Daily Schools Update: Educators & nonprofits receive grants to boost equity in STEAM - AZEdNews
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Daily Schools Update: Educators & nonprofits receive grants to boost equity in STEAM

From Left To Right: Jennifer Sanchez With Intel, Robin Flyte With Casteel High School, Debbie Esparza With YWCA And Andrea Moreno With SRP At The Event Announcing The Cohort On Saturday, Jan. 14. Photo Courtesy Equity In STEAM Initiative 2.0

Updated Jan. 24, 2023: Intel, YWCA of Metropolitan Phoenix and Salt River Project awarded grants of up to $3,000 to 21 educators and nonprofits as part of the Equity in STEAM Initiative.

“With the growing technology industry in Arizona, it’s critical our students, the next generation, know they belong in STEAM, regardless of the zip code they call home,” said Jennifer Sanchez, Community Affairs Manager at Intel Arizona

Grants will fund a variety of programs including robotics programs and leadership workshops aimed at inspiring underrepresented communities to explore a career pathway in the industry.  

Hear from a few of the Black students who were part of desegregation when they walked into Chandler High School in 1949.

Two schools in Arizona will be part of U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland’s nationwide “The Road to Healing” tour where survivors of the Federal Indian boarding school system and their families have th opportunity to share their experiences and the impact it’s had on their families and communities.

See how Glendale Elementary district students make their schoole even better.

Baboquivari Education honors the first Native American woman in space NASA astronaut Nicole Mann.

See how Alhambra students, families, and the community came together to make positive changes in their neighborhoods.

Maricopa Unified School District celebrates their students’ accomplishments in the Future Cities competition.

Flinn Scholarship semi-finalists are taking part in interviews today and tomorrow to see if they’ll earn a full ride to an Arizona public university.

Washington Elementary School District celebrates School Choice Week.

Flagstaff Unified students take part in a virtual field trip on public art history.

Would you like to honor a Tempe Elementary School District employee who has made a difference? Then check this out.

Updated Jan. 18, 2023

Glendale Elementary closed after bathroom fire. School officials say the school will remain closed until the air quality improves.

Horizon Elementary to remain closed after bathroom fire

School officials have canceled classes for Wednesday after a fire at Horizon Elementary Tuesday afternoon. School officials say the school will remain closed until further notice due to air quality in the building. The District says a carbon dioxide testing will be performed to ensure safe air quality, when they receive clearance the school will return to normal operations.

Arizona State University’s School of Music, Dance and Theatre prepare to engage and educate the community on Black History Month.

School of Music, Dance and Theatre to celebrate Black history, theater in Arizona

As Black History Month approaches, faculty at ASU’s School of Music, Dance and Theatre are hoping to engage the community in in a discussion about Black history – and theater – in Arizona through an upcoming event. “The State of Black Liberation in Arizona: Where We Were Then and Where We Are Now” will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Phoenix Fire responds to Shaw Butte Elementary School after students allegedly took edibles.

Phoenix Fire responds to another school after students allegedly took edibles

Last week, the Phoenix Fire Department was dispatched to a charter school after a few students ingested marijuana-edible gummies. PHOENIX – The Phoenix Fire Department has been dispatched to another Valley school to evaluate students who allegedly ingested edibles. At about 11:30 a.m.

Weather causes road closures, school cancelations in northern Arizona. See updates on individual districts and when schools plan to reopen.

NAU on Twitter: “To allow campus, city & county staff to manage the effects of the ongoing winter storm & to encourage safe travel for students coming up, we will have a modified schedule for Wednesday, Jan. 18. pic.twitter.com/jvJ3MUr7xn / Twitter”

To allow campus, city & county staff to manage the effects of the ongoing winter storm & to encourage safe travel for students coming up, we will have a modified schedule for Wednesday, Jan. 18. pic.twitter.com/jvJ3MUr7xn

Winter weather delays schools, causes travel issues in Northern Arizona

Some Northern Arizona schools have made the decision to delay or close schools due to winter weather. School closures and delays for Monday, January 2: School closures and delays for Tuesday, January 3: Blue Ridge School District – School is canceled. Flagstaff Unified School District: Schools will be on a two-hour delayed start.

Tempe presents their 2023 Diversity Awards to individuals representing the dream of MLK.

Thousands of cleaner, quieter electric school buses to roll out soon in districts nationwide

The wheels on new school buses around the country go round and round, but they’re practically the only things making noise. School districts in every state are beginning to roll out electric buses to transport children to and from school, with a big financial boost from the federal government.

