Arizona is a national leader in the school choice movement offering more options than any other state in the country! Arizona gives parents a wide variety of educational choices, including private school tax credit scholarships, charter schools, and distance learning programs. Arizona School Tuition Organizations (STOs) adminster 3 state tax credit programs for parents who choose private education – the Individual Tuition Tax Credit, Corporate Tuition Tax Credit, and the Disabled/Displaced Corporate Tuition Tax Credit. The Arizona STO Association is a group of STOs that have joined together to promote and advance school choice and ensure compliance with Arizona state law.
Why choose a private school?
Your children’s education is one of the most important responsibilities you have as a parent. Finding the right school for your child can feel like a daunting task, especially in Arizona, where the public schools are less than par. There are so many options available — private, charter, public, online — how will you decide? If you are leaning towards private education for your child, consider the following:
Private School = Individual Attention
Most parents want their children to have as much personal attention as possible. After all, you spent enormous amounts of time nurturing them when they were infants. If you can make it happen, you want them receiving as much individual attention as possible in the preschool and primary years.
If you send your child to a private school, he/she will be in a small class in most schools. Independent schools have class sizes in a range of 10-15 students. Parochial schools have slightly larger class sizes which are typically in the 20-25 student range. With those kinds of low student to teacher ratios a teacher can give each student the individual attention he/she deserves.
Private School = Better Academics
Most private schools do not have to teach to a test. As a result, they can afford to focus on teaching your child how to think, as opposed to teaching her what to think. That’s an important concept to understand. In many public schools poor test scores can mean less money for the school, negative publicity and even the chance that a teacher could be reviewed unfavorably.
Private schools don’t have those pressures of public accountability. They must meet or usually exceed state curriculum and graduation minimum requirements. But they are accountable only to their clientele. If the school does not achieve the desired results, parents will find a school which does.
Many schools use a teacher guided approach to learning so that students discover that learning is exciting and full of possibilities. Since private schools offer all kinds of educational methods and approaches ranging from very traditional to very progressive, it is up to you to choose a school whose approach and philosophy meshes best with your own aims and objectives.
Private School = Parental Involvement
Private schools expect parents to be actively involved in their child’s education. The concept of a three way partnership is an important part of the way most private schools work. What kind of involvement are we talking about? That depends on you and the amount of time which you can devote to helping out. That also depends on your talents and experience.
Other School Choice Links
National Coalition for Public School Options
Arizona Charter Schools Association
International Association of K-12 Online Learning
Arizona Parents for Education