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First Catholic School in the Territory (access required)

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The original St. Joseph’s Academy (called the Convent School) was established in 1868 adjacent to Tucson’s old St. Augustine Cathedral. It was a thick-walled adobe building, built in the “fashion of the country’’ with earthen floors and a roof of sagebrush and cactus interfaced on pine rafters and covered with mud.

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Capitol Spotlight: Palmer to join Helios Foundation (access required)

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Janice Palmer, director of governmental relations for the Arizona School Boards Association, has accepted a position as vice president & director of policy for the Helios Education Foundation. Her new responsibilities will include guiding the foundation’s new strategic direction in the school reform movement in Florida and Arizona.

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Arizona school data shows uneven distribution of ethnic groups

Students participate during class at EAGLE College Prep Maryvale on Nov. 16, 2015. The charter school is part of New Schools for Phoenix, an initiative that aims to develop 25-high-performing schools in some of the most impoverished areas of Phoenix by the year 2020. (Photo by Griselda Nevarez/Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting)

Two decades after Arizona helped pioneer the charter school movement, enrollment data show the schools don’t match the school age demographics of the state and, in many cases, their neighborhoods. White - and especially Asian - students attend charter schools at a higher rate than Hispanics, who now make up the the greatest portion of Arizona’s school age population.

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First Things First money should be given to public schools

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In 2006, Arizona voters passed a cigarette tax based on the promise of funding early childhood development programs through a newly created organization named “First Things First.” Taxpayers have become the victim of this promise, which was a great idea that has been misshapen and lost its way and original mission.

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School choice should be an everyday mission

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Near the spot where he took the oath of office last year, Gov. Doug Ducey celebrated National School Choice Week with students and their families from across Arizona. Organizing the event are the same groups that, over the past decade and before, disagreed over issues such as school funding and academic standards and in some instances even sued Arizona over how to provide a quality education for every child.

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Approve Prop. 123 and then make Arizona’s K-12 system shine

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The Grand Canyon Institute agrees with Governor Ducey and the educational community. Prop. 123 needs to be approved by voters on May 17. Prop. 123 is an important start, but restoring funding of legal minimums is not a substitute for substantive discussion on real investments in K-12 education, and how investments can be leveraged to improve outcomes. Arizona’s support for K-12 education has fallen far deeper than most people realize.

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