PHOENIX – Education in Arizona is falling through the back ranks of the country, receiving a D + for school funding and the poverty gap in an annual newsletter released Wednesday.
Arizona ranked 45th among 50 states and the District of Columbia in the âEducation Weekâ rankings for 2018, with a score of 68.7. But the United States as a whole didn’t score much higher: it got a C. Only 12 states scored above C + overall.
The D + ranking is nothing new in Arizona: The state’s rating has not changed since Education Week – a national journal on education topics, published by Editorial Projects in Education, a nonprofit organization of Washington, DC area – updated their rating category three years ago.
Erin Hart, chief operating officer of education advocacy group Expect More Arizona, said the state has historically received low scores on these exams nationwide.
” It’s not surprising. It’s a bit disappointing, âshe said. “Arizona has always been at the bottom of those lists.”
The Education Week newsletter looked at three categories to determine rankings.
Arizona schools earned a C in the “Chance of Success” category, which measures the poverty gap, taking into account factors such as parents’ education level, job longevity, and employment. income.
Academic performance, including math and reading scores and graduation rates, were rated C- in the âK-12 Achievement Indexâ category.
But funding for schools is still dismal, according to a D-report’s note placing Arizona No. 46 in the nation. The national average for funding was a C.
In his 2018 State of State Governor Doug Ducey last week pledged to focus on improving education.
âLet’s spend these dollars – tens of millions of dollars combined – where they can be best used: in our public schools and for our teachers,â Ducey said.
Much of the governor’s proposed $ 10.1 billion budget is devoted to education, which Hart called a step in the right direction.
“What the governor has proposed is an education-focused budget,” she said. âIt could be really powerful. Our schools have been without resources for so long and have been hit very hard during the recession. The money still hasn’t come back to them completely. I think it will make a difference for schools.