Press Releases


Published: March 12th, 2020

Arizona Department of Education: Pandemic Preparedness

 

 

 

 

 

To support district and charter leadership during this COVID-19 pandemic, the Arizona Department of Education has issued updated guidance regarding pandemic preparedness.

Please visit the Center for Disease Control & Prevention and Arizona Department of Health Services website for more guidance around keeping students and educators healthy in school settings. This document provides guidance around:

  • Emergency Operations Plans
  • Authority and Decision for School Closure
  • Prevention and Mitigation Strategies
  • Continuity of Operations (COOP) Planning
  • Continuity of Education Instruction
  • Funding Considerations & Make-Up Days
  • Continuity of Social Services
  • Continuity of Nutrition Services
  • School Reopening
  • Use of Facilities and Staff by Public Health Authorities

 

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: March 10th, 2020

COVID-19: Guidance and Suggestions

This page contains guidance and resources for Arizona’s public district and charter schools as they navigate COVID-19 response. The situation around COVID-19 is rapidly changing, so please continue to check this page for updates and guidance. This page was last updated on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 9:00 AM.

Governor Ducey and Superintendent Hoffman have announced an extension of school closures through the end of the 2019-2020 School Year.

During this time, the Arizona Department of Education encourages schools to continue to provide educational opportunities to students to the best of their ability. We will continue to develop and share guidance to schools regarding instructional time, statewide testing, provision of special education services, school meals, and more.

Please visit arizonatogether.org for more resources for navigating COVID-19 for families, individuals, businesses, and more.

Resources for School Leaders


Resources for Educators


Resources for Families


Recursos Para Familias

La prioridad del Departamento de Educación de Arizona (ADE, por sus siglas en inglés) es mantener escuelas públicas y comunidades saludables. Por eso, Todas las escuelas públicas y charters (K-12) de Arizona estarán cerradas hasta el fin del año escolar. Mientras las escuelas están cerradas por COVID-19 (también conocido como Coronavirus), hemos recopilado recursos para la salud de familias durante ese tiempo.


Arizona Department of Education


Frequently Asked Questions

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: February 11th, 2020

Superintendent Hoffman Delivers First Annual State of Special Education Speech

Chairwoman Allen, Vice-Chairman Boyer, members of the committee:

Thank you for having me and for the opportunity to deliver the first annual State of Special Education today. Last week, I spoke to the House Education Committee about the need for a comprehensive plan for our public education system.

But one specific area of this system deserves our immediate and intense focus — special education.

There are currently 150,000 Arizona students in special education whose needs range in severity and in the kinds of supports they need for success.

Whether a student faces mobility issues or speech challenges, emotional needs or learning obstacles – that student deserves access to quality professionals with the expertise and resources to support their individual needs.

As a speech therapist in our public schools, I worked with a team of educators to ensure that all students have access to a quality education and saw many students overcome extraordinary challenges.

For example, early in my career, I worked with one of my favorite students who I refer to as Mason, who had brain damage from severe seizures. His mother shared with me that Mason relied on using 5 picture cards to communicate at home.

Through intensive speech therapy, I taught him to use an iPad to communicate and significantly expanded his vocabulary. By the end of the year, for the first time, he was able to say “I love you” to his mom.

The skills taught in our special education programs extend far beyond the classroom – into homes, playgrounds, birthday parties, and eventually, into the workplace.

But in my conversations with school leaders, I have heard countless times that our underfunded special education system leaves many schools with difficult choices on where to make cuts in order to provide services – choices they should not have to make.

A 2007 cost study revealed a $100 million-dollar gap between what schools were receiving for special education and what they were spending. Today, any principal or special education director will tell you that gap is even greater.

I am encouraged to see bipartisan support for increasing funding for special education – and I again want to thank this committee for passing Senator Allen’s bill, SB1060 which takes an important step toward filling that gap.

But I think we can all agree that this is just a first step – with special education historically underfunded at the federal level, state resources are even more critical.

I’ve heard from so many people – parents and educators alike – who are frustrated by years of cuts that have resulted in an under-resourced system that is stretched thin.

