PHOENIX — Nearly 50 schools in our state are failing and are at risk of shutting down, according to the latest grades released by the Arizona State Board of Education.
More than a dozen of those schools are in Maricopa County, and the majority are schools K-8.
Stefan Swiat, the spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Education said schools graded "F" have to create a performance plan and work with the department's school improvement staff.
"They do a comprehensive need assessment and they look at every school individually. They sit down with them, do a site visit and go through everything--bullet point--what they need to work on," said Swiat.
Right now, 49 schools in Arizona have been graded an F.
According to the Arizona State Board of Education, grades are based on several things including:
- Academic growth from year to year
- Scores on statewide assessments
- High school graduation rates
Sixteen schools were given an F because they received D's three years in a row. Schools with a D or F grade are eligible for federal funding help.
Antonia Maldonado lives next to one of the failing schools--Cesar Chavez Community School on 3rd Street in Phoenix. She said it would be devastating for kids and families if the school were to close.
"What's going to happen to all of the kids that go to that district? The kids also have a lot to lose by not learning what they're supposed to learn and involving themselves with other children as well," she said.
Swiat said that's unlikely. Charter schools are more likely to close, but most district schools never shut down.
"It's been maybe one in the last 10 - 20 years that's had that issue," he said. "If they're following their strategy and root plan on how to improve, we give them the benefit of the doubt."
Arizona is an open-enrollment state, so parents can take their kids to any school the chose to. But Swiat recommended parents reach out to school leaders.
"What they should do is get with their teachers, get with their principals and have an honest and frank discussion with them and say what are you guys doing," he said. "I hope people pay attention to this and use it as another indicator of what sort of education their child is getting, but it shouldn't be the end all, be all."
Failing schools are required to notify parents of an F grade.
View 2018-2019 grades for all schools here.