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TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Federal officials say Pima Community College is in danger of losing financial aid because of a failure to monitor the students who receive it.
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State University officials have signed a final agreement to acquire the Thunderbird School of Global Management and expect to close the deal by Dec. 31.
be in Arizona Saturday as she works to encourage residents to sign up for individual health insurance or renew and re-enroll for coverage they bought last year.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona officials say the state will receive $20 million in federal funds to enhance early childhood education. The Glendale Elementary School District is among the recipients of the awards.
Arizona has a legal right to discriminate against attorneys from other states who do not let lawyers from here automatically practice there, a federal appeals court ruled Monday.
Officials from the town of Gilbert and Saint Xavier University have reached an agreement to give the school a temporary home in town and improve the aesthetics of a downtown building.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The dismantled Mexican American studies program at Tucson Unified School District has direct links to higher student achievement, according to a study published in the American Educational Research Journal, a national publication.
A Tucson fifth-grade teacher who has been a vocal opponent of Common Core claims his First Amendment rights were violated by state School Superintendent John Huppenthal.
PHOENIX (AP) — Outgoing Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said Monday she is preparing a budget proposal that protects her top priorities but that she acknowledges can be ignored by governor-elect Doug Ducey.
Brewer said her budget will spare education, child welfare and mental health services from big cuts that will be needed as she seeks to fill a projected $1 billion deficit for the budget year that begins July 1. But she said it will difficult to avoid including big spending cuts in other areas.
"There are several things that are very protected in that budget, that I'll be guarding very carefully," Brewer said, ticking off the three top priorities. "So I've got those priorities, they've always been my priorities and they will continue to be my priorities."
But the Republican governor said it will be "probably be very, very difficult," to avoid major cuts in other programs, especially since Ducey has promised not to raise taxes. And she acknowledge that Ducey can take her proposal and change it however he likes, even if that means cuts to the new Department of Child Safety or behavioral health services.
"I think they will probably take my budget that's been drafted by my staff and then go in there and address the issues that they feel are important or not so important," Brewer said. "He'll be governor, he can do whatever he wants to do."
Ducey, also a Republican, takes office Jan. 5 and will roll out his budget on Jan. 16, meaning Brewer's efforts will save him time. Brewer budget director John Arnold is leading the effort to craft her new budget, and he also is part of Ducey's transition team. That means he'll likely leave plenty of options available for Ducey as he takes charge.
The budget proposal won't be made public, Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said.
Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said Ducey welcomes the governor's input, but he did not give any additional comment.
Brewer called the looming budget crisis — a revenue shortfall of more than 10 percent of this budget year's $9.3 billion in spending — a challenge that Ducey can overcome. She herself faced a much bigger shortfall when she became governor after Janet Napolitano resigned in 2009 to take a job in the Obama Administration.
"Coming from where I came from it doesn't seem like such an enormous task — we were faced with a $3 billion deficit," Brewer said. "You just have to get a plan and you have to decide what it is and what your priorities are and move forward and then stick to your guns and get it done."
Brewer didn't have the chance to work with Napolitano on a budget proposal when she took office. Napolitano had stayed in office and presented her own budget proposal after accepting Barack Obama's offer to become his Homeland Security secretary, then resigned.
The state, mired in the throes of the Great recession, made massive spending cuts in Brewer's first years in office, including cuts to those top priorities Brewer is now trying to protect.
PHOENIX (AP) — If Christian Avila lived a few hundred miles to the west, he would have a driver's license and qualify for in-state college tuition and a host of other opportunities available to young people granted legal status by President Barack Obama two years ago.
But Avila lives in Phoenix, and the 24-year-old immigrant who was brought here from Mexico by his parents at age 9 still has to navigate the sprawling city in fear as he drives to school or work.
"You get nervous, your legs start to tingle a little bit when there's a cop behind you, when you're doing nothing wrong by driving to work,' said Avila, a community college student and immigration activist. "You're not breaking any rules, you're following the law. But unfortunately it's where we live."
With last week's action by Obama that expanded the deferred action program and added millions of other immigrants, Avila's plight highlights a harsh reality about the president's changes. The president may be allowing them to remain in the U.S., but it doesn't mean their state will let them drive a car, get an education at an affordable rate or obtain health insurance.
A patchwork of rules began to form in states — largely along political lines — after the president allowed some young immigrants to stay in the country. Conservative states like Nebraska and Arizona kept them from getting driver's licenses while liberal locations were much more welcoming in terms of state services and benefits.
Now, states must make new decisions on how to respond to the president's action that allows millions more immigrants to remain in the U.S.