As a result, our state is facing a severe shortage of certified and licensed professionals in all areas of Special Education.

Even though there are 16,000 certified Special Education teachers in Arizona right now, less than half are currently reported as teaching in our schools.

Shortages in these teachers, Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and School Psychologists are at crisis levels.

None of these positions were included in the 20×2020 raises – and many of these professionals are paid higher wages in other industries, like healthcare or in private practice.

Contributing to the shortage is the fact that special education teachers face higher rates of burnout as they balance teaching among high caseloads, mandatory paperwork, limited resources and high turnover of support staff.

Given this reality, it’s critical to provide comprehensive supports for special education teachers — especially during their first years in the classroom. This is why the Arizona Department of Education’s Exceptional Student Services team developed an exciting new program called Teach Camp.

Teach Camp was designed in partnership with the Arizona Council for Exceptional Children to improve the retention of new special education teachers. It offers an extensive, year-long system of supports, including ongoing professional development and connection to a network of peers. Last year’s Teach Camp assisted 140 educators – and is fast becoming a national model.

Our specialists at ADE have found innovative ways to support teachers. To build on that success, I’m grateful for your partnership with ADE in all the ways we serve the field.

Last year, with Senator Boyer’s leadership on SB1318, ADE created a Dyslexia Specialist position for the first time in Arizona’s history. We are thrilled that Michelle Hodges – a middle school interventionist and developmental preschool teacher – is now working with teams across ADE to ensure all of Arizona’s students receive effective reading instruction, and that schools know best practices for identifying students with dyslexic characteristics.

I want to thank Senator Boyer for sponsoring SB1491, which you are hearing today, and which includes funding for Michelle’s position as well as two more full-time employees who will provide trainings to K-3 educators across the state. I urge this committee to support this bill and allow ADE to build a team that, together, will help our schools meet the needs of struggling readers, especially those with dyslexia.

Another part of Michelle’s new role is supporting our Early Childhood team in educating preschool providers on how to identify language processing challenges.

Preschool is often the first time a student can be evaluated by a professional who can develop a plan that meets their unique needs and abilities. Increasing access to preschool means earlier diagnoses, greater prevention, and reduced gaps in intervention. Preschool is also one of the strongest predictors of academic success.

Programs like First Things First and Head Start have laid the groundwork for families to access early childhood services, but without dedicated state funding, too many families, in rural and urban areas alike, lack any access to preschool – a problem exacerbated by our state’s recent loss of $20 million in federal Preschool Development Grants.

I wholeheartedly support – and urge your support of — the bipartisan bill HB2806 which would help restore this funding. It is critical that our preschool programs serving families across the state have the resources they need to keep their doors open.

The success of our students with special needs indicates the success of the entire public education system and the success of our state. Across Arizona, we’re seeing Districts build more inclusive school communities.

For more than 17 years, this has been the case in Mrs. Jana Martin’s class at Miles’ Exploratory Learning Center in Tucson Unified – where 13 third through fifth-grade students who are deaf or hard of hearing are taught alongside their peers.

The school’s seven co-enrolled classrooms are led by one certified Deaf and Hard of Hearing Teacher and one general education teacher and supported by licensed speech therapists and classroom aides.

Like all dual-language programs, receiving instruction in both American Sign Language and English enriches the learning of all of the students in Mrs. Martin’s class and builds important bridges that ensure no child feels as though they are learning differently.

In today’s public education system, every child should feel that they are valued. And I know what our students are capable of when we give them the tools to succeed.

But it will take investment — in special education educator pay; in high-quality pre-school; in the services that students need, to make this a reality.

We can do this fairly. And we can do this now.

So, I ask you, our state leaders, to invest comprehensively in our public education system, in our students receiving special education services, and in the coming generations of Arizonans that will define the future of our great state.

Posted in News, Press Releases |
Published: February 4th, 2020

Supt. Hoffman Delivers 2020 “State of Education” Address

The below text is of the full speech that Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman delivered to the Arizona House of Representatives on February 3, 2020.

