Matthew Benson makes his case for voting No on Prop 127 in spirited FOX 10 debate
ICYMI: FOX 10’s John Hook sat down with Matthew Benson (Arizonans for Affordable Electricity spokesperson) and former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes for a lively discussion on Prop 127 -- the ballot measure that would require electricity providers to generate at least 50% of their annual sales of electricity from renewable resources by 2030.
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Pinal charter schools lead county in state grades
Casa Grande Dispatch
FLORENCE — In the battle of letter grades in Pinal County, charter schools reign supreme.
The state Board of Education recently released the annual letter grades assigned to schools, giving each school an A to F ranking, in accordance with typical academic scoring. Very few Pinal schools were able to achieve the highest mark, an A.
Legacy Traditional Schools, a consortium of classical charter schools, has three campuses in Pinal County: Casa Grande, Maricopa and Queen Creek. All three campuses received an A rating.
“The high marks by Legacy students on the state’s AzMERIT test are a testament to what is being achieved in the classrooms,” said Bill Bressler, chief academic officer of Legacy Traditional Schools. “The team effort of our highly qualified teachers and staff — together with parents — is to be commended as this partnership helps students realize greater academic growth than even the state’s student-growth projections.”
Legacy students outperformed the state AzMERIT averages in English Language Arts and Math in all grades by double digits as well as state AIMS test averages in Science for fourth and eighth grade by double digits in 2018, according to Matthew Benson, the schools’ spokesman.
“In reviewing our results, we saw continuing gains for all grade levels in our 2018 AzMERIT and AIMS results compared to 2017,” said Nicole Kirkley, superintendent of Legacy Traditional Schools. “These results underscore the fact that Legacy’s back-to-basics and accelerated curriculum provides our students with a quality, well-rounded education.”
Legacy, like other public charter schools in Arizona, is funded by taxpayer dollars and is open to all students.
Other charter schools receiving A’s were American Leadership Academy in Anthem and the Eduprize School in Queen Creek.
Four district public schools received A’s in the county: Ranch Elementary School in San Tan Valley, Pima Butte and Butterfield Elementary schools in Maricopa, and the Mary C. O’Brien Accommodation District, operated by the Pinal County School Office.
The scores are weighted and are based on student performance and academic growth and on whether elementary students are ready for high school and if high school students ready for college or career. High schools also are evaluated on their graduation rates.
The majority of Pinal schools received a C: 39. However, 22 schools received a D or F; D is for minimally performing and F is failing.
Read more HERE
Arizona Charter Schools Association Leader Addresses Criticism
Eileen Sigmund (President and CEO of the Arizona Charter Schools Association) spoke with KJZZ this week about actions the Association is taking to improve accountability and transparency at Arizona’s public charter schools. Listen to the interview HERE
Let’s celebrate, protect Arizona’s Medicaid program
Sierra Vista Herald
It has been five years since a bipartisan coalition of Arizona leaders successfully fought to restore and expand one of our state’s most vital programs: Medicaid.
Arizona’s program, formally known as AHCCCS, is one of the most innovative and cost-effective in the nation, serving 1.7 million Arizonans statewide.
More than 1 in 4 Arizonans depend on Arizona’s Medicaid program, including approximately 40,000 people in Cochise County. Enrollees come from every walk of life, including veterans, individuals with disabilities, pregnant women, the elderly, children and the working poor.
Few safety-net programs do more to improve quality of life, to protect Arizona’s most vulnerable, and to ensure the vitality of our state’s health care system and, connected to that, our economy. Research demonstrates children enrolled in Medicaid have better physical health, higher rates of educational attainment, and better earnings as adults.
[...] Arizona families aren’t the only ones benefiting from the modernization of our Medicaid program. So is our healthcare system and taxpayers.
Just five years ago, Arizona hospitals like our own Canyon Vista Medical Center faced spiraling costs for providing care to patients without insurance. In 2013, those expenses totaled $876 million for hospitals statewide – a financial threat especially worrisome to smaller hospitals and those in rural communities like ours.
The bipartisan expansion of Medicaid in Arizona to cover low-income adults has significantly reduced the number of patients without insurance, helping bring uncompensated care under control. Statewide, hospital costs in caring for the uninsured have declined approximately 60 percent since 2013.
We can always do more, but Arizona’s Medicaid program is already one of the most cost-effective in the country.
The bottom line: Medicaid is helping keep patients and hospitals healthy. That’s something we can all celebrate.
Mignonne Hollis is the executive director of the Arizona Regional Economic Development Foundation based in Sierra Vista.
Read more HERE