Arizona Schools Benefit Form Science Foundation Grant

Arizona Schools Benefit Form Science Foundation Grant

in​ April 2018 the Science Foundation​ Arizona (SFAz) announced an​ investment of​ $3.2 million​ into a​ K-12 Student & Teacher Discovery Program that will benefit the Arizona Schools. The Arizona Schools grants are the third awarding of​ SFAz funds intended to​ create a​ top-notch science, engineering and​ medical core in​ Arizona. The foundation​ intends to​ create this​ by supporting and​ funding secondary and​ university level Arizona Schools.

Why Fund Science in​ Arizona Schools?

Science Foundation​ Arizona is​ a​ non-profit organization​ created in​ 2018 to​ “strengthen scientific, engineering and​ medical research programs and​ infrastructure in​ areas of​ greatest strategic value to​ Arizona’s competitiveness in​ the global economy.” in​ addition​ to​ benefits to​ economy, educators in​ Arizona Schools are aware of​ a​ growing achievement gap that most affects minorities and​ low-income students. That gap is​ greatest in​ areas of​ math and​ science.

Arizona Schools are an​ oxymoron​ in​ education. Education​ Week rated them last in​ the nation​ for​ per pupil spending in​ January of​ 2018. Yet it​ rated Arizona Schools 14th in​ the nation​ on​ academic standards, and​ 20th in​ education​ alignment. on​ the National Assessment of​ Education​ Progress (NAEP) the state came in​ 21st. Typically schools with lowest spending per pupil (like California) also rate poorly on​ other indicators of​ success; while the top spending states (like New Jersey) rank higher.

Superintendent of​ Arizona Schools, Tom Horne, wrote in​ his January 2018 district letter that although the national average is​ not a​ satisfactory goal, “… if​ our [Arizona] schools can bring our students to​ above the national average, even though we are last in​ resources, I believe we could be in​ the top 10 nationally if​ we raised our resources to​ the national average.” Clearly private funding from groups like SFAz is​ expected to​ help Arizona Schools reach that goal.

What Programs Will Benefit Arizona Schools?

Arizona Schools intend to​ use some of​ the funds for​ summer classes, teacher training and​ online courses. $225,000 will go to​ growing the Hands-on​ Optics Project run by the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in​ Tucson. this​ program lets elementary and​ middle school students in​ rural Arizona Schools learn about optics from scientists in​ surrounding communities.

The for​ Inspiration​ and​ Recognition​ of​ Science and​ Technology (FIRST) award gives $525,000 to​ the development of​ underprivileged K-12 students. Arizona Schools will participate in​ the First Robotics Competition​ and​ FIRST LEGO® League Programs with these funds.

As Arizona Schools try to​ address issues like English Language Learner program funding, and​ equity across racial and​ socio-economic lines, debates over allocation​ funds will continue to​ heat up. this​ is​ why a​ national trend of​ philanthropic and​ corporate sponsorship of​ public schools has become so popular.

Whether Superintendent Horne will get the additional state funding he seeks for​ Arizona Schools is​ still unknown. But it’s certain​ that the funds provided by SFAz will benefit the Arizona Schools in​ the 2018-2018 school year and​ beyond.

Arizona Schools Benefit Form Science Foundation Grant

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