Chairwoman Udall, Vice-Chairman Fillmore, members of the committee:

I am honored to be here today and to share with you the State of Education in Arizona.

Our schools are communities of students, families, and an entire workforce of professionals who support and guide students throughout the day.

Ask any educator and they will tell you: I don’t do this job alone.

There is the bus driver and the crossing guard who make sure our kids get to school safely and on time. The classroom aide who walks students into class and gives a little extra care to the kids who need it to start the day strong.

There is the sign language interpreter who makes sure every student has access to learning – and the school counselor who helps address the trauma too many kids carry with them into the classroom.

There is, of course, the classroom teacher, whose expertise lays the foundation for students’ academic success.

And there is the principal whose leadership sets the culture of support and excellence for their entire staff.

All of these professionals are supported by the families that make up our education communities.

When I visit schools, I see this firsthand. In nearly one hundred school visits across each of Arizona’s 15 counties, I have seen how collaboration and passion for student success – at all levels of a school community – create transformative learning environments for students and teachers.

Importantly - I want to thank our educators for their talent, expertise, and commitment – all of which directly ties to the success of our students and schools.

Every day, Arizona teachers and students make incredible achievements in the classroom. We see these achievements in Lynette Stant, the first-ever Native American to be recognized as Arizona’s Teacher of the Year.

We see them in Victor Anaya, a student at Douglas High School who is already an advocate for healthcare access in rural communities and dreams of becoming an FDA Medical Officer.

We see them in Ashton Redd, a senior at Casa Grande High School who is passionate about water conservation and is already a leader in Arizona’s agribusiness industry.

I want to take a moment to recognize the accomplishments of both students, and thank Ashton Redd for being here today. In March, they will fly to Washington, D.C. to represent Arizona in this year’s U.S. Senate Youth Program.

It is the achievements of Victor and Ashton and students across our state that give me relentless optimism for Arizona’s future.

But when we look statewide, we also see that our schools are facing serious challenges.

With one out of every four teaching positions unfilled or filled with an underqualified candidate, our education system is in a state of emergency.

A few months ago, I was at a Chandler Chamber of Commerce meeting, when a business leader raised the issue of student literacy. I agreed that literacy is critical to our students’ academic success, and he asked what could be done to improve reading and writing skills across the state.

As an educator, and as State Superintendent, I have seen the root causes of the disparities found in literacy and student outcomes. And I wanted to frame the urgency of this challenge in parameters relevant to him and the other business leaders in the room.

So, I posed this question: if one out of every four positions in your company were unfilled, or filled by an employee who was not properly trained, what results would you expect? As a CEO, what steps would you take to keep your talented staff and to attract new, highly qualified employees?

This is the key issue Arizona public education is facing today. If every classroom does not have access to a highly-qualified teacher, we cannot expect every Arizona student to succeed.

Like our local business partners, the Arizona Department of Education is tasked with developing a plan that cultivates the long-term health of the system. And we cannot address student achievement unless we address the state of the workforce that serves them.

With nearly 2,000 unfilled teaching positions, it is imperative that we act quickly and develop a long-term plan.

The truth is, there are already thousands of qualified, passionate teachers in our state who could fill these positions. But years of cuts to education funding have built a system where inequities thrive – be it teacher pay, student resources, or community supports.

Arizona’s education workforce challenges are an issue of economic security.

ADE has already started the hard work of addressing these challenges by collaborating with districts, state agencies, universities, colleges, and community organizations.

Today, I ask for your continued partnership to make this a state priority so that - together - we can take a comprehensive approach.

When I took office a year ago, I realized that addressing these inequities needed to be our top priority. So, we established a team solely focused on educator recruitment and retention, and they have hit the ground running.

This team of specialists is dedicated to ensuring every school has access to tools and strategies that help them grow and retain educators. That includes collaborating with districts that have already begun to find solutions.

Take Vail Schools, for example, the first district in the state to offer its own certification program that trains aspiring educators within their community. Vail’s training and certification process builds a flow of new teachers and allows experienced educators to mentor the up-and-coming workforce.

