One of Stanton's first priorities was to re-open the City's education office so that we could focus on increasing college attainment in Phoenix and get our kids reading by third grade. We know that this literacy milestone is crucial to a student's academic success.
Initiatives such as Read On Phoenix
, AARP Experience Corps
, and Phoenix Great Start put resources toward our youngest students to ensure early education success. And Stanton has established partnerships with Maricopa Community Colleges, Phoenix Union High Schools and Valley of the Sun United Way to increase college attainment – particularly for Phoenix's rapidly growing Latino youth population.
Only 29.2 percent of Phoenix's population 25 and older has a bachelor's degree or higher – Stanton knows that we have to dramatically increase that number to create the talented workforce we need for a competitive economy.
Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable
Stanton is often asked, "What can cities do to make a difference in the education system?" In 2012, he formed the Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable to bring together mayors from across the state to answer that very question – and to find ways to get our students college and career ready.
The Helios Education Foundation and WestEd support the organization, which brings together mayors and community leaders to discuss research-driven solutions for Arizona's kids.
Creating a Higher Education Nucleus DowntownSince his time serving on the City Council, Stanton has been a champion for investment in higher education opportunities downtown – starting with the effort to open the Arizona State University campus downtown ten years ago.
In the years since that successful effort, downtown Phoenix has transformed – today, it's home to a growing higher education nucleus.
Many of the highest-ranked education opportunities in Arizona are now downtown, within a few blocks of each other: ASU's Cronkite School of Journalism; the U of A medical school, which partnered with St. Joseph's Hospital to open its Cancer Center next year; and ASU's O'Connor College of Law, one of the top 10 public law schools in the nation will open its doors in 2016.
In just five years, downtown Phoenix will be home to more than 17,000 university students – a feat few would have imagined possible a decade ago.