Arizona Department of Education Sends $15.3 Million to Help Low-Income Students

by Tom Joyce


The Arizona Department of Education announced it would award $15.3 million in funding for programs to improve the education quality it offers low-income and first-generation Americans.

“Parents deserve easy access to resources that help their children achieve their full potential,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said in a press release. “I know students and parents need more direct support when it comes to educational services outside of the classroom. These organizations are well prepared to support students and families and will help foster higher student achievement.”

The funding will support the following three initiatives, according to the Arizona Secretary of Education’s office:

  • Access ASU will receive $10 million for support services to first-generation and low-income students in middle, high school, and senior year to post-secondary. The organization will also provide “student and family engagement services for elementary, middle, and high school students statewide and targeted support for high school foster students.”
  • The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Valley is to receive $3 million for its Whole Child Approach (WCA) program, which was founded to address social and emotional stress. It expects to expand the program to children ages 5-17 in Maricopa and Pinal Counties.
  • The Higher Ground Resource Center is granted $2.3 million to expand the “Restart SMART” community schools’ program. The Tucson-based organization serves low-income youth and families via in-school, summer, and after-school programs.

Sharon Smith, Arizona State University’s vice president of educational outreach, expressed gratitude for the funding.

“We are excited to receive funding to expand efforts to support key areas related to academic preparation, increased family engagement and success of high schoolers in foster care,” she said in the June 2 news release. “Access ASU will deliver a three-pronged approach that will address unfinished learning while creating greater opportunities for families to be directly involved in their students educational pursuits from middle school to college.”

This announcement is the second funding increase the department has announced this week. It also announced $13.3 million in additional funding for rural schools.

The projects will be funded with American Rescue Plan Act money and are part of Arizona’s ARP School and Community Grantees.

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Tom Joyce is a contributor to The Center Square.

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