by Carol Peck, The Arizona Republic, originally published 11/8/09
Each year at this time, I like to remind readers of one opportunity to make a difference in students’ education. Arizona’s public schools have experienced an unusually difficult year. The state’s precarious financial position has left them facing difficult decisions. One of the most noticeable is larger classes.
Previously, I’ve written about the need to significantly reduce class size for struggling students, one strategy from the “Lead with Five” report. But in this economy, lack of money prevents making such an investment. However, schools can use another strategy from “Lead with Five,” providing tutoring for struggling students.
Some students will do fine in larger classes; those receiving extra support at home from involved, educated parents will continue to excel. But students without this support will potentially fall further behind their grade level.
For these students, after-school tutoring provided by teachers or trained tutors can make the difference. This is where you can help.
“We started an after-school tutoring program last year that targeted 40 fifth-grade students,” said Mike Henderson, principal of Galveston Elementary in Chandler.
“We planned to expand the program to third- through sixth-grade. Unfortunately, with our school budgets being so limited, we have not been able to kick off our program yet this year,” he added. “Tax-credit donations could help us reach these struggling readers.”
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