In California, Democrats, immigration groups and health care advocates are pushing for the immigrants to receive health care under the state's version of the Medicaid program. The California Department of Health Care Services is deciding how to proceed. The president's action excludes immigrants who came to the country illegally from qualifying for federal health benefits.
In Nevada, officials are drawing up a bill for the Legislature making clear that unauthorized immigrants can become teachers in the state. Current rules specify that a prospective teacher must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident before they can receive a teaching license in Nevada.
A new gubernatorial administration in Arizona will have to decide whether to continue a hard-line approach toward state benefits that outgoing Gov. Jan Brewer took.
After Obama took action in 2012 granting legal status to 1.8 million young people brought to the U.S. as children, Brewer issued an executive order denying them driver's licenses or other state benefits, including in-state tuition at the state's public universities. A federal appeals court ruled the license ban was unconstitutional, and Brewer is considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
"Our position is unilateral action by the president does nothing to change the fact that an illegal alien's presence is the United States is not authorized under federal law," Brewer spokesman Andrew Wilder said.
Arizona's Republican Governor-elect, Doug Ducey, has said he intends to continue Brewer's current ban, if it survives court challenges.
Maryland's Democratic governor, Martin O'Malley, has taken a decidedly different tack. He's a supporter of state laws granting in-state tuition to people without legal status and grants them driver's licenses. He has even been willing to get into a policy fight with Obama on the stream of unaccompanied immigrant children from Central America over the Mexican border, criticizing the White House proposal earlier this year that could have expedited the deportation of the children.
Arizona remains an outlier in its treatment of immigrants granted work permits and is among the most harsh when it comes to those who remain in the U.S. without legal authorization.
States surrounding Arizona provide in-state tuition to all residents, regardless of immigration status. And in January, California joins nine other states in allowing immigrants who can't prove they're in the U.S legally to get a driver's license.
Utah provides leniency when it comes to driving privileges and education, despite passing a law in 2011 that mirrored Arizona's landmark immigration crackdown, SB1070. The state issues driving-privilege cards that must be renewed annually for those who cannot prove they're in the country legally.
Nearly 36,300 were issued last year, said Nannette Rolfe, the director of Utah's Driver License Division. Utah also offers in-state tuition at public universities and colleges to residents not in the U.S. legally.
To be eligible, students must have attended a Utah high school for at least three years and earned a diploma or GED. They can't hold a non-immigrant visa and must file an application to legalize their immigration status when eligible to do so. In the 2012-2013 academic students, 929 students took advantage of the program.
Despite the fact that life would be easier if he left the state, Avila said he's staying put.
"This is where we got dirty as kids, this is where we learn how to speak English, this is where we learn how to do a lot of stuff," he said. "Here in Arizona is where my friends, my family, live and I don't see it as an option to run away, but rather stand up and change the conditions that we live under."
They can't gather their first signature for more than seven months, but foes of Republican Diane Douglas, newly elected the state school superintendent, now have the legal ability to start soliciting funds for the effort.
The Arizona Department of Education named Tempe’s McClintock High School a National Title I Distinguished School earlier this month.
Dear Gilbert Public Schools Board Members and Dr. Kishimoto,
HONOLULU (AP) — A teacher has been suspended from a Hawaii public school after she was arrested on a warrant for allegedly having sex with a student in Arizona.
Honolulu police and U.S. Marshals arrested 45-year-old Deborah Hoshiyama early Tuesday at a Waikiki condominium. She's also known as Deborah Nicholson.
The Marshals Service says she's wanted on a Maricopa County warrant issued in October. She's accused of having a sexual relationship with a student in 2008 while a teacher in Avondale, Arizona.
Principal Jeff Vilardi says she began working as a special-education teacher at the Voyager Public Charter School in Honolulu school Nov. 7. She's suspended with pay.
She couldn't be reached for comment in police custody. An extradition hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
PHOENIX -- Maricopa County prosecutors want the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that "dark money'' groups cannot anonymously say nasty things about candidates just because they don't mention the upcoming election.
PHOENIX (AP) — Several major education groups say they're interesting in learning more about Diane Douglas' positions on education issues, including more about her views regarding the new school standards known as Common Core.
Douglas is a Republican who was elected state superintendent of public instruction, defeating Democrat David Garcia in last week's general election.
Garcia conceded Monday, the same day that Douglas issued a statement saying her victory is a mandate to end Common Core.
Douglas is former Peoria school board member who ran a low-key campaign in which she largely avoided public events in favor of tea-party gatherings and interviews on conservative talk radio shows.