That’s how Mr. Adam Nieto, a science teacher at Rincon Vista Middle School, found his way to the classroom. A product of Vail schools himself, he was working as a substitute teacher at Rincon when the principal – Ms. Cristela Cardenas recognized that she’d taught him in the first grade.

Ms. Cardenas saw his potential and passion and advocated for him to pursue Vail’s alternative certification program. Mr. Nieto has been teaching through the program for two years and hopes some of his students aspire to return to the community as educators just as he did.

I asked Mr. Nieto to join us today to celebrate his commitment to his community and to public education.

These types of Grow Your Own programs could be particularly helpful in districts that rely on long-term subs and teachers with emergency certificates, or in rural areas where it’s harder to access teacher pipelines.

They make educators out of paraprofessionals, moms, dads, neighbors, or any community member who is already committed to the success of their local schools by allowing experienced educators to share their knowledge and expertise.

Looking ahead to the professionals that we aim to recruit in the next decade, our work starts with inspiring the next generation to consider a teaching career. To do so, we must demonstrate through our words and actions that Arizona values teachers.

Educators are problem solvers, collaborators, and leaders in and out of the classroom. “Grow Your Own” is most effective when we all take responsibility to champion the profession and provide early opportunities for aspiring educators.

At Lake Havasu High School, Representative Biasiucci and I had the privilege of touring the Early Childhood Career and Technical Education program, led by Mrs. Cathy Bagby.

Mrs. Bagby, who is here today, runs the community’s only Quality First pre-k, where high school students work directly with children and gain invaluable hands-on experience.

Their high schoolers learn how rewarding it is to be an educator while learning how to provide quality instruction.

Lake Havasu is just one example of many CTE programs in our high schools across the state. Imagine if every high school offered a CTE Educator Preparation pathway!

Initiatives like the ones in Vail and Lake Havasu are essential to building our teacher pipelines. Our Educator Recruitment & Retention team will continue to work with districts and other key partners to see how we can scale these models and serve more of our state.

But our agency also needs the partnership of all of you, our lawmakers, to implement policies that allow teachers to follow best-practices and effectively lead their classrooms.

This starts with repealing the “English-Only” law.

For too long, educators have been handcuffed to a policy that inhibits English language learning for our multilingual students. Research shows this harmful policy drives the disproportionate outcomes we see among these students - particularly within high school graduation rates.

Last week, you passed HCR 2001 out of this committee - let’s keep this bill moving and send the “English-Only” law back to the voters to repeal it once and for all. By taking this step, Arizona teachers will be further empowered to lead all of their students to success.

We cannot talk about language and literacy without talking about quality early childhood education.

Anyone who’s worked in our classrooms will tell you that access to early childhood education is one of the absolute strongest predictors of students’ academic success.

And any economist will tell you about the Return on Investment on quality pre-K – an estimated four to nine dollars in return for every dollar invested.

On the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation, the ‘Hman ‘shawa Early Childhood Development Center serves the community’s youngest members, from birth through age five. This tribally funded center serves 60 PreK and kindergarten students who receive high-quality instruction in both English and their native Yavapai language.

Every community should have a quality pre-k program like this that meets local needs and supports young families.

Programs like First Things First and Head Start have laid the groundwork, but without dedicated state funding, too many families, in rural and urban areas alike, lack any access to pre-k – let alone high-quality or affordable.

This problem is exacerbated by our state’s recent loss of $20 million in federal funding for preschool.

I’ve seen the impact of this firsthand in Prescott, where the waitlist for the Family Enrichment Center’s preschool is pushing 56.

I’ve seen it in Naco, a community on the border where there is no preschool at all.

It is numbers like these that explain why, despite a strong economy, Arizona has been ranked one of the ten worst states to raise a family.

Kindergarten faces a similar story. Because Arizona does not fund full-day kindergarten, the districts that offer it, often pull the money from other pots – moving funds from critical resources to provide another.

An hour east from Downtown Phoenix, the Superior Unified School District has prioritized offering free pre-k and full-day kindergarten because they know just how critical early childhood education is to the foundation of academic success.

