February, 28 2013 | Video Message
Arizona recently hosted school-choice supporters from across the country in Phoenix for National School Choice Week. Research conducted by Dr. David Garcia, Arizona State University, concludes that after nearly two decades of expanding choice options in our state, traditional public schools continue to be the choice for nearly nine out of ten Arizona students. One may question why Arizona parents continue to choose traditional public schools over charter schools by an overwhelming majority.
There are several important factors that often do not get a great deal of media attention when comparing charter schools to traditional public schools. Many charter schools cannot provide the wide array of extracurricular experiences ranging from fine arts to competitive sports programs that public schools offer. Some parents that make the choice to leave the traditional public setting may decide to provide those experiences for their children by paying for them out of their own pockets. A number of students return to traditional public schools from charters because of the unavailability of these programs. In addition, transportation is often not part of what a charter school provides. Therefore, families that do not have the means to provide it on their own may not have the option of attending a charter school.
As choices for education have proliferated in Arizona and particularly in the East Valley, Kyrene continues to compete favorably in the educational market. We have developed Self-Contained Gifted Programs, Dual Language Spanish Immersion Program, Traditional Academy and a number of other options for parents. Individual schools have specialized offerings that are also very attractive to parents, from strong performing arts programs to a Leadership Academy based upon the work of Stephen Covey.
We firmly believe that Kyrene is the best choice for all students and their families and we will continue to explore excellent educational opportunities so that no family needs to go anywhere but the Kyrene School District. The response from the most recent Annual Parent Satisfaction Survey indicates that over 94% of Kyrene parents who responded would give the school district an A or B grade. The Arizona Department of Education has given Kyrene an A grade in their statewide rating system. Realtors and businesses recognize the important role Kyrene plays in property values, attracting investments in the area and building a prosperous economy. The high-quality education provided here ensures that the school district will continue to be the choice of families within and outside of our boundaries.