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Brewer creates coordinating council on education

Gov. Jan Brewer on Monday (July 27) issued an executive order establishing the Governor’s P-20 Coordinating Council of Arizona, which she said will help maximize the effectiveness of education at all levels.

“We are all too familiar with the statistics regarding educational achievement in Arizona, but the days of excuses must come to an end,” Brewer said in a press release. “Our entire educational continuum must have a forum where they can coordinate policies and discuss the future.”

Brewer charged the council with devising ways to streamline Arizona’s education system while improving academic achievement. A similar council was established by former Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2005.

The council will provide a statewide forum that will provide recommendations to the governor on education reforms outline in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, according to a press release from the Governor’s Office. The Governor’s Office said the council will also help the governor implement the reforms pledged by Brewer in her application for the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund, the stimulus money designated for education, which included improving the distribution of qualified teachers in the state, enhancing academic standards and assessments, supporting struggling schools and establishing a longitudinal data system.

Council members will be appointed by the governor, and will include the superintendant of public instruction or an official designee, the executive director of the Early Childhood Development and Health Board, the executive director of the State Board of Charter Schools, the executive director of the School Facilities Board, one county school superintendant, one member of the Community College Council, the executive director of the Arizona Board of Regents, a representative of a joint technological education district, the executive director of the Commission for Postsecondary Education, a tribal representative and five business or citizen members.

In April, Brewer called on the Board of Regents to produce new reform models that would increase affordability, accountability and predictability in the state’s university system, and in July she issued an executive order reinstituting the Arizona Community College Council.

“The need to maximize efficiency in our educational system has never been greater as we approach the 2011 funding cliff,” Brewer said in the press release. “However, given our employment and economic crisis, never have the needs for an educated workforce been greater.”

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