Arizona School Boards Association President Tim Ogle said his group is going to try to arrange a meeting with Douglas. "I think the purpose of a conversation like that is to become familiar with her beliefs because we're really not very familiar and to give her the opportunity to converse with us about her hopes and fears for the Department of Education," Ogle said.
As superintendent, Douglas will oversee the state Department of Education and be a member of the state Board of Education. That board, along with the Arizona Legislature, sets education policy for the state's K-12 public school system. It adopted Common Core in 2010.
Some Arizona lawmakers tried unsuccessfully to pass legislation to either repeal the standards or change them during the last legislative session.
Ogle said his group wants to know whether Douglas has an alternative to Common Core. "If Mrs. Douglas has another strategy, then we're anxious to know what it is," he said.
Andrew Morrill, president of the Arizona Education Association, said educators didn't learn much about Douglas during the campaign aside from her opposition to Common Core.
"She was very clear on that issue, and yet there are questions even about her thoughts on our academic standards," the union president said. "I think a lot of folks are waiting to hear the answer. There are a million public-school students, and they are creating the urgency."
Maricopa County prosecutors want the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that “dark money” groups cannot anonymously say nasty things about candidates just because they don't mention the upcoming election.
Maricopa County prosecutors want the Arizona Supreme Court to rule that “dark money” groups cannot anonymously say nasty things about candidates just because they don't mention the upcoming election.
Months of uncertainty for state educators concluded on Nov. 3 with the selection of a new state assessment test, although the details concerning the implementation of the exam remain up in the air.
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Visiting the Grand Canyon and other national parks could get a little pricier.
The National Park Service said 115 of its 401 units plan to seek public comment on entrance fees that could go up starting next year. It's part of a broader effort by the agency to bring in more money for visitor services and start addressing a backlog of projects ahead of its centennial.
"Obviously everyone would love to have fees not go up, but we also know the reality is budgets have been static and tight," said Patrick O'Driscoll, a spokesman in the agency's Intermountain Region based in Denver. "Fees are one of the only ways that parks can try to catch up with some important improvements, badly needed upgrades."
The Grand Canyon announced a proposal Friday to increase its single-vehicle entrance fee from $25 to $30 for a seven-day pass. Efforts to raise fees at other parks across the country will be wide-ranging but cannot top certain limits. The Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone, Zion and Sequoia are among 10 parks where proposed entrance fees will be capped at $30 per vehicle or $15 per person, for example, the Park Service said.
About 130 national park units charge entrance fees, and they are able to keep 80 percent of those fees for use within the individual park. The other 20 percent goes into a pool and is distributed to parks that don't charge visitors to enter.
Entrance fees pay for things like repairs and maintenance, visitor exhibits and resource protection. At the Grand Canyon, a percentage of entrance fees is set aside for eventual replacement of aging water pipelines.
Under the Grand Canyon's proposal, prices for visitors on motorcycles also would go up from $20 to $25. Bicyclists and pedestrians would be charged $15, up from $12. Annual passes would go from $50 to $60. The price of a pass to visit any of the national park units would remain the same at $80 per year.
The public has 60 days to weigh in on the proposed increases at Grand Canyon. Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis wrote in an August memo that a park could chose not to implement proposed fees if there is significant public outcry.
One national monument in southern Arizona has since decided to eliminate its $5 entrance fee per person. Chiricahua National Monument spokeswoman Julena Campbell said raising prices didn't make sense because many people who visit the monument known for its volcanic rock formations already use an interagency pass or have discounted passes.
Grand Canyon spokeswoman Kirby-Lynn Shedlowski said the park receives about $18 million per year from entrance fees. The park last increased its per-vehicle fee in 1997 from $20 to $25.
Darren Weigl, who works at an outdoors shop in Flagstaff, said the proposed increase is reasonable. He would like to see the extra money go to educational programs.
"I imagine if they're getting less or staying stagnant, you have to create revenue in some way to keep people enjoying it," he said. "If it's for the betterment of the park, I'm for it."
Lloyd and Linda Andersen of Sun City, senior citizens who have a $10 lifetime pass to national park units, said the Grand Canyon should consider raising that fee to keep people who are unemployed or families struggling with money from having to pay more to enter.
"Let the younger families keep enjoying it without raising it," Linda Andersen said. "They won't come."
Her husband suggested people could cut down on expenses inside the park and spend the extra money to get through the gates. "Seeing it is the best part," Lloyd Andersen said.
Republicans believe their message --- failures of the Obama administration on a range of issues as well as their plan to fix those problems --- played a key role in Tuesday’s sweeping wins both nationally and in Arizona.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Gov.-elect Doug Ducey is enlisting a big-name Republican former officeholder to head his transition committee.
