• How one Nogales charter school helped students see their own value

    Mexicayotl's Story

    About 20 years ago, Baltazar “Balty” and Veronika Garcia realized something was amiss in the Nogales community where they both taught high school students. Many of their students brimmed with potential, but seemed to lack a sense of identity and enough support to push them towards greater possibilities. The Garcias wanted to change the trajectory of these students’ lives, and knew it had to start in kindergarten. Arizona’s budding charter school law was in its infancy when the Garcias decided to help improve the outcomes for students on the border, opening Mexicayotl Academy of Excellence in 1998. Find out Mexicayotl has helped set many of its students on a path to success.

    Read their story
    Mexicayotl's Story
  • Western School of Science and Technology

    Bringing Light to a Community

    Roberto Castillo understands the dangers that can lurk behind dark corners, alleys and other hidden spots in his neighborhood. About three years ago, Castillo, who lives in Maryvale, and his cousin were robbed as they were walking home after playing soccer. “As we were walking home, these two guys were behind us. We didn’t notice because it was kind of dark,” he said. “In no time at all, they just dropped us to the ground and grabbed anything they could.” Find out how a Maryvale charter school is inspiring students through STEM education.

    Read Their Story
    Bringing Light to a Community
  • Breaking the Cycle

    Alexandrea’s Story

    Only a few months into her freshman year, Alexandrea Barajas was a high school dropout. Barajas was a promising student, but her life was in flux as she endured a childhood marked by a turbulent relationship with her parents, frequent moves to different homes and an unending concern for her younger brother and sister’s well-being. Then her charter school principal intervened, issuing a simple challenge: break the cycle. Find out how a south Phoenix charter school helped Alexandra overcome life’s obstacles to forge her own legacy.

    Read her Story
    Alexandrea’s Story
  • MELDING CULTURE WITH CURRICULUM

    STAR School’s Story

    The educational landscape for Native American students has changed dramatically within the last few decades, as tribes have sought to take ownership of an education system that previously disconnected them from their culture. Learn how a small Arizona charter school, which straddles the edge of the Navajo Nation, strives to interweave its academic focus with traditional Navajo values.

    Read Their Story
    STAR School’s Story
  • Arizona Autism Charter School

    Michael's Story

    Michael Galola faced uncertainty four years ago when both of his sons were diagnosed with autism. Find out how a Phoenix charter school was able to restore hope and ensure a bright future for the boys.

    Read his Story
    Michael's Story
  • How a Small Charter Inspired Big Dreams

    Mission Montessori Academy's Story

    Educators have the ability to inspire students to think beyond their school walls, and Mission Montessori Academy has made that their mission. Learn how this Scottsdale charter school inspired a group of 7th-graders to use a global perspective to solve local problems.

    Read Their Story
    Mission Montessori Academy's Story
  • Espiritu Charter School

    ERIK'S STORY

    At 16, Erik Avila was alone. His parents left the country and his two younger brothers were struggling in unstable living situations. Find out how, with the support of his charter school family, Erik overcame adversity to graduate high school, attend college and become the legal guardian of his brothers.

    Read his Story
    ERIK'S STORY
With negative headlines splashed across news outlets, the hard work of our K-12 teachers and leaders is sometimes overshadowed and forgotten. We want to change that. Our Charters Changing Lives campaign is a way to share the stories that are often overlooked: to recognize the efforts of our students, teachers, leaders and community members who dedicate their lives to ensuring student success. With 556 public charter schools serving over 170,000 student, charters play an integral role in shaping the lives of Arizona’s youth. We plan to share how Arizona’s charter schools are changing lives every day.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey

3-23-2015 / Public Comments

Parents and children need quality choices so that they can choose the education that’s best for them. We are fortunate to live in a state where we have already moved significantly down that path. In Arizona, we have many more choices in education than parents elsewhere in the nation.

Senator John McCain

1-11-16 / Daily News-Sun

Results from Arizona demonstrate the benefits of innovation in the classroom. In fact, if Arizona’s 170,000 public charter students were measured as an individual state, that state would have ranked second nationally… Something powerful is happening in Arizona’s charter schools.

Arizona Republic Editorial Board

11-9-15 / Our View

Twenty years after Arizona launched school choice, the state is a national leader in a movement that benefits parents, students, entrepreneurs and even traditional district schools. It is a symphony of success worth applauding.

<font size="3.5">Charters Academically Exceeding</font>

Charters Academically Exceeding

Arizona’s charter students outperformed nearly every other state on the Nation's Report Card and exceeded the state average of students passing AzMERIT in 2015.

<font size="3.5">Charter Award Winners</font>

Charter Award Winners

The Charter Awards annually recognize the accomplishments of four exceptionally skilled and dedicated K-12 charter teachers, leaders and schools within Arizona's 556 charter schools.

<font size="3.5">Charters Changing Lives</font>

Charters Changing Lives

Now over two decades old, Arizona's charter movement is the cornerstone of choice for families and educators. Find out more about how Arizona charter schools are changing lives every day.

How has an Arizona charter school changed your life for the better? We want to hear your story. Fill out the form below, and you could be featured on our website! You can also join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.


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