Public Education’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Public Education’s Response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic

As a member of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), I receive a number of briefings every day from various sources. This one is of particular interest as we see the strategies of public education shift to focus on maximizing opportunities that serve students, not brick and mortar institutions.

by Jorge E. Casares 4/8/2020

K-12 Education 

In response to the spread of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), governors and legislatures have mandated statewide closure of at least 124,000 public schools in 48 states and every U.S. territory. (Map: Coronavirus and School Closures – Education Week)

School Meals

While …

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Budget Adds $50 Million For COVID-19 Response

Budget Adds $50 Million For COVID-19 Response

PHOENIX⁠ — Earlier today, Governor Ducey signed a bipartisan state budget agreement, that I voted for, which adds $50 million for Arizona’s COVID-19 response — dollars to assist Arizonans needing eviction assistance, struggling small businesses, our food banks and our homeless population.The budget also fully funds essential services—such as child safety and public safety—while completing the 20×2020 teacher pay raise and adding new dollars for schools and resources to repair prison locks. Governor Ducey issued a signing letter along with today’s budget package. In it he said:“I …

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Distance Learning is a Solution for Today

Distance Learning is a Solution for Today

The Mercatus Center at George Washington has long been a respected public policy analysis center, and I am glad the folks there are examining educational pathways. “As more states make the decision to cease classroom learning for the remainder of the school year, the potential of moving 41 million students online will be no easy task.” Today, an essay by Jonathan Butcher titled, “Public-Private Virtual School Partnerships and Federal Flexibility for Schools During the Coronavirus,” argues that policymakers should look to existing state charter school laws …

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Transparency & Accountability: HB2022

Transparency & Accountability: HB2022

The level of misinformation in the media
today regarding HB2022 is stunning. For a bill designed to address the
complaints of both sides of the political spectrum, as well as ESA watchdogs,
one would think that more rigorous oversight might have been welcomed. However,
the addicted to outrage crowd has sought to posit a fallacious argument that
the proposal somehow violates the will of Arizona voters who voted down
Proposition 305 in the last election. I do not believe for a moment that
Arizona voters said they don’t want more accountability and …

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Who Objects to a Teacher “Code of Ethics”?

Published with Permission of Kristen Williamson

From: Kristen Williamson [mailto:kristen.williamson@me.com]
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2018 10:16 PM
To: laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com
Subject: Mark Finchem’s HB 2002: Parents ARE Outraged…At District “Leaders” Who Permit Activism at the Expense of Academic Scholarship

Laurie,

I read the article (https://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/op-ed/laurieroberts/2018/12/19/payback-time-redfored/2365587002/) you wrote in the AZCentral regarding HB 2002 and wanted to reach out to you to inform you that Mark Finchem’s bill and bills other legislators are working on to protect our children in the K-12 schools are absolutely needed. Activism is permitted in the classroom and the situation is rapidly …

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Reprint: Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

Reprint: Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

Turning Arizona Into New Jersey

WSJ Editorial, Sat., Aug. 25, 2018

Public unions fund initiatives to raise taxes and kill school choice.

The battle for Congress is drawing most media attention this year, but an underreported story is the campaign by public unions to turn multiple states sharply to the left. A bellwether is Arizona, where a pair of ballot initiatives would raise taxes toward New Jersey levels and reverse years of progress on education choice.

Unions have spearheaded two ballot initiatives to repeal an expansion of education-savings accounts …

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Worth Repeating…”Teacher Vacancies Down”

Worth Repeating…”Teacher Vacancies Down”

Arizona Public Media: TUSD Supe: Teacher Vacancies Down, Fewer Than 1 Per School
Superintendent Trujillo says the increase in teacher pay from the state funding helped the district hire more people.

Brandon Mejia
Arizona Public Media
August 1, 2018

As kids in Tucson’s largest school district head back to class Thursday, the district has fewer teacher vacancies than in recent years, according to Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo.

The district’s goal was to have fewer than one teacher vacancy per school in the district. For that to happen, TUSD would …

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Report from the Capitol: 7 March 2018

Report from the Capitol: 7 March 2018

HB-2003, the bill to eliminate transaction privilege tax (TPT) on coal used to generate electricity to our growing population passed out of the House on a party-line vote. While we see a move to on-demand electric generation, we also see that a 100% renewable electric generation world is not attainable. This bill contributes to the effort to keep Navajo Generating Station (NGS) operating, and baseload power flowing to our homes and businesses. NGS was commissioned by Congress to replace hydro-power dams and has a planned …

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The Reality of K-12 School Funding

The Reality of K-12 School Funding

The ongoing challenge related to school funding should not be an adversarial, them against us argument, but rather a unified front to claim the solutions that are within reach. In every state, K-12 education funding is paid for with state and federal taxpayer dollars. Each state has its scheme for what to tax, how to tax it and how much taxpayers pay into the plan. There are three basic issues at the foundation of the matter.

Tax Base and who controls it
Tax Rate and who pays …

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Report from the Capitol: 23 February 2018

It was a very busy week, with many House bills passing through the process and going over to the Senate for hearings and approval. A summary of the activity and what it means is below.

HB-2203, a bill to empower the State Forester to care for our watersheds as well as our forests may seem like an expansion of authority, but it is not. It is a more accurate description of what the State Forester is already doing. This is a move to prevent the potential …

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