Ducey announced Wednesday that former U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl will serve as chairman of a committee that will identify people to serve in Ducey's administration.
Ducey defeated Democrat Fred DuVal in Tuesday's general election. Ducey will succeed fellow Republican Jan Brewer in the governor's office.
Ducey said he intends to lead in a "serious and substantive manner" and that Kyl's extensive experience and grasp of issues will serve Arizona well.
Ducey also said Kyl's appointment sends a message that the new administration will take what Ducey called a "reform- and substance-based approach" on issues such as education.
Kyl retired from the Senate after not running for a fourth term in 2012.
PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona voters have given Republicans another four years to lead the state, rejecting Democratic efforts to win statewide offices for the first time this decade.
Republican state treasurer Doug Ducey won the governor's office by a wide margin, beating Fred DuVal after a campaign that saw the Democrat fail to gain traction as he was hammered by nearly $8 million in negative ads paid for by outside groups.
Ducey takes over from retiring Republican Gov. Jan Brewer in January, but he will be faced with an immediate budget crisis as the state expects a budget deficit exceeding $1 billion.
Republican state Sen. Michele Reagan was elected secretary of state, making her the state's top elections official and the first in line to become governor if Ducey is unable to continue in the job. Mark Brnovich won the attorney general's race, Republican Jeff DeWit becomes the new state treasurer after an uncontested race, and two Republicans beat their Democratic opponents for the regulatory body known as the Corporation Commission to the secure the near GOP sweep of top statewide offices.
The lone statewide office that remained too close to call Wednesday — superintendent of public instruction — was being led by Republican Diane Douglas over Democrat David Garcia.
That left Democrats who had looked at the midterm elections as a way to grab a statewide constitutional office considering how they came up short.
Democratic Party spokesman Frank Camacho said the party's grassroots organizing efforts mainly fell short and its candidates lacked the fire to inspire young people. The exceptions were Ruben Gallego, who won the 7th Congressional District seat of retiring Rep. Ed Pastor, and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's win in the 9th District.
Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick won her sprawling rural 1st District as well. Democratic Rep. Ron Barber was locked in a tight race with retired Air Force pilot Martha McSally in southern Arizona's 2nd District.
But statewide elected offices were nearly out of reach for Democrats, who last held one before the 2010 general election.
"You see how they can inspire young folks," Camacho said. "We just have to go out there, identify them and get them ready for state, local or national office. We have to give voters a reason to vote for Democrats."
Ducey's easy win came as Republicans gained across the nation, taking control of the U.S. Senate and solidifying their control of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Ducey, the 50-year-old former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery, portrayed himself as the inevitable winner in the final weeks of the campaign, buoyed by heavy spending on his behalf by outside groups and strong Republican turnout in early voting. He emerged from a bruising six-way primary in August in the race to replace Gov. Jan Brewer and went on to outspend DuVal in the general election by a hefty margin.
He'll take office in January and face a fiscal crisis caused by lower-than-expected tax revenue and a court order that could put Arizona on the hook for up to $2.5 billion in new education spending. The state faces a projected deficit of $1.5 billion in the current and next budget years amid promises from both candidates to cut taxes.
"I'm grateful for the privilege you have given me, for the trust you have placed in me, and I pledge my best efforts as the governor of this great state," Ducey said in a victory speech. "Whether you voted for me or you voted for someone else, I intend to be governor for all and work to create opportunities for every single Arizonan."
Ducey thanked his campaign staff, his wife, Angela, his three sons, and his opponent, Fred DuVal, calling him "a good man."
DuVal, in a concession speech at the Democrats' election-night headquarters in Phoenix, also thanked his supporters, and he said he had called Ducey to offer his congratulations.
"A registration disadvantage and clearly a bad national environment were hard enough to overcome. But we were also reminded that unlimited money is a powerful thing in politics — and is not a healthy thing," DuVal said.
He took a swipe at the massive amounts of outside spending used to attack him in the race from outside groups. Ducey and Duval each spent about $2.2 million in their general election campaigns, but Ducey has benefited from $7.9 million in outside spending compared with about $1 million for DuVal.
"I would like to call and congratulate the other big winners tonight, but frankly the other big winners are undisclosed, unknown and out of state," DuVal said.
PHOENIX (AP) — Democrat David Garcia and Republican Diane Douglas of Sun City West were locked in a tight race to become Arizona's top education official Tuesday after a campaign that drew attention to the GOP candidate's desire to abolish the Common Core standards.