Expect More Arizona

Today is the 117th day of the legislative session and budget negotiations continue to move slowly behind the scenes. Despite the slow progress, we do have a few updates and an opportunity to take action!

The American School Counselors Association (ASCA) released updated student-to-counselor ratios using data from the 2016–2017 school year. Arizona remains last in the nation with a 905-to-1 ratio. The national average is 455-to-1 and the ASCA recommends a ratio of 250-to-1. This issue is multifaceted, but lack of funding is definitely part of the problem. Learn more about the issue and its impact on Arizona’s students. 

The Senate still has not advanced HB 2125, which allocates federal funding for child care assistance programs to state agencies; it awaits a hearing in the Senate Rules Committee and consideration as part of the budget negotiations.

Here is a complete list of bills we are watching.

An Opportunity to Take Action!

English language education requirements; HCR 2026 – House Concurrent Resolution 2026 would repeal Prop 203, which was passed in 2000 and requires 1) all Arizona students to be taught in English and 2) all English language learners (ELLs) to be taught using Structured English Immersion. Instead, public schools would be required to ensure ELLs receive high quality education and master the English language.

This issue may sound familiar. Earlier this year, we supported SB 1014 and HB 2184 – identical bills signed into law in February – that granted some relief to the “4 hour block” of Structured English Immersion.

HCR 2026 takes things a step further by proposing to repeal Prop 203 completely. If approved by the Senate, HCR 2026 will appear on the 2020 ballot. Polling shows a majority of voters support the repeal of Prop 203, so we need your help to get it to the ballot.

Email your Senator today and encourage him/her to vote YES on HCR 2026.

HCR 2026 is a significant policy shift that will allow schools and teachers ultimate flexibility to design programs and services that best meet the needs of individual students. This referral is important because Arizona has one of the nation’s lowest graduation rates for students who are English language learners, in part due to the inability to learn other content outside of the instruction dedicated only to English. This policy change can help close the achievement gap that leaves so many students behind.