NALEO Arizona Statewide Summit on the State of Latino Education

Author: Helios Education Foundation

May 3, 2018

Recently, more than 55 Arizona policymakers participated in the NALEO Arizona Statewide Summit on the State of Latino Education.  The Summit is part of the NALEO Arizona Leadership Academy, which provides public servants with evidence-based training to enhance their leadership, policy, and governance skills on education issues to become effective  advocates for their communities. The Summit convened policymakers from throughout Arizona - from the state, municipal, and school board levels of office.  The Arizona Leadership Academy is a partnership between Helios Education Foundation, NALEO Educational Fund and Arizona State University.  The goal is to provide Arizona policymakers with information and resources focused on education issues.   

 “Latino Student Success is an issue of utmost importance to Helios,” said Barbara Ryan Thompson, Helios’ Chief Operating Officer at the opening session of the Summit. “This partnership with NALEO is helping move forward policy issues that will help ensure more Latino students are prepared for success in college and career.”

Currently, Latino students are the largest demographic group in Arizona’s K-12 system. Now more than ever, the educational attainment of Latino students will define the future of Arizona. As the state pursues education policies and initiatives and begins to implement the federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), any policy or strategy that is undertaken at any level must promote the academic success of Latino students.

“Helios’ commitment to Latino students in born out of our fundamental belief that every student, regardless of zip code, deserves a high-quality education,” said Paul J. Luna, President and CEO, Helios Education Foundation.  “However, there are many students here in Arizona that are not getting that high-quality education and many of them are our Latino students.”

The Arizona Statewide Summit on the State of Latino Education provided participants with an overview of key educational issues in the state that can help guide public officials to implement policy solutions to support the educational attainment of all students.  The Summit addressed topics such as:  the Every Student Succeeds Act, Arizona’s A-F School Accountability System, opportunities for English language learners, school funding and a legislative update on Arizona education policy.

“Public policy plays a critical role in addressing key educational issues like equity, workforce development, and degree attainment,” said Vince Yanez.  “The Arizona Statewide Summit helped to ensure critical public policy decisions in Arizona include a discussion of the impact on the Latino community.” 

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