Survey: Arizona Among Least-Affordable States For Summer Learning

Published: Monday, June 11, 2018 - 6:12pm
Updated: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 9:01am
Mariana Dale/KJZZ
A summer tech camp in 2017.

Parents in Arizona are feeling the squeeze as they look for summer programs for their kids.

That’s the conclusion of a new survey by the progressive think tank Center for American Progress. It puts Arizona as the third least-affordable state in the nation for summer programs.

For a family of four with two children making Arizona’s median income, parents can expect to pay a third of their summer income on programs that last five weeks, the survey says.

Cristina Novoa, a policy analyst for the Center, said the lack of learning contributes to the so-called 'summer slide.'

“Children’s reading comprehension ... tends to slip a little bit during the summer, and also their math skills,” she said. “So this is something that just sort of naturally happens during the summer months when you’re no longer in school.”

On top of that, lower-income families can’t afford higher-quality child care.

“That exacerbates these income-based disparities among wealthier families and families that struggle to pay for some of these programs,” Novoa said.

Novoa advocated for legislation in Congress that would provide child care guarantees to lower- and middle-income families. The bill is called the Child Care for Working Families Act; the sponsors are both Democrats.

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