Under a bill signed by Gov. Doug Ducey in 2021, schools must teach the events of the Holocaust and other genocides twice from grade 7 to grade 12.

STEAM educational garden to roll out this spring in Sierra Vista.

STEAM educational garden to roll out this spring

SIERRA VISTA – Cochise County School Superintendent Jacqui Clay’s strong suit has always been her innate ability for envisioning possibilities that could benefit her community in incalculable ways.

School districts in every state are beginning to roll out electric buses to transport children to and from school, with a big financial boost from the federal government. Blue Bird delivered its first electric school bus to Chinle Unified School District in Arizona, the largest school district in the Navajo Nation.

Thousands of cleaner, quieter electric school buses to roll out soon in districts nationwide

The wheels on new school buses around the country go round and round, but they’re practically the only things making noise. School districts in every state are beginning to roll out electric buses to transport children to and from school, with a big financial boost from the federal government.

$6 Million Awarded To Expand Higher Education Programs Aimed at Student Success Beyond College Completion.

$6 Million Awarded To Expand Higher Education Programs Aimed at Student Success Beyond College Completion

Three-year grants awarded to four institutions will support expansion of programs designed to help learners succeed during and after completion of their degree or credential. These programs deploy a broad range of strategies from new technology solutions to embedded, industry-recognized credentials, which will be made available to thousands of new learners through these grants.

The latest Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard update shows confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona are 2,081,829 as of Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, up 2,751 cases from last week, and 32,631 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Jan. 12, 2023

See why chronic absenteeism is an issue for Arizona students and what schools are doing to get more students in class and help improve students’ learning outcomes.

See that Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne says are his priorities.

Kindergarteners at West Wing School surprise their principal with a birthday celebration.

The teacher shortage in Arizona is expected to get worse after new laws were passed this year.

Arizona teacher shortage worsens

Arizona’s heading into another year with a growing teacher shortage. New laws taking effect this year will likely make the problem worse, thanks to stagnant salaries, the shift of hundreds of millions of dollars into private school tuition subsidies, low enrollment in teacher training programs and new laws on what teachers can say in the classroom.

Arizona schools will likely see more budget cuts if the Aggregate Expenditure Limit is not lifted.


Arizona public school districts are at risk of losing 17% of their annual budget if the state legislature does not lift the state’s current spending cap. The Aggregate Expenditure Limit, which is a constitutional amendment that was passed in 1980, restricts how much K-12 schools are able to spend each year.

Arizona schools bracing for another fight over spending cap in Legislature

Arizona school districts are facing a now-familiar dilemma: whether or not they’ll be allowed to spend money the state has allocated to them.Last year, districts warned of layoffs, school closures and more if lawmakers did not waive a cap on spending, known as the aggregate expenditure limit.

The Arizona Commission on the Arts granted Cochise County more than $77,000 to seven different art organizations this winter.

Cochise County art programs get a boost

The arts in Cochise County are receiving a boost this Winter; the Arizona Commission on the Arts awarded Cochise County more than $77,000 in total to seven art organizations across the county. According to local artisans and organizations in Cochise County, the commission’s grant is a crucial lifeline to keeping resources available and enables them to expand their programming as they bounce back from COVID-19-related cutbacks.

According to U.S. Census Bureau spending data, Arizona spent less than almost every other state on administrative costs.

No, Arizona school administration costs are not too high

Spending data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau suggests Arizona spent less on administrative costs than nearly every other state in 2020. ARIZONA, USA – For years, politicians have suggested Arizona school districts have bloated administrations. However, statistics don’t support that claim. Arizona school districts spend too much on administration expenses.

The latest Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard update shows confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona are 2,391,895 as of Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2023, up 7,374 cases from last week, and 32,503 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Western Peaks staff celebrated their A rating with a breakfast with Dysart School District leaders.

Several schools honored their students named as Flinn Scholar semifinalists.

Jan. 9, 2023

A judge has delayed the trial in the school capital funding lawsuit from next week to March 17, after Attorney General Kris Mayes said she needs time to determine if some or all of the claims can be resolved without a trial.

A group of school districts and associations filed the lawsuit against the state in 2017 saying the Arizona Legislature has not given schools enough money for building maintenance, buses, technology and textbooks for the past 10 years after it was cut during the Great Recession.

Buu Nygren will be sworn in on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, as Navajo Nation President. He will be the youngest to hold the tribal presidency, and says he will keep his focus local, ensure elders have the necessities they need, and focus on delivering water, electricity and broadband to thousands who don’t have it, The Associated Press reports.

