New study on early education

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Arizona typically lags behind the rest of the nation when it comes to education funding, but a new report updates numbers on teacher pay, quality learning, and high school graduation. We talked about the study with Erin Hart from Expect More Arizona.

To bring the conversation host Ted Simons asked Hart to describe the categories covered in the study and she responded by saying, “The progress meter is a set of eight indicators and goals so it helps us know as a state where we stand on education, on early ed on k12 and higher education, and it also gives us a set of goals for where we want to be. So it gives us a roadmap for progress so that we can hit those goals by 2030.”

One of the categories that received an update in this study is quality early learning, which Hart described as, “An indicator that we came up within the early childhood community to tell us what does quality learning look like versus basic child care so there’s one on one action with a caring adult, there are opportunities for learning through play and experiences, some academics but it’s really about how a child is supported in those early years.”

The Chief Impact Officer of Expect More Arizona went on to also talk about the three percent drop in enrollment for kids ages three and four. She said the decrease from 22% to 19% is important and happened for two reasons.

“One is because Arizona lost a federal grant that was bringing in about $20 million annually that gave about 3000 kids access to high quality early learning, and so when the grant went away, those opportunities went away and the grant went away largely because Arizona couldn’t prove that it had enough skin in the game… The other piece of it was the effects of the pandemic.”

Erin Hart, Chief Impact Officer, Expect More Arizona

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