ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona Department of Education activates website for free tutoring program

Sep 15, 2023, 1:28 PM

Stock image of a tutor and student. The Achievement Tutoring Program was designed for Arizona publi...

The Achievement Tutoring Program was designed for Arizona public district and charter school students in grades 3-8 who test below proficiency levels in reading, writing or math. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — The web page for Arizona’s free tutoring program has been activated, the state Department of Education announced Friday.

The Achievement Tutoring Program was designed for public district and charter school students in grades 3-8 who test below proficiency levels in reading, writing or math.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne created the program using $40 million in federal funding to address learning loss related to the COVID-19 pandemic. First and second graders aren’t eligible because they weren’t of school age during the the pandemic.

The new website answers questions about the program and provides a way for parents to submit an interest form.

The Department of Education is working to secure providers and will send updates to interested parties as details are finalized.

When will free tutoring be available?

The free tutoring will be made available on a first-come, first-served basis starting Oct. 2, the department said.

The funding will cover over one million hours of tutoring for four days a week over a six-week period. Either a certified teacher or a private vendor approved by the state will do the tutoring, according to Horne.

Teachers will be paid $30 per hour. If they make sufficient progress in that six-week window, they will get an additional $200 stipend. A teacher who can find the time to tutor could potentially make $8,000 overall.

Arizona has deadline to spend school pandemic funds

The federal government earmarked $2.7 billion to Arizona to assist with pandemic-driven learning loss. Roughly 90% of that money went to districts around the state. That left $130 million for the Arizona Department of Education. Funds not used by the end of September 2024 will revert back to the federal government.

The timetable led state education officials to ask vendors to submit data to prove they had made academic gains with students. Those that failed to do so within five days had their contracts abruptly canceled.

Some who made gains but weren’t spending the funds at a steady rate had their grants reduced. Twenty-seven grants in all were modified or canceled.

“We do want to be sure that nothing goes back to the federal government. So we took back part of their funds. That all came to in excess of $40 million,” Horne said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Arizona Department of Education activates website for free tutoring program