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Education notebook: Tucson schools face learning losses and funding challenges


A year into the pandemic, schools locally and across the country are facing learning losses. The remediation programs needed to address these losses will not come cheap.

While millions of dollars in federal funding have been set aside for Arizona schools to tackle learning losses, it may not be enough, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Schools in low-income areas were particularly hard hit by pandemic-related costs and potential learning losses.

Meanwhile, in the world of local higher education, it was a big week for basketball at the University of Arizona.

The UA women’s basketball team arrived home Monday after playing in the championship game against Stanford University. Fans were there to greet them.

The university let go of longtime men’s basketball coach Sean Miller citing a need for a “fresh start.” Miller had come under scrutiny after former assistant coach Emanual “Book” Richardson was arrested and charged with taking bribes to pay potential recruits. Miller himself faces allegations of multiple NCAA rules violations.

Tucson schools struggle with funding

Arizona Daily Star

Getting students caught up academically after a year-long pandemic is going to take more money than many schools have secured, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Over $600 million of funds from the American Rescue Plan have been set aside to address learning losses in Arizona, with over $150 million of that going to Pima County schools. Still many schools say that is not enough to cover the extensive remediation program needs.

Learn more here.

Desert View principal dies at 47

Arizona Daily Star

Desert View principal Rosemary Rosas died last month at the age of 47 after a battle with leukemia, the Arizona Daily Star reports.

Rosas fought the cancer for over a year. She worked in the Sunnyside School District for 17 years before becoming principal of Desert View High School in 2017.

Learn more here.

Guests allowed at UA graduation


University of Arizona graduates in May can bring four family members with them to the ceremony.

The university plans to hold more than a dozen outside graduation ceremonies next month. Guests at those ceremonies will not be required to get a negative test for COVID-19 before watching the ceremony.

Graduation guests will be spaced across the stadiums where the outdoor ceremonies are held. Mask wearing will also be mandatory.

University of Arizona officials said if the COVID-19 numbers climb the ceremonies could be canceled.

Learn more here.

UA parts ways with men’s basketball coach Sean Miller


The University of Arizona announced Wednesday morning that Sean Miller is no longer the men’s head basketball coach.

“After taking the many factors involved into account, we simply believe that we need a fresh start, and now is the time,” said UA Athletic Director Dave Heeke in a statement released by the university.

In recent years the men’s basketball program has come under national scrutiny. In 2017, then assistant coach Emanual “Book” Richardson was arrested after a federal investigation. He was charged with taking bribes to pay student-athletes he wanted to recruit. He was one of 10 people arrested and served three months on those charges.

Learn more here.

Fans welcome back UA women’s basketball after championship game


University of Arizona sports fans staged a welcome home party for the women’s basketball team Monday at the UA football stadium.

The squad lost the national collegiate basketball championship to Stanford 54-53 in San Antonio Texas Sunday. Head coach Adia Barnes thanked her staff and players for a history-making season.

“It’s just amazing all the stuff they have done and I wouldn’t choose a different staff or a different team to go to war with anywhere, anytime, any day against anyone,” Barnes said.

The Wildcats finished their season with 21 wins and 6 losses while advancing to their first NCAA championship tournament final.

UA opening COVID-19 vaccines daily


The state COVID-19 vaccine pod at the University of Arizona will announce each day how many appointments it has open.

Last week, the university announced 1,500 open appointments on Friday afternoon and that is not a statistic the university wants to repeat.

“We don’t want to end the day with any vaccinations in the freezer and not being used,” said Dr. Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General who heads the UA COVID response.

The number of available appointments is based on a number of factors including vaccine availability and staffing.

Learn more here.

UA offers reward to vaccinated students

Arizona Republic

The University of Arizona announced this week that it will be giving small rewards redeemable at the student union to students who can prove they have received the vaccine.

None of Arizona’s universities have decided whether or not to require the vaccine next school year, the Arizona Republic reports.

COVID-19 cases at Arizona’s three public universities remain relatively low.

Learn more here

Vaccination site at Phoenix stadium moving inside ASU arena


PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Health Services says its COVID-19 vaccination site at Phoenix Municipal Stadium will move indoors Monday as it relocates to Desert Financial Arena on Arizona State University’s Tempe campus.

The plan announced Thursday to relocate is the latest change in the state’s mass vaccination program to account for rising temperatures.

According to the department, people who already have second-dose appointments scheduled at Phoenix Municipal Stadium for Monday and later are being informed of the new location.

Learn more here.

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