Phoenix, AZ A for Arizona announced today the 18 public K-12 school systems that will receive Expansion and Innovation Fund grants to innovate and reimagine how best to serve their students in the 2020-2021 school year. Round One grants were funded by an initial $1 million contribution from Governor Ducey’s Emergency Education Relief (GEERs) fund through federal CARES Act monies to improve access to high-quality teaching and learning this school year. 

The grants recognize innovations and promising practices that support student populations that have been significantly disrupted during the global COVID-19 pandemic. 

“A for Arizona’s Expansion and Innovation Fund supports school leaders and educators who find creative, effective ways to serve vulnerable students and work toward closing the achievement gap,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “These dollars are being deployed to grant recipients promptly to ensure kids and schools benefit this upcoming semester. My thanks to the superintendents, principals, teachers and educators who work every day to put all Arizona kids on the path to success.”

The grant applications were reviewed and assessed by a committee of local and national education, philanthropic and industry leaders. In Round One, the committee is awarding $850,000 in grant awards with the potential to reach more than 20,000 students throughout five Arizona counties. 

“The quality and caliber of applications we reviewed in Round One shows that our local leaders are developing creative solutions to address the current challenges facing our K-12 education system,” said Emily Anne Gullickson, Founder and CEO of A for Arizona. “Our Fund aims to provide these leaders access to immediate funding to accelerate those plans and prove what’s possible for more students. This is Arizona’s opportunity to leverage success points and lessons learned from this spring and better deliver students a quality learning experience this school year.”

Round One Grant Recipients include:

Category 1: Exceptional Students of the Future

  • Arizona Autism Charter – Central Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Great Hearts Academies (select primary campuses) – Multi, Maricopa County

Category 2: STEM, Arts, and Career Education

  • Academy of Building Industries High – Fort Mohave, Mohave County
  • Girls Innovation Academy, Alhambra Elementary School District – Glendale, Maricopa County
  • Academies of Math & Science Desert Sky – Maryvale, Maricopa County
  • Eva Marshall Magnet School, Flagstaff Unified School District – Flagstaff, Coconino County
  • IntelliSchool (Chandler; Metro Center; & Paradise Valley campuses) – Chandler, Central Phoenix, and Paradise Valley, Maricopa County
  • Palo Verde Elementary School, Casa Grande Elementary District – Casa Grande, Pinal County
  • Tanque Verde High School, Tanque Verde Unified School District – Tucson, Pima County

Category 3: Community Learning  

  • Phoenix International Academy – South Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Self-Development Academy Phoenix – Central Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning/Prenda/Black Mothers Forum Microschool Partnership – South Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Western School of Science & Technology and surrounding Maryvale public schools – Maryvale, Maricopa County

Category 4: Live Remote Instruction – Learning Community Cohort

  • ASU Preparatory Academy (Casa Grande High School, Downtown Phoenix Primary, Middle, and High Schools, and South Phoenix Primary and Middle Schools)  – Downtown Phoenix and South Phoenix, Maricopa County + Casa Grande, Pinal County
  • Madison Highland Prep – Central Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Highland Prep – Surprise, Maricopa County
  • Reyes Maria Ruiz Leadership Academy, Espiritu Schools – South Phoenix, Maricopa County
  • Somerset Skyway Academy, Academica – Goodyear, Maricopa County

For more information about the grant recipients selected, please view the Round One Expansion and Innovation Fund snapshot. These schools and systems can serve as bright spots of possibility for others interested in applying for Round Two. 

New applicants and applicants not awarded a Round 1 grant are all eligible to apply for additional grant awards in Round Two which will begin again in early August. The Vetting Committee will evaluate and award grants on a rolling basis approximately every 4-6 weeks and recommend grants that are truly innovative to the context in Arizona by either scaling something nationally that works or being the first-in-the-nation that others can scale up elsewhere. This next round of grants will be supported by philanthropic and private contributions ensuring public district, magnet, charter, and private schools will all be eligible to apply. Click here to learn more.


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.