Phoenix, Arizona - Governor Doug Ducey declared this week, January 23-29, 2021, Arizona School Choice Week to highlight the importance of equipping parents and families with decisions around their children’s education that best fits their needs.
“Arizona has set the standard for school choice and innovative education solutions,” said Governor Ducey. “We’ve worked to provide parents with options for their children’s education and get more of our kids a high-quality education in the classroom with dedicated teachers. From open enrollment to new transportation models and charter schools, we’re providing more educational freedom for families.”
Governor Ducey spoke about Arizona's actions to protect school choice in an interview with Martha MacCallum Friday on Fox News. The Governor noted, "In Arizona we are going to have a summer camp...and the focus is going to be on catching our kids up. We want to lead the nation in eliminating learning loss and we are going to focus on math, reading and American civics."
Over the last seven years, Arizona has strengthened its position as a national leader in school choice. The state has more than 550 public charter schools teaching 230,000 students – approximately 20% of all students enrolled in public schools throughout the state.
Arizona also offers Open Enrollment for its public school districts, allowing students to apply for admission to any public school depending on available classroom space.
“School choice means that every Arizona family has the incredible opportunity to choose the educational environment that meets their child’s unique needs,” said Jenny Clark, founder and executive director of Love Your School. “Arizona continues to be a leader in school choice and our focus on education freedom means changed lives, every single day."
In addition to public school choice, Arizona also offers private education options, including Empowerment Scholarship Accounts and school tuition organization scholarships, to ensure that families of all different backgrounds have access to an education that best fits their child’s needs. Students eligible for these services include students living on tribal lands, those with special needs, children of military families and those in failing schools.
Arizona has also championed new, innovative education models like microschools. Made clear throughout the pandemic, parents value these options for their children’s education. These smaller learning communities are delivering personalized learning, tailored to the needs of each student.
Governor Ducey’s fiscal year 2023 Executive Budget further emphasizes school choice and accountability for underperforming schools, as well as sustains the state’s robust commitment to public education at unprecedented levels.
The budget proposes $20 million for a second year of the School Transportation Modernization Grants, to help get students into the school of their choice. It also allocates $100 million to launch the “AZ Back on Track” Summer Camp, an eight-week program that will get our kids caught up in math, reading, and civics.
In early January, the Governor announced the “Open for Learning Recovery Benefit” program, which ensures parents have the resources they need to get their kids in a classroom.
With this program, if a school closes for even one day, students and families will have access to instruction that best meets their needs. The program funds up to $7,000 for needs related to child care, school-coordinated transportation, online tutoring and school tuition.
WHEREAS, all children in Arizona should have access to the highest-quality education possible; and
WHEREAS, citizens across Arizona agree that continuing to improve the quality of education is an issue of importance to our state’s leaders; and
WHEREAS, Arizona recognizes the essential role that an effective and accountable system of education plays in preparing all children to be successful adults; and
WHEREAS, Arizona is a national leader in fostering education options for families, including implementing Open Enrollment, Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA), or School Tuition Organization (STO) scholarships; and
WHEREAS, educational variety not only helps to diversify our economy, but also enhances the vibrancy of our community; and
WHEREAS, Arizona has many high-quality teaching professionals in all types of school settings who are committed to education our children; and
WHEREAS, Arizona has celebrated over 25 years of success through public charter school education, with over 550 public charter schools and more than 210,000 students enrolled, which make up approximately 20 percent of Arizona’s public school enrollment; and
WHEREAS, research demonstrates that providing children with multiple education options improves academic performance; and
WHEREAS, School Choice Week is a national celebration recognized by millions of students, parents, educators, schools, and community leaders to raise public awareness of the importance of effective education options for children.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Douglas A. Ducey, Governor of the State of Arizona, do hereby proclaim January 23 - 29, 2022, as
ARIZONA SCHOOL CHOICE WEEK
and call this observance to the attention of all of our citizens.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Arizona
DONE at the Capitol in Phoenix on this Twentieth day of December in the year Two Thousand and Twenty-One and of the Independence of the United States of America the Two Hundred and Forty-Sixth
SECRETARY OF STATE