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Official Statement From Diane Douglas on HB2184

Arizona Department of Education

Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

Diane M. Douglas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Sally Stewart Sally.Stewart@azed.gov 602 542 5072

Superintendent Lauds Legislature for Reaching Consensus Agreement

(Phoenix, AZ – Feb. 25, 2015) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas today praised the leaders of the state House and Senate for working with her to achieve a legislative solution that transfers control of the Arizona Board of Education staff to the Board’s supervision through a proposed Senate amendment to HB 2184. “I commend the House and Senate for working with us to reach a consensus agreement,” the Superintendent said. “This will allow the state to move forward, without wasting additional taxpayer dollars in prolonged litigation. “The focus must remain on providing the highest quality education available for Arizona students. Our resources are best spent supporting our children, teachers and classroom instruction, not in interagency disputes.” The amendment is on the agenda for the Senate Committee on Education, which will meet at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 26 in Senate Hearing Room 1.

Views: 179

Comment by karen gevaert on February 28, 2015 at 1:21pm

Does this mean she is in compliance to this bill HB2184!!  Something wrong here, I can't believe she would do this, does she not understand the consequence of this bill??

Comment by Harry Mathews on March 1, 2015 at 9:47am

Karen, 

HB2184 gives the State Board of Ed (SBE) responsibilty for and authority over only the SBE employees. The SBE sets policy; ADE/SPI implements policy; nothing about that has changed. The position of SPI has always been subordinate to the SBE and the Governor. The SPI has never had as much power as one might think. The primary job of SPI has always been to implement policy - not make it. Our SBE has always been run by unelected appointees.

The wording of ARS 15-251 is confusing which is why there has been all this row in the first place.

But, it clearly states that the primary job of the SPI is to

"Execute, under the direction of the state board of education, the policies which have been decided upon by the state board."

Diane Douglas has not done anything wrong. Her job is not to make policy but to implement it. It has always been that way (right or wrong). The SBE makes policy and most of them are appointed by the governor. Here is the makeup of the SBE:

(the following is from the DOE website)

General Information

The State Board of Education is created by the Arizona Constitution and charged with the responsibility of regulating the conduct of the public school system. The Board is composed of the following eleven members: the superintendent of public instruction, the president of a state university or state college, four lay members, a president or chancellor of a community college district, a person who is an owner or administrator of a charter school, a superintendent of a high school district, a classroom teacher and a county school superintendent. Each member, other than the superintendent of public instruction, is appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate. Members are appointed to a term of four years.

In addition to its general regulatory responsibilities, Arizona law charges the Board with numerous other duties. The primary powers and duties of the Board are articulated in A.R.S. § 15-203.

For the purposes of federal law, the State Board of Education also serves as the State Board for Vocational and Technological Education.

In order to make the kind of changes we would like to see, our best bet is probably to go through the legislative process as the governor and SBE has to comply with the law

Comment by karen gevaert on March 1, 2015 at 1:43pm

Thank you Harry, but some of the changes or (striker) clearly changed the duties of the SPE.  Example, the travel expenses was usually approved by the SPE, now it goes the Dept. of Administration?  The big change, that cause all the "noise"  was title 41, chapter 4, article 4,  under Power & Duties--original wording--this is part of clause "it clearly states that all Board of Education Shall be employees of the Department of Education.  it also states that the Superintendent has all powers over employees."   This is where I'm confused, the  "emergency measure" was to change the authority of SPE.  I guess they want the Governor to do this, but does he have the legal authority to do this?   I'm just a simple person, this is all to "Confusing."  

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