State bill could force low-rated schools in Arizona to close

Mar 24, 2022, 4:45 AM | Updated: 7:58 am

(Pexels Photo)...

(Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A bill in the state Legislature that aims to help public schools in Arizona improve could actually force nearly 200 to close.

House Bill 2808 would establish the Arizona Achievement District. It would use the state’s grading system for schools, which was suspended during the pandemic, to identify struggling schools.

The system grades K-12 public schools using an A through F scale. A total of 193 schools across the state got a D or an F letter grade in 2019, the last time schools were ranked.

Under the bill, those D and F schools would have three years to improve and become C schools. They’d be given several options to do that, including independently improving performance while getting $150 per student.

Another option would be to have a high-performing district school, charter school or out-of-state charter school operator take over while getting an additional $2,000 per student.

If the school doesn’t improve after three years, it may be required to close or consolidate if a nearby high-ranking school has seats available for students.

“The goal is to have only high-achieving schools in the state,” Rep. Michelle Udall, R-Mesa, said during a committee hearing last month. “The goal is to have no more D and F schools in the state, so that every child can attend a school that is high-quality and get the education they deserve.”

Critics worry the bill does not address one of the main reasons why so many schools are considered low-performing.

Beth Lewis, a 3rd grade teacher and director of the advocacy group Save Our Schools Arizona, explained many students in these schools come from low-income families.

“We know that our low-income students need significantly more resources,” Lewis said. “But instead of doing that, this bill is threatening school takeovers by in-state and out-of-state operators with very little to no accountability for millions to hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.”

The bill passed the House and was added as a strike everything amendment to HB 2284 on Monday. It’s now waiting for a vote in the Senate.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

File photo of a Phoenix police cruiser at a crime scene....

1 man killed, 2 others critically injured in west Phoenix shooting

Police are investigating a shooting incident that left one person dead and two others in critical condition in west Phoenix on Wednesday.

4 minutes ago

(KTAR News Photo)...

KTAR News anchor Jayme West reads to 3rd graders as part of ‘Read to the Final Four’

KTAR News anchor Jayme West read to third graders at Glenn F. Burton Elementary School as part of a Final Four challenge.

1 hour ago

road closed sign...

US 93 closed in both directions near Wickenburg

U.S. 93 was closed in both directions near Wickenburg on Wednesday night, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

2 hours ago

Randall Bird, 46, is accused of having sex with a corpse at a Phoenix hospital. (MCSO Mugshot)...

Hospital security guard in Phoenix accused of sexual misconduct with dead body

A hospital security guard in Phoenix was arrested Tuesday after being accused of sexual misconduct with a dead body, authorities said.

5 hours ago

Antonio Alvarez is the subject of a Silver Alert issued out of Phoenix on Nov. 28, 2023....

Subject of Silver Alert found dead in Avondale a week after last being seen

A subject of a Silver Alert was found dead in Avondale on Tuesday, a week after he had last been seen in the Valley.

6 hours ago

Tempe has begun testing its wastewater for common viruses, such as influenza. (Pexels Photo)...

Tempe starts testing wastewater for common viruses, including influenza

Tempe has begun testing its wastewater for common viruses, such as influenza, and vector-borne diseases.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(KTAR News Graphic)...

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Follow @KTAR923...

Valley residents should be mindful of plumbing ahead of holidays

With Halloween in the rear-view and more holidays coming up, Day & Night recommends that Valley residents prepare accordingly.


Desert Institute for Spine Care

Desert Institute for Spine Care (DISC) wants to help Valley residents address back, neck issues through awake spine surgery

As the weather begins to change, those with back issues can no longer rely on the dry heat to aid their backs. That's where DISC comes in.

State bill could force low-rated schools in Arizona to close