Opinion By Itasca Small
As reported by ADI, Governor Ducey vetoed Senate Bill 1197. His action is just one more egregious move to handicap and indoctrinate Arizona’s children by power-hungry elected and appointed men and women by subjecting them to the Common Core Agenda. On it’s face, this bill would have required our public schools to teach Arizona’s public school pupils cursive writing and reading skills:
“The minimum course of study shall include instruction in cursive reading and writing to ensure that pupils, by the end of grade five, are able to create readable documents through legible cursive and writing.”
The underlying effect would have been to scuttle a key part of the social engineering, behavior modifying agenda infecting our public education system for more than a century! Cursive handwriting is crucial to many aspects of a child’s growth. That’s the real reason it has been excised from our schools!
One of my fine young grandnephews, Jacob, graduated from a Mesa charter school last year. At his Graduaton Party someone else had to read his Graduation Cards aloud for him because he can’t read cursive! How many Arizona public school graduates are handicapped in this way?
How many more children will be handicapped by Governor Ducey’s veto of SB1197? See: http://blendphonics.org/?p=137 and, https://www.logicofenglish.com/2-uncategorised/122-why-teach-cursive-first
The new law would have gone into effect 90 days after receiving the governor’s own “cursive” signature; instead, his name—in distinctive cursive style—was affixed to his required veto letter to Senate President Andy Biggs. (When the governor vetoes a bill, he is required to return it to the Legislature with his objections; you can read it here:
Governor Ducey met the requirement—or did he?
His letter to President Biggs is full of glowing words of praise for cursive handwriting amidst statements like, it “must be taught in our public schools , . . .” So, what were his objections to SB1197? Why did he veto an act duly enacted by the constitutional entity tasked with legislating laws for the governance of our state, and particularly of our public school system?
Contrary to his declaration and directive to the state board of education on March 23, 2015, which he cites in the veto letter, the governor does NOT have authority to make education policy in Arizona beyond approving or disapproving acts enacted by the Legislature!
But, for some reason, he thinks his job description does gives him authority over public education and the state board! He declared as much in his declaration/directive to the board last year. And, everyone in power is still playing his game, pretending that the Emperor’s New Clothes are of the finest silk, rather than patched together with sow’s ears.
The Legislature even unlawfully gave him his very own pseudo-state board, renewed and relocated as a state agency residing under his protective wings in the Executive Tower. (Never mind that you can’t change the nature of the constitutional state board without a Constitutional Amendment, and you certainly can’t do so by the Legislature, nor in the General Appropriation Bill!)
There is nothing in the Constitution giving any executive authority over public education directly to the governor! His duty to appoint members of the state board of education and board of regents requires consent or rejection of nominees by the Senate, which the Framers deliberately wrote into the Constitution as a check on the governor’s power (they were especially concerned about protecting Arizonans from tyrannical governors!). His duty as an ex-officio member of the board of regents also does not give him direct executive authority over public education.
To hear Senator Jeff Dial and others extol the wonders of our governor in the SB1416 Senate Ed Committee Hearing on 2/4/16, one would think our governor had final authority and imbued wisdom to rule our public schools.
In his veto letter, Governor Doug Ducey claims there is already a process in place to ensure cursive handwriting “happens.” He then states: “In March, 2015, I directed the State Board to review, revise and replace the state’s academic standards . . .” He goes on to say that he has “communicated” to the board that “the new academic standards must include instruction in cursive handwriting . . .”
The problem still is, Governor Ducey has no constitutional authority to direct the state board to review, revise and replace anything! Which renders his veto objections moot! (But, SB1197 does not have enough support in the Legislature to override the veto.)
And, the state board has no constitutional authority to review, revise and replace anything! That authority belongs to the Legislature. SB1197 is evidence that some of our legislators have been striving valiantly to do their job!
In spite of his lack of authority to issue education-related directives, the governor vetoed the cursive act in favor of his directive to the state board. But, the board’s “Standards Development Committee,” formed in response to the directive, is a farce! Which is further proof that the board is an “IT” and, as such, is incapable of acting except through its Executive Officer and Secretary, who is the sitting state superintendent of public instruction.
One year after Governor Ducey’s declaration of his authority, along with his directive to the board to review, revise and replace the Common Core Standards wherever they are found wanting, not one “academic standard” has been dissected and declared in need of revision or replacement, nor been found to be “just right!”
Meanwhile, Arizona’s children are being subjected to the Common Core Agenda every day! Denying them the benefits of learning cursive is a deliberate part of that agenda. . . .
Hence, Governor Ducey’s imposition of the National Governors Association plot to entrench the Common Core Agenda by pretending to root-it-out with “Smoke and Mirrors,” dubbed “Review & Replace,” is working quite well in Arizona! Meanwhile, Arizona’s children are being subjected to the Common Core Agenda every day! And denying them the benefits of learning cursive is a deliberate part of that agenda. . . . http://www.breitbart.com/biggovernment/
Governor Ducey wants us to believe that he actually wants Arizona’s schoolchildren to be taught cursive handwriting, when he has to know full-well that his excuse for vetoing the act doesn’t hold water! The children are not learning cursive and they never will if they have to wait on the governor’s Smoke and Mirrors Game!
Governor Ducey also wants us to believe that his office gives him authority over the entire Executive Department, as does the Office of President over the national Executive Branch. IT DOESN’T! Arizona’s Constitution, Art. V, established a plural seven-branch executive department, now consisting of five branches, each headed by elected state-level executive officers. The Framers did this to protect against tyrannical State Governors, after nearly half a century of tyrannical Territorial Governors!