A new session of the Arizona Legislature convenes today, and Gov. Katie Hobbs will give her State of the State address this afternoon.

Some Flagstaff Unified students used snow shoes during physical education clases.

Students and chefs are preparing for Blue Watermelon’s Feeding the Future event on Jan. 28, which pairs students with local chefs to develop school meals based on their age.

Students at Kyrene School District headed back to class today after Winter Break.

Deer Valley Unified School District hosted a meeting of Arizona School Administrators today and learned more about Cognia.

Hear how a teacher inspired an Avondale Elementary School student in exploring her talents.

Arizona State University reminds students of support services that are available as the spring semester starts.

See how Gilbert Public Schools athletes are giving back with efforts to improve literacy.

Creighton School District thanks school board members for all they do to help students during National School Board Member Recognition Month.

See some of the Arizona educators who benefited from Desert Financial’s generosity this year.

Queen Creek Unified School District recognized a police officer who helps at their schools as part of Law Enforcment Appreciation Day.

Saddle Mountain Unified School District congratulates staff on their STAR awards.

Jan. 5, 2023

Mariachi Pasion led the entertainment before the 2023 Inauguration ceremony of Gov. Katie Hobbs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, and other statewide elected leaders, which began at 10 a.m. today, that you can view below.

2023 Arizona Inauguration Ceremony

Supt. Horne said after his inauguration that the AZ Dept. of Education is dedicated to helping students, teachers and schools to increase academic performance and that teams will visit schools and help them improve students’ test performance.

Daily Schools Update: Educators & nonprofits receive grants to boost equity in STEAM Screenshot-2023-01-05-at-10.30.41-AM
Supt. of Public Instruction Tom Horne speaks after his inauguration at the Arizona Capitol on Jan. 5, 2023. Photo courtesy of the Office of the Arizona Governor.

“Our Number One goal will be to increase students’ test scores so they can compete in the international economy,” Supt. Horne said.

Horne also said empowering parents is another key goal of his administration.

Gov. Hobbs took the stage at 11 a.m. and delivered her speech.

Gov. Hobbs said the people of Arizona gave her a directive to find common ground and work together for the future of Arizona.

“We must do all we can to ensure everyone has the ability to succeed,” Gov. Hobbs said.

“We must find common ground and do what’s right to invest in public schools for the future our students, parents and schools deserve,” Gov. Hobbs said.

“Thank you for this extraordinary honor. Let’s get to work,” Gov. Hobbs said.

Daily Schools Update: Educators & nonprofits receive grants to boost equity in STEAM Screenshot-2023-01-05-at-11.02.15-AM
Gov. Katie Hobbs speaks at the statewide inauguration ceremony at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Jan. 5, 2023. Photo courtesy the Office of the Arizona Governor

Meanwhile, Arizona school districts continue to seek action from Arizona Legislators to raise the aggregate expenditure limit to allow them to spend funding already allocated to them by the state.

If the limit is not raised by the end of March, school districts will need to make cuts to their budgets in the third quarter of the year that could lead to teacher and staff layoffs and school closures. The Legislative Session starts on Monday, Jan. 9.

See how Flagstaff Unified School District students are helping to reduce invasive species.

See how pet therapy is helping students in Arizona schools.

See what Deer Valley Unified students are doing in their makerspace.

See what Dysart Student Broadcasting Live students were working on before Winter Break.

Kyrene Schools reminds parents that enrollment is starting for next school year.

Jan. 3, 2023

The Grand Canyon Institute says the aggregate expenditure limit, approved by voters in the 1980s that limits school spending to levels near those in 1979 while allowing adjustments for inflation and student population growth, should be done away with and that it hurts students and the state economy.

During Winter Break, teachers at Deer Valley Unified School District took part in training to help develop students coding skills.

With voter approval of Prop. 208, more students are expected to apply for college this spring.

There’s still time to fill out the FAFSA to apply for financial aid. Find out why it’s so important here.

Want more info on increasing attendance and supporting students’ mental health? Then take a look at what WestEd is focusing on this year.

See how ACCEL helps students with disabilities learn the skills they need to live independently.

State legislators are proposing new education bills that would impact students, read more about it below.

The latest Arizona Department of Health Services dashboard update shows confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona are 2,378,334 as of Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2022, up 4,973 cases from last week, and 32,182 Arizonans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

In Maricopa County there are 1,484,296 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 309,458 in Pima County153,911 in Pinal County69,894 in Yuma County66,195 in Mohave County, 58,879 in Yavapai County52,079 in Coconino County47,270 in Navajo County38,338 in Cochise County35,192 in Apache County21,008 in Gila County19,354 in Santa Cruz County13,896 in Graham County5,896 in La Paz County, and 2,668 in Greenlee County.

