Thank you, Dr. Burke and good morning, everyone.
It’s exciting to be here with such great champions of education in Arizona.
I want to give a special thanks to Dr. Lattie Coor, Dr. Sybil Francis, and CFA for your leadership in making sure that every child in Arizona has access to the best possible education.
Our state is home to some of the finest public schools in the nation and I’m very proud of that.
Our students’ test scores are improving. And whether its language arts or math, civics, or career and technical skills-- -- they’re gaining valuable knowledge that will carry them into a productive career and through life.
And we all know that you can’t have successful students without Great teachers in the classroom. And those Great teachers need the support of effective school leaders who operate with Great vision.
Principals directly influence teacher quality, placement and retention as well as school conditions and resource management.
So if we want to improve the performance and quality of Arizona’s education system, we need to get the best possible leaders in our schools.
And doing that requires bold collaboration among dedicated partners.
I want to thank Paul Luna of the Helios Education Foundation and Christy Burton with the Burton Family Foundation for partnering with us in training up fantastic leaders for our public schools.
The work of the Beat the Odds School Leadership Academy began with a significant initial strategic public/private investment in September of last year under my Great Schools, Great Leaders initiative.
And to date, it’s resulted in the recruitment and training of 20 proven school leaders.
My FY 2018 executive budget recommendation included $250,000 this year to match equivalent funds from Arizona’s philanthropic community so we can expand school leadership training opportunities through the Academy.
In partnership with Helios Education Foundation, the Burton Family Foundation and my Office, CFA plans to use the recommended resources to create a minimum of 50 new slots to train school leaders in effective executive management strategies – with a focus in our low-socioeconomic communities that are in dire need of school leadership and effective teacher leaders.
I am confident that this cohort will serve Arizona well by delivering the transformative Beat the Odds training program to more school leaders.
And I have no doubt that the impact from their effort will be realized in our school system for many years to come.
But we can do more. And in a few minutes you’ll be hearing some exciting news to that end.
Thank you again for your continued support, everyone.
And now I will hand it over to Dr. Coor.