No Money, More Problems:
How a Lack of Funding Hurts STEM Education

By: Eddie Keller | Dec. 8, 2015

Educators Leaving Arizona for Greener Pastures

Tanya Beckwith, formerly the principal of Ingleside Middle School, left the state because of the lack of funding schools here receive.

“There was never enough in the budget to support programs, staffing and student needs. As a principal we looked for other avenues to help fund some programs, such as grants, gift donations, etc.

The funding in the school district and state I work in is better compared to Arizona funding. There seems to be more money directed to the school level than what I lived through as a principal in Arizona,” Beckwith said.

Arizona has long been one of the worst states in the nation when it comes to funding for education. In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Arizona 49th in terms of spending per student.

The lack of funding provided to schools in Arizona especially hurts STEM education, which requires the money to provide technology for students to use and training for teachers.

The administrators at Copper Ridge Middle School in Scottsdale, Dr. Michelle Otstot and Matt Patzlaff, have had to get creative in order to provide their students with the appropriate equipment. One way they've done this is through their "Bring Your Own Technology" initiative, which calls upon students to bring their own devices to use during class time in order to work with media and computer code.

Additionally, Copper Ridge was awarded a grant from APS and Northern Arizona University that got them computers and training for the educators on how to incorporate STEM education.

Otstot and Patzlaff feel strongly that STEM education is crucial for students today and the state needs to provide more funding to support it. Otherwise, Arizona students will be left behind by their peers and face disadvantages as they enter the work force.

STEM education at a glance.

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Media Editor | Cory Kamerschak

Graphic Editor | Nicole DeRienzo

Web Editor | Eddie Keller

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