Phoenix: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

A total of 58 separate school districts serve the entire Maricopa County. The city of Phoenix is served by 16 separate public school districts, each with its own school board and superintendent. The Greater Phoenix area has an extensive magnet school program with an emphasis on specialized course work in career fields such as aeronautics and aerospace, agri-business, and computer studies, among others.

The following is a summary of data regarding school districts in the Phoenix area as of the 2003–2004 school year.

Total enrollment: 626,461

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 95

middle schools: 32

senior high schools: 67

Student/teacher ratio: ranges from 16.4:1 to 22:1, depending on school district

Teacher salaries

average: $44,404

Funding per pupil: ranges from $4,980 to $8,304, depending on school district

More than 80 private elementary and high schools are also located in Phoenix, providing alternative educational services.

Public Schools Information: Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools, 301 W. Jefferson St., Ste. 660, Phoenix, AZ 85003; telephone (602)506-3866

Colleges and Universities

Phoenix has 79 private technical and business colleges, including the University of Phoenix and Maricopa Community Colleges, the second-largest public community college system in the United States. The University of Phoenix has garnered the spot as the nation's top private university via its innovative online degree program and 163 campuses throughout North America. Both offer undergraduate degrees in a wide range of disciplines and graduate degrees in such fields as business and management and education. Other colleges in Phoenix include Grand Canyon University and a campus of the Arizona State University (ASU), the largest university in the Rocky Mountain area with an enrollment of about 58,000 students and 2,165 full-time faculty, based in nearby Tempe. ASU boasts a strong science orientation; the Phoenix campus (named West Campus) focuses on upper division and graduate courses.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Phoenix Public Library system consists of the main branch downtown and 13 branches located throughout the city. Located in 280,000 square feet, the central library's collection numbers nearly one million volumes as well as magazines, newspapers, tapes, films, slides, and art reproductions. Special collections include the Arizona Room that features a variety of resources related to Arizona's rich history. The Arizona State Library, Archives, and Public Records also focuses on the state's history and includes law, government, and genealogy holdings. More than 50 special libraries and research centers are located in Phoenix; most are affiliated with colleges, medical centers, and government agencies and specialize in such fields as medicine, business, and technology. Arizona State University's Engineering Center focuses on microelectronics, CAD/CAM, telecommunications, and computer science.

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGEN) held its grand opening in March 2005 with a 170,000 square foot facility. The first of several facilities to be constructed, the $46 million center will employ 450 people. The Arizona Biodesign Institute on the campus of Arizona State University is contributing to Phoenix's growth by luring scientists and biotechnological companies to the area. Four modules are set for completion by 2007; the first opened with 250,000 square feet in the fall of 2004.

Public Library Information: Phoenix Public Library, 1221N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85004; telephone (602)262-4636