But providing this service to their community and students comes at a cost. They can’t afford to offer programs like arts and music – and two years ago, they cut their certified Physical Education teacher.

To help students reach their full potential, our state must dedicate comprehensive funding that ensures every family – regardless of their location and income – have access to high-quality pre-k and kindergarten.

If early education lays the foundation for all later learning, our students’ physical and emotional wellbeing is the framework that ensures they’re ready to learn.

For too long, the work of a counselor and social worker have fallen on the shoulders of teachers as the state cut funding and inhibited schools from providing these vital services.

However, thanks to the expansion of the school safety grant last year, we were able to provide 383 schools with funding for new school safety positions including, for the first time, school counselors and social workers.

The expansion of the program has allowed our schools to hire highly qualified professionals who will work alongside our classroom educators to deliver the support and resources students need – especially when we are seeing alarming rates of mental health challenges.

One of those counselors is Katie Calvin who starts next week at the Eisenhower Center for Innovation in Mesa Public Schools and who has joined us here today.

We know how essential Katie’s work will be. In the east valley community where she will work, 35 young people have died by suicide in the past two years.

This is why schools should not have to compete for school safety positions – we must keep going.

I applaud Governor Ducey’s current proposal to fund all of the first-choice positions that nearly 900 schools requested last year.

And I wholeheartedly support bipartisan efforts including bills sponsored by Senator Bowie and Representative Pawlik to expand the Teachers Academy to include counselors and allocate enough resources to lower our student to counselor ratio over the next several years.

More counselors in our schools means more time for teachers to teach – and it means healthier and safer students.

In the last year, ADE has worked to leverage all of the resources available in our state by partnering with other state agencies.

I am grateful for our partnerships with the Department of Economic Security, Arizona Department of Administration, AHCCCS, Department of Health Services, Treasurer’s Office, and the Governor’s Office so that we as a state can offer more of the services that our schools need.

But we still have a patchwork of solutions for a problem that demands a comprehensive approach.

The current funding system – which too often forces schools to rely on one-time grants and bonds and overrides – is driving vast inequities across our state.

Between two neighboring counties, we can see how this patchwork of funding reaches some communities but fails many others. Too often, it offers a short-term solution to whichever crisis must be addressed first.

Take a look at Mohave Valley in Mohave County, a beautiful community that borders California, Nevada, and Utah. They couldn’t keep up with regional salaries and were losing teachers to neighboring states. After losing too many teachers, the community passed an override that allowed the district to increase base pay to $47,000 dollars.

The result? They started the 2018-19 school year with every single position in their district filled. The budget override helped them fill one need – but several critical needs remain.

Lake Havasu, also in Mohave County, passed a bond and override in 2016.

They used the bond to make critical infrastructure repairs in leaking roofs, plumbing, and their defunct H-VAC system.

They used the override to cover teachers’ benefits, a key part of their recruitment strategy, which had previously been covered with their maintenance funds.

In comparison, an hour and a half south of Lake Havasu, in La Paz County, is Quartzite.

This rural community has struggled and failed to pass a bond and override for years.

Their primary concern is their school building – portables they’ve been using for more than twenty years. But another concern is that they can’t afford to hire another teacher.

As a result, they currently bus their kindergarten, first, and second grade students down the interstate to an elementary school 18 miles away.

Principal Raquel Burton, Quartzite Police Chief William Ponce, and School Board member Monica Timberlake gave me a tour of Quartzite Elementary in October to share these challenges and their school’s story.

They are doing their best to provide their students a safe and high-quality education – but the current funding system is holding them back from delivering what they know their students need.

I cannot mention these inequities without mentioning their impact on our educator workforce.

Funding disparities drive our workforce gaps and result in unequal access to educational opportunities for our students—and they still exist despite the incremental wage increases from the 20x2020 plan.

I can’t tell you the number of times I have been offered a job as a speech therapist when I visit a school. In Greenlee County, a principal even asked if I might be willing to evaluate a student’s speech skills during a school tour.

