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A First Step Toward Creating Equitable Funding for Education in Arizona

Author: Paul J. Luna, President and CEO

February 1, 2016

Helios Education Foundation is dedicated to creating opportunities for individuals in Arizona and Florida to succeed in postsecondary education. As a result, we strategically partner to ensure more students are academically prepared at every stage of the education continuum­ from early learning through  postsecondary education.

There is much debate in Arizona about what needs to happen to improve education. We believe that our system should be focused on preparing every student for college and career success, and once that goal is in place, funding  must support that goal in the best interest of every student, regardless of their background or where they come from.

As we consider the future of our state, Arizonans will have a decision to make on May 17 about Proposition 123. Helios Education Foundation supports the passage of Proposition 123 as a step toward resetting base-level K-12 funding for Arizona's public schools.  However, we encourage our elected leadership to view this as a first step and not a complete solution to creating equitable funding for education in Arizona. In addition, we believe that funding needs to be restored to our universities and community colleges and investments must be made, at the state level, in high-quality early childhood education.

Funding is only one of a number of complex issues facing all levels of education in our state. With the jarring academic achievement and degree attainment gaps that exist between Latino students and their White peers, we know that funding alone won't resolve these and other challenges.
 
Ultimately, we need an education system accountable for ensuring that third graders are reading at grade level, that students graduate high school ready for success in college and career and ultimately earn a postsecondary certificate or degree that prepares them for the 21st century workforce.

Category: College and Career Readiness

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