There is no guarantee that improving the funding of Arizona schools will improve the overall standard of education in the state, said Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal.
"What our data shows, here in Arizona and across the nation, is almost no correlation between money and outcomes," he told News/Talk 92.3 KTAR's Mac & Gaydos on Friday.
Huppenthal cited the Vail School District, which spent $30,000 less per classroom than Tucson Unified, a district that spent more but was ranked lower.
"If you think that more money going into schools is going to solve our problems, it's not," said Huppenthal, adding that the state should look at charter schools, like BASIS, that have solved a lot of the state's issues through experimentation.
Huppenthal praised Carpe Diem Collegiate High School and Middle School in Yuma that uses a blended learning environment, where students spend about half of their day on a computer and half in a classroom.
"When you go down there, you see, literally, this unique mix of the arts and mathematics," he said, citing the way teachers engage students.
Despite all the innovations Arizona is invoking, Huppenthal said it really comes down to parental involvement.
"Parents are the number one predictive factor," he said. "If you want to know the difference between two students' educational outcomes, you can look to the parents more than you can look to the schools."
Huppenthal said caring parents boost their children to get a head start in school.
- Eyes on Education A view of Arizona's education system from all angles.