Senator Allen’s special education funding bill, SB1060, takes an important step in filling the gaps that drives disparities in the achievements of our students with special needs and the workforce of educators that serve them – and I urge all of you to support this legislation.

These are encouraging first steps, but as a state, we need a bigger plan.

We need a plan that levels the playing field within our state, includes all of our educators, and allows Arizona to compete regionally.

In 2020, Arizona remains 49th in the country for teacher pay – and we run the risk of falling even further behind.

Last year, Utah signaled that they plan to increase their base teacher pay to $60,000 after a comprehensive cost analysis clearly demonstrated that their educator salaries were too low to keep their teachers in the classroom.

Just as Utah teachers deserve a living wage, so do our teachers in Arizona. If not, I fear we will continue to lose highly qualified educators to other states and industries that place a higher value on their leadership skills.

Together, we can overcome these challenges. Visit any school in our state, and their resilience and determination will show you what this system can achieve.

I believe Arizona’s future is bright. And I believe it starts in our schools.

For our state to excel in excellence, we must have a fair, equitable, and regionally competitive education system that prepares every student for success.

We can do this fairly – so that every school leader knows that their community matters and their needs will be met.

The structures exist.

We are building the pipelines.

And our state has the resources to do what is needed.

So, it’s up to all of you, our state leaders, to choose to invest comprehensively in the system, and in the coming generations of Arizonans that will create and define the future of our great state.

Thank you.

Posted in Announcements, Press Releases |
Published: January 28th, 2020

Arizona Department of Education Statement Regarding Data Breach

The Arizona Department of Education today released the following statement regarding the data breach containing ESA account information:

In the course of fulfilling a public records request to three individuals, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) inadvertently disclosed some personally identifiable information belonging to Empowerment Scholarship Account holders. ADE redacted the document subject to the public records request but failed to secure the integrity of the redaction prior to sending the data, and the document was able to be manipulated to reveal private information.

ADE has notified the affected ESA account holders of the data breach and has contacted the recipients to recover and secure the data. ADE has also contacted the U.S. Department of Education’s Student Privacy Protection Office (SPPO) to determine if the breach violates Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) laws and will continue to work to mitigate any potential damage to ESA account holders and families. ADE will also work with the U.S. Department of Education’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) to develop policies to ensure this type of error does not occur in the future.

ADE sincerely apologizes for errors that led to this situation. ADE takes these matters very seriously and will continue to make every effort to ensure data security and privacy.

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: January 22nd, 2020

Superintendent Hoffman Announces Finalists for 2020 U.S. Senate Youth Program

(Phoenix, Ariz., January 21, 2020) – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced today the Arizona finalists for the 2019-2020 U.S. Senate Youth Program (USSYP). 

Victor Fernando Anaya of Douglas and Ashton Leigh Redd of Casa Grande will represent the state during the program’s Washington Week in March. They were selected among the state’s top student leaders to join the program’s 104 national student delegation and will each receive a $10,000 scholarship for undergraduate study. 

“I am thrilled that Victor and Ashton will represent Arizona on the national stage as they take part in this prestigious opportunity,” said Superintendent Kathy Hoffman. “These young leaders are already passionate advocates for the issues they see in their own communities, from rural healthcare access to sustainable agriculture practices. I look forward to hearing what they learn in their conversations with national leaders and fellow studentand in their meetings with Senator Sinema and Senator McSally.” 

Victor Anaya, a senior at Douglas High School, serves as the president of his school’s Health Occupation Students of America chapter. He currently serves as an executive officer for the Cochise County Youth Health Coalition and is the Student Body secretary. His work leading Cochise County’s Tobacco 21 initiative resulted in the Douglas City Council’s vote to raise the legal age for purchasing tobacco products from 18 to 21. Victor’s passion for increasing healthcare access in rural areas and building his community’s overall health is made clear throughout his many leadership experiences and volunteer work. He hopes to become a Food and Drug Administration medical officer. 

