This weekend check out the Drew Carey, Viva Phx, Goodguys Rod & Custom Association, the Chandler Ostrich Festival, Carnaval do Brazil and much more.
Veldheer’s contract includes $17 million guaranteed, and it’s worth a total of $35 million if he plays through all five years of the deal.
After a 10-week injury absence, Bledsoe will come off the Suns bench to return to game action Wednesday night at US Airways Center against Cleveland. Bledsoe has come back from injuries while with the Clippers and Suns but never with the weight of…
Developer Lyle Anderson has sold 223 acres in Scottsdale to Go Daddy founder Bob Parsons.Anderson no longer will build his proposed development of a custom homes and a resort.The parcel is next to Parsons’ Scottsdale National Golf Club, which…
The fate of Phoenix’s ailing employee-pension system could soon be in the hands of voters after a group of political activists submitted petitions Tuesday seeking to overhaul it through a ballot initiative.
Phoenix police are investigating a homcide involving a juvenile in north Phoenix, according to a department spokesman.
Itâ��s the hottest public works project in Arizona, one thatâ��ll have a far reaching impact, affecting every child in this state â�� not to mention our ability to attract decent employers.
Sadly, our leaders are quite likely up to the challenge and so I look for Arizonaâ��s public education system to be dismantled in the not-too-distant future.
Oh, the schools will remain, but theyâ��ll be hollow shells of themselves, filled with the kids whose parents are too poor to send them elsewhere or too otherwise occupied to worry overmuch about where and whether their kids are getting an…
Consider the recent marketing campaign by Arizonaâ��s own state superintendent of public instruction.
â��I have great news for you,â�� Superintendent John Huppenthal recently said in a recorded telephone message to parents. â��I want you to know about a state program that provides money for parents to offer alternatives for their child, including private schools. Thatâ��s right. You may be able to send your child to private school for free!â��
As opposed, say, to sending your kids to one of Huppenthalâ��s public schools â�� the ones that he and his colleagues seem to despise.
Operation Take Down, as Iâ��ll call it, began a few years ago, as the Republican-controlled Legislature began sucking money out of the public schools. Total spending on K-12 education was $412 less per student last year than it was in 2009, according to a recent report by the Arizona auditor general. And thatâ��s in a state where our $7,500 in per-student operational spending already trails the national average by about 42 percent â�� or more than $3,000 per student.
Meanwhile, the Legislature in 2011 began a narrowly focused voucher program, aimed at allowing children with serious physical and mental disabilities to attend private schools using public funds. It was a decent thing to do for a small group of disabled children whose needs the public schools couldnâ��t or wouldnâ��t meet.
Then the program was expanded to the children of active-duty military. And to foster-care children and those adopted out of the foster-care system. And to children attending public schools that received a D or an F rating from the state â�� because, heaven forbid we actually fix our failing schools.
Then came certain kindergarteners.
Now this year come a series of bills that would dramatically expand the stateâ��s Empowerment Scholarship Account program, as itâ��s called — from the current 761 students to 28,000 within five years, and eventually to every child in public or charter schools.
Currently, thereâ��s a cap on the number of new kids who can be added to the state-funded scholarship program each year, presumably to avoid wholesale devastation in the public system. But it expires in 2019. Does anybody really believe the GOP-run Legislature will continue that cap?
â��This,â�� Sen. Kimberly Yee, R-Phoenix and the billâ��s sponsor, said, â��is an opportunity for every parent to place their child in an environment that best fits their childâ��s educational needs.â��
Or put another way, itâ��s an opportunity to use taxpayer money to boost private and religious schools at the expense of already underfunded public schools.
Make that, another opportunity to use taxpayer money to boost private and religious schools at the expense of already underfunded public schools. We already have the always expanding tuition tax credit program, which has diverted millions of tax dollars to private religious schools.
But back to the latest siphon, the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. What happens to the kids left behind? The ones, for example, whose parents donâ��t have the money to pay the difference between the state-funded scholarship and the actual cost of private school?
Tuition at Xavier College Preparatory is nearly $17,000. At Brophy, itâ��s $13,500 and it costs up to $19,000 to attend Rancho Solano. Scottsdale Christian Academy hovers around $10,000 while at Phoenix Country Day, tuition ranges from oh my goodness to yeeeow. ($21,000 to $24,000).
As for the families who canâ��t find a cheaper private alternative, theyâ��ll be stuck in those public schools that our leaders oh so strongly support. Why, just last week the Senate came close to scrapping new, more rigorous educational standards for public schools.
Fortunately, five Republicans joined with Democrats to seize the wheel of the careening clown car and steer a saner path â�� one that supportsÂ standards aimed at preparing our kids to succeed in the 21st Century.
Now those five senators â��Â Bob Worsley of Mesa, Michele Reagan of Scottsdale, John McComish of Ahwatukee, Adam Driggs of Phoenix and Steve Pierce of Prescott â�� need to grab steering wheel once more.
Hereâ��s an idea. Instead of disabling the public schools, how about fixing them?
(Column published March 12, 2014, The Arizona Republic.)
Banks and other businesses have less than a month to get their plans in place before the computer operating system powering about 95 percent of the country’s ATMs becomes vulnerable to hackers and computer viruses.
Pooley said officers found Martin in a neighboring backyard, where he was held at bay by two barking dogs.
Former NFL star Darren Sharper has been indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury and charged with two counts of sexual assault and three counts of administering a dangerous drug, according to Tempe police. Sharper was indicted on Tuesday by grand…