The path forward for PUHSD

Reports and Publications
November 2017
Dan Hunting

Phoenix Union High School District (PUHSD) has its roots in Territorial Arizona and has served generations of residents as Phoenix evolved from a dusty agricultural town into the fifth-largest city in the nation.

For decades, Phoenix Union High School was the lone high school in Phoenix. As the city expanded beyond the boundaries of PUHSD into ever-growing suburbs, the district began a transformation. As middle- and upper-class families began locating to areas outside of the district, PUHSD acquired many characteristics of an inner-city school district, with a high percentage of minority and low-income students. Both enrollment numbers and the tax base began to decline and new strategies were needed to cope with the changing demography, economy and political landscape of central Phoenix.

PUHSD has stabilized and has graduation and dropout rates better than the state average. The district now faces a new series of challenges and questions as the city continues to transform. This report examines several aspects of PUHSD and provides a framework to illuminate the path forward for the district and the city as a whole.