Ashton Redd, a senior at Casa Grande Union High School, serves as the president of the Arizona South Central Region of The Future Farmers of America (FFA). She is an advocate and upcoming leader in the Arizona agriculture industry. In the leadership opportunities she has had with the FFA, Ashton has become an expert presenter on federal and state water management policies. She has educated her peers, community, and state leaders about the impact of these policies on farms in her hometown of Casa Grande, while leading her team in becoming Arizona’s 2019 FFA Chapter of the Year. Ashton is also active in DECA, an organization for emerging business, marketing, and communications professionals, 4-H, and is a member of her high school volleyball team. 

Chosen as alternates to the 2020 program were Mr. Connor Glenn Alleman, a resident of Kingman, who attends Kingman Academy of Learning and Ms. Akhila Bandlora, a resident of Phoenix, who attends BASIS Phoenix. 

Each year this extremely competitive merit-based program brings the most outstanding high school students – two from each state, the District of Columbia and the Department of Defense Education Activity – to Washington, D.C. for an intensive week-long study of the federal government and the people who lead it. The overall mission of the program is to help instill within each class of USSYP student delegates more profound knowledge of the American political process and a lifelong commitment to public service. In addition to the program week, The Hearst Foundations provide each student with a $10,000 undergraduate college scholarship with encouragement to continue coursework in government, history and public affairs. Transportation and all expenses for Washington Week are also provided by The Hearst Foundations; as stipulated in S.Res.324, no government funds are utilized. 

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been sponsored by the Senate and fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. Originally proposed by Senators Kuchel, Mansfield, Dirksen and Humphrey, the impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony is “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, learn the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and emphasize the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.” 

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: January 17th, 2020

Superintendent Hoffman’s Statement on the FY2021 Proposed Executive Budget

PHOENIX – Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman released the following statement on Governor Doug Ducey’s FY 2021 Proposed Budget:

“Throughout my travels around the state, I’ve heard and seen firsthand the passionate support that Arizonans have for continued and increased investment in our public education system. In reviewing Governor Ducey’s proposed budget, I’m hopeful that we will continue to find bipartisan support for the issues facing our public schools.”

“There are several items in the budget that will build upon the work of our Department and provide schools with critical resources. By providing the funds necessary to fulfill each school’s first choice in the School Safety Program, Arizona will take a necessary step towards ensuring that school safety is not treated as a competition. Additionally, the increased funds for the investigative unit – paired with fully-funding the top choices of the School Safety Program waitlist – will go a long way in ensuring our students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn at school.”

“In addition to school safety, the budget address several key needs: early restoration of Additional Assistance and increased funding for school facilities will help schools meet the needs of their communities, more dollars dedicated to Adult Education will unlock the economic and personal potential of so many individuals in our state, and targeted assistance through programs like Project Rocket will elevate schools that need extra support.”

“Inclusion of the final installment of the 20×2020 raises is excellent news for Arizona’s teachers, but I have long said these raises only represented a first step. Now is the time for our state to start planning for what comes next. We know that our teacher shortage has persisted even with these raises, and it will take a holistic, comprehensive approach to move the needle, keep qualified educators in the classroom, and ensure that Arizona’s education system is regionally competitive.”

“Our goal must continue to be a fair and equitable public education system that provides high-quality education for every student in our state – I will continue to advocate for policies that move Arizona in that direction.”

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: December 13th, 2019

Superintendent Hoffman Statement on School Safety Program Awards

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman released the following statement regarding the approval of the School Safety Program Grant awards today:

“It is an incredible step in the right direction to fund 383 new school safety positions across the state. From my conversations at schools and given the vast number of applications we were unable to fund, I know that as a state we still have more work to do. Every school in our state has safety needs, and every student deserves access to mental health supports. Providing more funding to address these critical needs must be our top priority during the next legislative session. I want to thank the legislature, Governor Ducey and his team for their support throughout this process and for prioritizing school safety as much as I do. Together we can make certain that every school has the resources they need to keep students safe and meet their social-emotional needs.”

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: December 5th, 2019

Superintendent Hoffman Announces New Hires

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today announced two appointments to her executive team at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). 

