Frequently Asked Questions

Constituent Services

Home schooling is regulated at the county level. You must register with your respective county. You must file an affidavit of intent within thirty days from the time the child begins to attend a private school or home school. For county superintendent contact information, please visit this link and click on your county on the map provided: www.azed.gov/hs/.

A child is considered habitually truant after 5 absences within the same school year, and excessively absent if they miss more than 10 percent of total class time. An excessively truant student may face a variety of consequences ranging from suspension to probation. In many cases, the child will be sent to a truancy officer who may arrange a court date that both the student and the parents will be required to attend.

There is no student to teacher ratio mandated by law in Arizona. Districts are required to create their own classroom maximum numbers per grade level. Districts use many factors to determine the number of students per classroom. At the time a school is constructed, the facilities board will determine the maximum number of pupils allowed in the building.

First, address your child’s teacher. Then, make an appointment with the principal of the school. If your issue is still not resolved, contact the superintendent of the district that oversees your child’s school. Your final resort is the governing school board. They are the elected officials that hold twice-monthly meetings regarding school issues in your area. They will make the final decision regarding most issues.

The governing school board makes final decisions about student grades, promotion and retention, discipline issues, teacher contracts, parental involvement, curriculum, textbook, student travel etc.

Click here for a step-by-step process.

Your school district’s governing board members are elected officials. The local community elects governing board members, and it is the community who retains all the power to affect those who hold positions on a board. The purpose of this local election process is for constituents to have a local voice through elected officials, your governing board members. Governing board meetings are open to the general public.

Please note: The Arizona Department of Education does not have disciplinary jurisdiction over governing school board members.

These positions are available to anyone who wants to run for a governing school board member position. If you feel the governing board members are not working for the community and you are concerned about their current position, you can begin what is called “Recall Process”. You may contact your local County Superintendent’s Office to begin this process.

Contact information for your local County Superintendent’s Office is available by visiting the following link: http://www.ade.az.gov/resources/hs.asp

ARS 15-821C is the source of information for kindergarten entry age. It states that children must be five (5) years of age before September 1 to enter kindergarten. That means that a child must turn five on or before August 31, not on September 1. Kindergarten is not required in the state of Arizona.

While the deadline for admission to kindergarten is 5 years old by September 1, Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) § 15-821C gives districts the right to choose to allow students into a kindergarten program if they were born no later than January 1 and if they feel that it is in the best interest of the child. Many districts hold hard and fast to the September 1 deadline; some districts evaluate each child if they are an early-entry candidate and make a case-by-case decision, while other districts allow all children who turn 5 on or before December 31 to enter kindergarten.

Schools reserve the right to test students for entrance directly into first grade even if they meet the age 6 requirements for admission into first grade, and may choose to place them in a kindergarten program at that time if they do not meet the kindergarten standards.

Arizona is not a full “school of choice” state, which means if a child lives outside of the district they wish to attend they are not automatically entitled to attend that particular school. To address this Arizona has what is called “Open Enrollment.” Open enrollment allows students to enroll in public, charter and online courses outside of their local school zone.

January is typically when schools and districts start evaluating their available space as well as forecasting enrollment for the following year. Please keep in mind that even though schools have open enrollment, seats are normally limited and students must meet their enrollment requirements.

For more detailed information on individual district policies, you must contact their office directly. If you do not have their contact information, please feel free to use our “School Search Function” at www.ade.az.gov/edd to retrieve it.

There is not a mandate for how far away students must live from a school before busing is required. Each district creates its own policy with regards to its busing boundaries. Contact your district to find out the exact boundaries that apply to your child.

Most schools in Arizona start in early- to mid- August and get out in early- to mid- June. You will have to contact the district or the school your children will attend/attend to find out the school’s calendar year.

You can use the school search function on our web site if you are unsure of exactly which district you will fall under (www.ade.az.gov/edd/), or you can use the following link to find your school’s website, where much of this information may be listed. http://www.ade.az.gov/schools/schools/districts.asp

While the laws determine the number of days and hours required for students to attend school, the actual dates are determined by your governing school boards – boards consisting of elected residents from your community. You should address them at a public meeting to inform them of your concerns.

The Arizona Department of Education does not endorse or approve specific curriculums, books or courses of study and does not have approved textbook lists. As long as the governing board of a district approves the book and it helps meet the standards, it may be adopted.

Ask to address the governing school board at a public meeting, or ask to become part of the curriculum committee. Approving textbooks should be a community effort, and input is usually welcome

Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarship

The President signed the fiscal year 2011 Federal Budget on April 15, 2011. Public Law 111-117, the law governing this budget, states that the Byrd Program will not be funded this fiscal year. The Byrd grant programs, covered under this Act, are directly affected by this decision. The Byrd program will not make any new or non-competing continuation awards this year.

Based on this information, and the lack of further federal funding, the Arizona Department of Education will be unable award or provide funding for Robert C. Byrd Honors Scholarships. We apologize for any hardships that this may cause those students who had been receiving a Byrd scholarship.

Please contact the Scholarship Coordinator at the information provided below:

Robert C. Byrd Scholarship Office
Special Projects and Constituent Services
1535 West Jefferson Street, Bin #22
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: 602.542.3710
Fax: 602.364.1532
Email: byrd@azed.gov