Hundreds of Arizonans have been gathering from Tucson to Show Low, Douglas to Flagstaff, and Yuma to Sierra Vista, to determine how to remodel the state’s education funding system to support the training of future firefighters, entrepreneurs, lawyers, doctors, coders and cybersecurity experts.
For months, Arizonans have been putting their time, knowledge, and perspectives forward to consider the goals of Arizona’s school system and the best funding mechanisms to meet those goals. Their efforts are already being used locally. Their recommendations will also be used by participants of the 110th Arizona Town Hall on Funding Arizona’s preK-12 Education set for November 12-15, 2017 in Mesa, Arizona.
Is it rumor or lore that just four people in the state truly understand how education funding works?
No matter the daunting task, Arizonans are engaged and ready to convene to examine the possibilities even further. Just as a house needs ongoing maintenance and periodic updates to retain its value, Arizona’s school system, now more than 100 years in the making, may be in line for some remodeling.
The Arizona Town Hall participants will spend time examining what’s working with the current pre-K through 12 education funding system, what to update and what to keep. Remodeling is hard work. The dust may fly, noise is created and disruption in a formerly comfy setting happens. Education construction teams from all over the state are already putting forth big ideas and small tweaks. If Arizona wants to develop the next space explorers or social media start up, then maybe there is a big shift in funding processes. If a boost is needed in graduation rates to attract more rooftops and business relocations, and tradespeople trained to building those buildings, then perhaps innovative ideas are the best remedy.
The legislature shall enact such laws as shall provide for the
establishment and maintenance of a general and uniform public school system…
Article XI, Section 1
The Arizona Constitution
A number of key issues will be explored including: teacher pay, high school graduation, post-high school enrollment, post-secondary attainment, opportunity youth, 3rd grade readying and 8th grade math, preschool enrollment, achievement gaps based on ethnicity or poverty, classroom size, parent choice and preK-12 funding formulas. Guest speakers, the comprehensive background report, and the input already gathered from across the state will inform the three-and-a-half day detailed work to develop a comprehensive recommendations report.
The Arizona Town Hall, a 55+ year statewide organization with proven success for consensus dialogue and fact-based respectful discussion, will lead the process that will ultimately result in a report filled with recommendations that can be enacted locally, as well as statewide, in support of the goals defined for each subject area.
Who: Diverse citizens from across the state
What: Arizona Town Hall’s 110th Town Hall on Funding preK-12 Education
Where: Hilton Phoenix/Mesa 1101 W. Holmes Ave, Mesa AZ 85210
When: Sunday, November 12th through Wednesday, November 15th
Cost: Varies depending on an individual’s membership status, need for hotel, meals and other expenses. A limited number of scholarships are available to defray costs of those who otherwise could not afford to participate. There are also opportunities for the public to observe the discussions with an advanced registration of $75, plus the cost of any meals for which the observer is registered.
Special thanks to sponsors APS and SRP for their significant support of the 110th Arizona Town Hall. Additional thanks to the Arizona Lottery, Helios Education Foundation, as well as the University of Phoenix, Stifel Nicolaus & Company, Inc., Arizona Water Company, and Hufford Horstman Mongini Parnell & Tucker PC. The Arizona Town Hall also appreciates the detailed work on the background report overseen by John Arnold with the Arizona Board of Regents.
About Arizona Town Hall
Arizona Town Hall is a private, statewide nonprofit organization that has been a catalyst for civic action and the advancement of issues important to Arizonans for more than 55 years. The organization’s signature events include statewide, three-day Town Halls convened to bring diverse Arizonans together for facilitated, civil discussions leading to consensus solutions to the state’s most pressing issues. Community Town Halls and outreach programs are held in venues across the state during the months before and after each statewide Town Hall. Community programs allow an opportunity for more people to add their voice to the discussions. Arizona Town Hall also provides consulting services to government, business and other entities interested in using Arizona Town Hall’s unique system of facilitated, consensus-oriented discussions to find common ground and bring solutions to challenges they may be facing.
The work of Arizona Town Hall is made possible through the generous financial support of individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations that support its mission. Additional information regarding Arizona Town Hall can be found online at aztownhall.org.