 

Claudio Coria, who will serve as Chief of Staff at ADE, has most recently held the position of Executive Director for Leadership at the Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) since 2016. At PUHSD, Coria was charged with overseeing principal and leadership development across the district. A product of the Teach For America program, Coria began his career as a bilingual junior high teacher in the Roosevelt School District. In his 14 years at PUHSD, Coria has worked as a K-8 teacher and an assistant principal, as well as a middle school and high school principal. Among his many accomplishments, Coria served for five years on the Arizona State Board of Education Professional Practices Advisory Committee and led Alhambra High School into sustained academic achievement that resulted in a Beat the Odds Gold School award from the Center for the Future of Arizona.  

 

“I am excited for Claudio to bring his experience in school and district leadership to the Arizona Department of Education,” Superintendent Hoffman said. “From his award-winning work as a principal, to his role helping grow education leaders, Claudio’s vision for public education, including his passion for supporting Arizona’s many multilingual students, makes him the perfect fit to help us carry out our mission and work here at ADE.” 

 

PUHSD Superintendent Dr. Chad Geston echoed her praise of Coria, “Simply put, Phoenix Union’s loss is Arizona’s gain. Claudio is a very talented, thoughtful and committed leader. He has a proven track record of success across the entire K-12 continuum, having served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and now as an executive director supervising and mentoring current and future leaders. Claudio is bilingual, bicultural and is devoted to the success of every single student under his watch. The more than one million students in Arizona are in great hands as he joins an already driven and dedicated team under the direction of Superintendent Hoffman.” 

 

“It’s a privilege to join Superintendent Hoffman’s team at the Arizona Department of Education,” Coria said. “I look forward to continuing to build on the success of this administration and to work with the agency’s talented and dedicated staff to ensure every student in Arizona has access to a high-quality public education.” 

 

Also joining the Superintendent Hoffman’s executive team is Whitney Marsh, who will serve as Deputy Chief of Staff. Marsh comes to ADE from the Arizona Board of Regents (ABOR), where she served as Director of Strategic Initiatives. Previously, she was Vice President for Education Policy and Budget at the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the Arizona State Board for Charter Schools and also served as an Education Policy Advisor in the Governor’s Office of Strategic Planning and Budgeting. 

 

“Whitney’s resume speaks for itself,” Superintendent Hoffman said. “Her experience at the state and foundation level, as well as with our state universities, will be incredibly helpful as we continue to build connections and partnerships between ADE and the many stakeholders that serve Arizona’s K-12 students and teachers.” 

 

“I am excited to start a new journey in Arizona education policy by joining the Arizona Department of Education under Superintendent Hoffman’s leadership,” Marsh said. “I’ve been impressed by the relationships she’s built and successes she seen in just her first year in office, and I look forward to working with the entire team to help every student in Arizona receive a first-class education.” 

 

Posted in Press Releases | Tagged , |
Published: October 28th, 2019

Get SET for STEM!

The Arizona Department of Education wants to help teachers “Get SET for STEM!” Our Scholarships for Effective Teachers program offers Arizona educators $2,000 per year for up to three years to pursue coursework or programs that will prepare them to add a STEM area (calculus, physics, biology, etc.) or CTE Certificate and bolster their STEM  teaching knowledge & skills!

Who’s eligible? Arizona certified teachers with a current contract at an Arizona public school are eligible to apply. This includes secondary teachers, K-8 teachers, SPED educators, etc. who are interesting in building their STEM education skills. Coursework must be taken through a regionally or national accredited public or provide post-secondary education institution in Arizona (like ASU, UA, NAU, GCU, or an Arizona community college).

What’s the commitment? Scholarship recipients must agree to teach in an Arizona public school for three years after completing their coursework or program. For example, if a teacher receives a “Get SET for STEM” scholarship every year for three years, their commitment to teaching in an Arizona public school will be 9 years — three years of teaching for each year of scholarship!

How often are scholarships awarded? Applications are accepted year-round and scholarships and awarded on a rolling basis. Applications must be submitted prior to enrollment in a program or coursework. Funding is awarded directly to the recipient after submitting paperwork that proves you have enrolled & paid for a course or program.

Posted in Press Releases |