Fortune Favors the Bold: Reforms for Results in K-12 EducationPosted on July 02, 2008 | Type: Policy Report
Arizona trails far behind other states in terms of public school academic achievement. National comparative data often place Arizona near the bottom of state rankings. Aggregate fourth-grade reading scores on the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nations Report Card or NAEP, barely budged between 1992 and 2007. Other states, meanwhile, have made substantial progress.
Arizona's Struggle for Sovereignty: The Consequences of Federal MandatesPosted on June 03, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Benjamin Barr
Arizona is awash in federal money. In fiscal year (FY) 2007, Arizona received close to $8.5 billion in federal funds. This money funds programs that most Arizonans are familiar with, such as Medicaid and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Even though the inflow of federal dollars appears attractive, there is a catch: As federal dollars flow in, state dollars are fixed to ever-growing demands connected to these programs. In 2000, the State of Arizona used general funds at close to $463 million for Medicaid alone. By 2005, that figure had risen to $914 million, and it is projected to grow to $1.3 billion in FY 2008.
More Roads to Travel: A Path to Transportation Solutions in ArizonaPosted on April 30, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Byron Schlomach
Arizona has a transportation problem. The average Phoenix commuter spends some 38 hours a year stuck in traffic, and one in Tucson spends an average 42 hours. Overall, traffic congestion costs Arizonans at least $2 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel. The state must take action on a number of fronts to ensure that transportation problems do not damage Arizona's economy and quality of life.
Saving for School: How Arizona Could Help Families Save for Their Children's K-12 and College EducationsPosted on April 15, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Dan Lips
In 2007, Arizona created a state tax deduction for contributions to 529 college savings plans. The deduction allows families to save tax-free for a child's college education, and the earnings accrued are not taxed if they are spent on higher education. In 2008, individual taxpayers will be able to deduct up to $750 for 529 contributions, and joint filers can deduct up to $1,500.
School Choice in Arizona: A Review of Existing Programs and a Road Map for Future ReformsPosted on March 04, 2008 | Type: Policy Report | Author: Matthew Ladner
In 1994, Arizona lawmakers took the first steps toward parental choice in education through the open-enrollment and charter school laws. Later, lawmakers added reforms such as scholarship tax credits (1997 and 2006) and limited vouchers (2006). With 13 years of experience in school choice experiments, the time has come for Arizona to take stock of the past and make plans for the future. This paper examines the progress of the existing Arizona school choice programs and makes recommendations for their improvement and expansion.