PHOENIX (June 24, 2020) – Today, 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. These populations of students have been significantly disrupted during the global COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will provide micro grants to proven innovative K-12 schools which have reimagined how best to serve their students in the 2020-2021 school year.

“A for Arizona’s Expansion & Innovation Fund has a proven track record with their inaugural 2019 Class of Grantees. It’s time to scale up this demonstrated concept,” said Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. “The GEERs funding will support our educators and school leaders, expand their ongoing efforts and bolster effective innovation — and Arizona is proud to support those who always put our kids first. These grant recipients can help us learn how we best serve our K-12 students during this pandemic and well beyond.”

Arizona school leaders are ready with the thoughtful plans in place to redesign their school model and 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.

“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. We know these school models will yield the greatest academic results and social and emotional support for kids Day 1. And we know their existence can inspire and inform other school leaders and school systems, as has already been the case. We thank Governor Ducey for his bold leadership and vision for what’s possible for more Arizona students and families.”

In addition to the state grant funds, A for Arizona is seeking private sector and philanthropic foundation matches to increase the size and number of micro grants available.

In 2018, with philanthropic support by The Bob & Renee Parsons Foundation, Burton Family Foundation, Pharos Foundation, and other generous donors, A for Arizona launched a first-of-its kind, statewide privately-funded Expansion & Innovation Fund. The Fund is designed to provide seed funding for schools and innovative partnerships, including with postsecondary institutions and district-charter strategic initiatives, to reimagine and better serve more students in their communities. To date, the inaugural class of grantees consists of six Arizona district and charter schools.

The Innovation Fund grant portal will be live on Thursday, June 25.


About A for Arizona
At A for Arizona, we firmly believe that expanding excellence is our best chance to rapidly increase the number of children that have access to a high-quality school and classroom proximate to them. We imagine a day where excellence has spread, and failure has fallen away, leaving only the best learning options available for all students.