Touts Arizona’s Gold Standard for Educational Freedom in Panel with Jeb Bush, Education Leaders
PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today received a national award recognizing his trailblazing contributions over the past eight years that have transformed education in Arizona.
“Arizona is proud to be a national leader in educational freedom,” said Governor Ducey. “We are dedicated to putting students on the path to success and ensuring parents remain in the driver’s seat of their children’s education. Now, all K-12 students in Arizona can access the education that best fits their unique needs. We want to see Arizona’s model replicated across the nation. Thank you Governor Jeb Bush and ExcelinEd for this distinct honor.”
The governor received the Excellence in Education Award from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, following an expert panel at ExcelinEd’s National Summit on Education conference. Prior honorees of the Excellence in Education Award include former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, Success Academy’s Eva Moskowitz and Khan Academy founder Sal Khan.
“Gov. Doug Ducey is a tremendous leader who believes in the potential of every child, and has helped Arizona children access better educational outcomes,” said Gov. Jeb Bush, founder and chairman of ExcelinEd. “I applaud Gov. Ducey for having the courage and conviction to put students first, for championing student-centered solutions, and having the vision to transform Arizona’s educational landscape.”
Governor Bush moderated the panel of Governor Ducey, Khan Academy’s Sal Khan and Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, diving into innovations unfolding in the nation’s fastest growing state.
The panel also discussed how Arizona’s pioneering policy landscape is fostering innovations with the power to transform education and transform lives. Khan revealed the latest product of that innovation ecosystem: the Khan World School @ ASU Prep, a groundbreaking partnership between Khan Academy and Arizona State University.
Under Governor Ducey’s leadership, Arizona has become the gold standard for educational freedom. In July, the governor signed the most expansive school choice legislation in the nation, opening education savings accounts to every K-12 student in the state.
The scholarships have seen enormous demand since opening to Arizona’s 1.1 million students in September. More than 30,000 applications have been submitted for universal Empowerment Scholarship Accounts since it was opened.
Arizona’s universal school choice is the crowning achievement of the state’s long history of unlocking student’s potential.
Arizona has bolstered its leadership in school choice options for students and families, expanding programs for greater open enrollment, new transportation models, more charter schools and more educational freedom for families. In Arizona, families can choose from district public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, homeschooling and microschools.
Arizona Transportation Modernization Grant Program
The state, under Governor Ducey’s leadership, developed the Arizona Transportation Modernization Grant Program to modernize K-12 transportation options and improve access to reliable and safe transportation for students. These solutions will strengthen opportunities for K-12 kids and their families in rural communities and all areas of the state.
Students and families may go to the school of their choice through Arizona’s open enrollment for public school districts. The program empowers families to select a school that best fits their child, regardless of which neighborhood they call home.
One of the first states to lead the way in allowing for public charter schools, today Arizona has more than 550 charter schools teaching 230,000 students – approximately 20 percent of all students enrolled in public schools throughout the state.
Governor Ducey has worked to expand microschools throughout the state. Microschools provide a smaller learning community, tailored to the needs of each student. In October 2020, the governor announced an additional $500,000 investment to the Expansion & Innovation Fund to design and grow public Small Learning Communities, targeting kids who were not well served by their existing schooling system or whose parents were relying on a Small Learning Community option to get back to work. The following year, the Governor invested $3.5 million to create new microschools through the Black Mothers Forum. The Black Mothers Forum, led by founder Janelle Wood, helps create new, innovative learning models where students receive personalized support.