGRAM OUT OF EXISTENCEPosted on December 05, 2013 | Type: Press Release
In light of efforts by the Justice Department to impose burdensome regulations on Louisiana's popular school voucher program, the Goldwater Institute filed an appeal Thursday, on behalf of Louisiana families and the Black Alliance for Educational Options, asking the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to allow the families' voices to be heard in the case.