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.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

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

Arizona News

(Pexels Photo)...

Maricopa County approves additional $35M for affordable housing units

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors this week approved another $35 million in federal relief funding to develop more affordable housing units in the area. 
11 hours ago
Firearms on display at the Legendary Guns store in Phoenix in 2018. (File photo by Daria Kadovik/Cr...
Neetish Basnet | Cronkite News

Arizona gun sales expected to surge, again, after mass shootings

Gun sales in Arizona have surged in recent years and experts say they could jump again after recent mass shootings.
11 hours ago
A man is in custody after more than 1,200 catalytic converters were recovered from a storage unit i...

Man arrested after 1,200 catalytic converters found in Phoenix storage unit

A man was arrested Thursday after police recovered over 1,200 catalytic converters in a Phoenix storage unit.
11 hours ago
(Facebook File Photo/Lake Pleasant Regional Park...
Luke Forstner

Valley expert shares lake safety tips for Memorial Day weekend

People looking to cool off at a lake this Memorial Day weekend are asked to do so safely after a string of drownings.
11 hours ago
VR equipment and a version of the TASER 7 that utilizes VR technology for training, is demonstrated...
Taylor Tasler

Phoenix Police use virtual reality headsets to train for calls in the field

The Phoenix Police Department is one of the first law enforcement agencies in the country to use virtual reality to provide officers training in the field. 
11 hours ago
(Facebook Photo/Phoenix Fan Fusion,  Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images for The Latin Recording Academy...

Weekend guide: Here are the biggest events around the Valley for May 27-29

Need something to do? Here's a look at some of the biggest events happening around the metro Phoenix area for the weekend of May 27-29.
11 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
State bill could force low-rated schools in Arizona to close