Arizona schools chief Tom Horne says tutoring program is boosting reading, math scores

May 30, 2024, 4:05 AM

Tom Horne: One-on-one tutoring program benefits Arizona students...

The tutoring program is open for K-12 students. (Photo by Cheriss May for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

(Photo by Cheriss May for The Washington Post via Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The final session of a statewide one-on-one tutoring program began on Tuesday and will last through July 9.

The Achievement Tutoring Program has boosted students’ scores since the first six-week program was launched in November 2023, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne.

Over 20% of students who registered for the program have seen “academic gains representing half a school year of learning,” according to an announcement from last week.

Horne joined KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday to flesh out the findings. He said the data comes from two six-week sessions in 2024, the first of which took place in January.

“In the first session, we had 4,242 students and 23% of the made a half-year gain in six weeks,” Horne said. “Then we had a second session in March and beginning of April. Now, the number of students increased from 4,242 to 6,481 and 22% made a half-year gain in six weeks.”

The program is one of 16 initiatives the state’s education program is working on to improve student academics, he added.

What is the one-on-one tutoring program in Arizona?

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

However, any student enrolled in a public or charter school in grader K-12 is eligible for the program — as long as they tested below proficient in the three above categories. The department of education uses federal COVID-19 relief funds to keep the program free for parents and students.

The tutoring sessions last up to 60 minutes for a maximum of four days a week. The total is six weeks.

Horne said his department doesn’t have enough money to renew it after the last session ends in July.

“I won’t have the money because these federal SSR funds expire Sept. 30,” he said. “If we get a year with a surplus, as we had two years ago, rather than a deficit as we’ve had this year, we’ll ask this legislature to fund this.”

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Arizona schools chief Tom Horne says tutoring program is boosting reading, math scores