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BREAKING: Arizona Leads Way for School Innovation

 $1 Million in CARES Act Funds Will Assist Schools with Reimagining Education

Phoenix, AZ— Today, Arizona once again proved why it understands innovation, especially in this time of the COVID-19 pandemic, is critical.  A for Arizona’s Expansion and Innovation Fund, focused on serving Arizona’s most vulnerable students with the highest quality schools, was awarded $1 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEERs) fund through federal CARES Act monies. The funds will provide micro grants to proven innovative K-12 schools which have reimagined how best to serve their at-risk, low-income students in the 2020-2021 school year.

“Congratulations are due as Arizona is the first state to realize that we can’t go back to normal.  The education revolution must continue for the sake of the children that can’t afford to fall further behind whether it’s because of COVID or because they are stuck in schools that refuse to abandon 19th century learning models.” said Jeanne Allen, CEO and Founder of CER.

Arizona school leaders are redesigning their school model to implement creative solutions to serve all kids no matter the classroom set-up. Schools will have almost four weeks to submit their proposals to A for Arizona. A vetting committee of local and national experts will identify, evaluate, and issue micro grants later next month.

“I am proud to be the first governor to leverage GEERs funding to fuel and expand effective innovation by supporting the efforts of Arizona’s exceptional school leaders. These grant recipients can help us learn how we best serve our K-12 students in these uncertain times and well beyond.” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

“Great school leaders and teachers who create opportunity for our most vulnerable students today are key to achieving the more equitable future our children in Arizona deserve,” said Emily Anne Gullickson, Founder and CEO of A for Arizona. “We are so grateful for the ability to provide agile and determined school leaders with access to fast capital that can jump start new learning approaches in Arizona.

The Innovation Fund grant portal will be live on Thursday, June 25. Visit www.aforarizona.org for more information.

Click here to read CER’s own release on the Virtual Backpack.




Founded in 1993, the Center for Education Reform aims to expand educational opportunities that lead to improved economic outcomes for all Americans — particularly our youth — ensuring that conditions are ripe for innovation, freedom and flexibility throughout U.S. education.