This means Arizona’s governor IS NOT like the president! Our governor IS NOT superior to the other four executive officers! Each has authority specific to his/her branch, and in that authority are inherent powers and duties consistent with the constitutional nature of the executive governmental responsibilities of each branch. Each is the highest-ranking official in the state over his/her branch of the executive department! The governor is not superior to the others!
Further, the Legislature is bound by the Constitution in making laws for the governance of this State. Contrary to claims by certain senators, the Legislature does not have the authority to make laws governing the powers and duties of constitutional entities in any manner whatsoever, without regard for the obvious inherent powers and duties of those entities! See “SB1416: Answering Senator Allen.”
Governor Ducey has usurped power from at least one of the other four, elected state-level executive officers of the Executive Department—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas—with the cooperation of the Legislature, under the “influence” of Senate Leadership.
Our State Constitution places the responsibility for our public school system in the Legislature. See Roosevelt Elementary School District v. C. Diane Bishop, 1994, and our State Constitution, Art. XI. §1(A). http://law.justia.com/cases/arizona/supreme-court/1994/cv-93-0168-t-ap-2.html and, http://www.azleg.gov/Constitution.asp?Article=11
The overall responsibility being in the Legislature, it is that body’s duty to enact such laws as are necessary to establish and maintain the public school system—ongoing, in perpetuity, unless and until We the People amend our Constitution to the contrary.
The governor believes he has authority to direct the state board to make policy and rules over the public school system. (And, apparently, to direct the Legislature to cede its authority and that of the SPI, to the SBE and thereby to him. . . .)
Art. XI. §2 vests, “The general conduct and supervision” of the public school system in the state board of education, the state superintendent of public instruction, county school superintendents and the governing boards of state colleges and universities. (This clause does not negate the state-level executive authority, powers and duties inherent in the SPI as the highest-ranking education official in the state, through Art. V!)
“The general conduct and supervision” does not mean that the state board of education is responsible for making/setting all policy governing the public school system. “The general conduct and supervision” is not making policy! That is the Legislature’s job!
Art. XI. §2 does not vest the power to “exercise general supervision over the public school system” solely in the state board, as the Legislature has done in Arizona Revised Statutes, Title 15-203.§A.1 (see below).
Yet, the Legislature in §A.1, has usurped the power inherent in the other constitutional entities listed above, and given it to the state board alone! Along with abrogating its own responsibility—as the legislative body—to “regulate the conduct” of the public school system, to the state board by ceding its own power to adopt as law, those rules and policies it deems necessary subject to the Constitution.
15-203. Powers and duties:
A. The state board of education shall:
1. Exercise general supervision over and regulate the conduct of the public school system and adopt any rules and policies it deems necessary to accomplish this purpose.
The state board is also specifically tasked by the Legislature in many other statutes, to adopt rules and regulations to implement laws enacted. However, the Legislature is constitutionally responsible for determining and enacting official education policy and rules as laws for the maintenance of the public school system. Obviously, legislators and governors have known this fact for 104 years. Had they not known it we would not have the Arizona Revised Statutes’ Education Title 15, at thousands of pages long!
The legislators know they—and not the board, nor the governor—have the policy-, rule- and regulation-making authority. Proof of this fact can be found in SB1208, a proposed bill amending title 15-203. The bill would add paragraph A.14(h) to the board’s powers and duties:
A. The state board of education shall:
14. Supervise and control the certification of persons . . . The rules:
(h) SHALL ALLOW FOR RENEWAL OF A CERTIFICATE ISSUED TO A PERSON PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS AND MAY NOT REQUIRE MORE THAN FIFTEEN HOURS OF CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS EACH YEAR IN ORDER TO RENEW A CERTIFICATE.
The proposed paragraph requires the board to allow for renewal of certain teaching certificates, and, the board “may not require more than . . .”
This straightforward language clearly shows that state senators know that they and their fellow legislators dictate to the state board what it can and cannot do! It requires the board to allow for renewal, while NOT allowing the board to require more than fifteen hours of credits to qualify for renewal!
Pure logic shows that the claims of authority over education by Governor Ducey—and the arguments promulgated by at least President Pro Temporé Allen—that the state board makes/sets policy and rules, are disingenuous at best.
And, SB1208? President Pro Temporé Sylvia Allen is the Prime and ONLY Sponsor! The bill had one Senate Amendment adopted; it is the Allen Amendment, signed and represented by Senate Ed Committee Chair Allen.
Perhaps Senator Allen would do well to contemplate the arguments she is making to the people of Arizona regarding the authority of the state board and the governor before she throws-in-with President Biggs in the rumored salting of the unconstitutional language of SB1416 into budget or other bills before this Session of Arizona’s Fifty-Second Legislature ends with Sine Die!
In conclusion, Governor Ducey vetoed a lawful act by our Legislature that was in the best interest of all Arizona public schoolchildren. His motivation appears to be a desire for Arizonansto believe two falsehoods:
1. As governor, he has authority to determine education policy, and,
2. As governor, he has the authority to direct the state board of education to act in reviewing, revising and replacing “standards.”
But, the state board (SBE) is still an “IT,” and “it” cannot act except through the state superintendent of public instruction! This is why the SBE-led Standards Development Commission is impotent and a farce perpetrated against Arizona’s schoolchildren!
So, with his veto, Governor Ducey was required to state his objections to the cursive handwriting act lawfully enacted by the Arizona State Legislature.
Considering that his only reason for killing SB1197—his power-usurping directive to the state board—was not constitutionally valid, I find his excuse egregiously unacceptable!
May this defeat be a rallying cry for Arizonans demanding the return of Parental Rights in the best interest of ALL Arizona children!
GOV. DUCEY’S CURSIVE VETO HANDICAPS CHILDREN!!!