Students seeking to launch their own business should consider entering Chandler-Gilbert Community Colleges Big Pitch Competition.

Can you tell the difference between an essay written by a student or by artificial intelligence? See what teachers are talking about.

See how Sierra Vista Public Library is making books more accessible to increase reading.

See how PXU City is helping one student meet his educational needs.

Earlier coverage


Dec. 1 – Dec. 31: Daily Schools Update: Some responses to missing class may add to learning loss

Nov. 1 – Nov. 30: Daily Schools Update: House Education Chair says Legislature has enough votes for aggregate expenditure limit special session

Oct. 1 – Oct. 31: Daily schools update: See what Lake’s and Hobbs’ education priorities are

Sept. 1 – Sept. 30: Daily schools update: Sec. of State says not enough signatures filed to block voucher expansion

August 1 – August 31: Daily schools update: When student loan debt forgiveness application launches

July 1 – July 31: Daily schools update: How to save money on back-to-school shopping

June 1 – June 30Schools update: ASU professor shares how supply chain issues impact Independence Day fireworks shows

May 3 – May 31: Schools update: How to discuss traumatic events with kids

April 4 – April 30: Daily schools update: Chinle principal wins Milken Educator Award

March 1- March 30: Daily schools update: An event-filled weekend of school arts festivals and a CTE competition

Feb.2, 2022 – Feb. 28:  Daily schools update: College in Ukraine powered by ASU would have welcomed students next month

Jan. 13, 2022 – Feb. 1: Daily schools update: Students learn more about Year of the Tiger during Lunar New Year


Dec. 20, 2021 – Jan. 12, 2022Daily schools update: AZ doctors urge schools to require masks as COVID surges

Nov. 23, 2021 – Dec. 17, 2021: Daily schools update: Tolleson Union uses grant to launch Uber-like ride share service for students

Nov. 9, 2021 – Nov. 22, 2021: Daily schools update: Education Advocates get Tax Referendum on 2022 Ballot

Oct. 27, 2021 – Nov. 8, 2021: Daily schools update: Mesa Mother Relieved to get her Young Child Vaccinated

Oct. 12- Oct. 25, 2021Daily schools update: Supply chain issues cause problems for Arizona school cafeterias

Sept. 27 – Oct. 11, 2021Daily Schools Update: How will children becoming eligible for COVID-19 vaccine change schools’ prevention measures?

Sept. 14 – Sept. 27, 2021Daily schools update: Students decision to mask up may have stopped a classroom COVID-19 outbreak

Aug. 24 to Sept. 1, 2021: Daily schools update: COVID-19 outbreaks rise among students in Maricopa County

Aug. 17 to Aug. 23, 2021: Daily schools update: FDA approves Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine

Aug. 3 to Aug. 16, 2021: Daily schools update: Arizona school mask mandates receive presidential praise

July 19 to Aug. 2, 2021Daily schools update: Teens struggle with mental health as school starts

June 20 to July 14, 2021Daily schools update: Arizona lawmakers ban mask requirements in schools

June 14 to June 17, 2021Tempe Union’s board approves comprehensive mental health policy

June 1 to June 11, 2021It’s time to get students enrolled in school for fall & ready for in-person classes

May 17 to May 28, 2021A year after George Floyd’s murder, a look at empathy, equity, what’s changed & what hasn’t

May 10 to May 14, 2021Students ready for graduation ceremonies

May 4 to May 6, 2021Amendment to bill would prohibit teachers from discussing controversial policy & social issues not essential to learning objectives

April 28 to May 3, 2021Thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week for all they do for students

April 21 to April 27, 2021: 3 years after Red for Ed there’s much left to do

April 12 to April 20, 2021: How & why teachers discuss trial with students; Schools keep masks after Gov. rescinds mandate

March 29 to April 9, 2021Children, young teens may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine before next school year

March 15 to March 26Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ’s news conference today

Feb. 24 to March 11, 2021: COVID-19 aid funds will help AZ students, families & schools

Feb. 11 to Feb. 23U.S. Dept of Ed: Students must take standardized tests, but there’s flexiblity on when & how

Feb. 2 to Feb. 9Video: Supt. Hoffman gives State of Special Education address

Jan. 21 to Feb. 1Black History Mural Month Project to highlight pioneers of the Black community launches in Phoenix

Jan. 10 – Jan 20How students engage with Inauguration Day


Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 12 – April 7, 2020Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving