Bill Would Turn Over Control Of State Board Of Ed To The People

Education activists are looking forward to the introduction of Arizona State Rep. Mark Finchem’s bill; HCR-2001, which if passed change the State Constitution regarding the representation of the people on the State Board of Education. HCR-2001 redefines the State Board of Education to be an elected body as opposed to one occupied by unelected friends of the governor’s.

Finchem’s measure will replace the existing Board with a 15-member State Board of Education made up of the individual County Superintendents, and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, all of whom are elected. By virtue of their elected status, each is directly accountable to the people in their communities through the election process.

Finchem says that it was the fact that on August 1st 2016, “the State Board of Education voted to hand off power to ad hoc committees to develop a wide range of policies from teacher certification and accountability to public school operations. The idea that two members of the Board would have exclusive power to appoint individuals to those committees without further consideration of the full Board set off alarm bells in multiple legislative districts.”

Finchem argues that the “public school system belongs to the public and the policy that is developed by the State Board of Education must be done in an open, transparent and deliberative way. After all, if what the Board will act on is “public policy”, shouldn’t it be open to the public? Shouldn’t the full Board be developing policy? Secretive deliberations lacking in public involvement are responsible for bringing us such disasters as Common Core.”

Representative Finchem reports, “Constituents from all over the state have contacted me demanding to have a voice in determining who is leading the education of their children. HCR-2001 puts the matter to a vote, which if it passes will streamline government by removing a layer of appointed bureaucracy, and moves the selection of the State Board of Education members closer to the people. We already have elected local school boards, local superintendents and a state superintendent. We already have knowledgeable elected people in place in the form of the various county superintendents.”

Rep. Finchem also says, “Adding the responsibility of representation from each county on the State Board of Education to the duties of each of the 15 County Superintendents, accomplishes the addition of direct accountability to parents, while eliminating a layer of government. And for those who say that universities will not be represented at the table, I think that is a strawman argument. They will have the same representation as those people who are paying the bills, who are after all the voters.”

11 Comments on "Bill Would Turn Over Control Of State Board Of Ed To The People"

  1. Dale Brethower | January 9, 2017 at 8:52 am |

    Good job, Rep Finchem!

  2. The Oracle of Tucson | January 9, 2017 at 9:07 am |

    Amazing that elected position that is so important went unchecked in the last election. No one of noteworthy qualifications even run for this office, hence we are stuck with the current delima.
    Ms. Douglas who when it comes to core decision making has flip flopped more then a freshly caught fish on deck, and while it’s hard to predict future events, unless she runs unopposed, I don’t see her returning for a second term.


  3. Ed. is real messed up and can only get better. This appears to be a start.

  4. Listen to a Mom | January 9, 2017 at 9:56 am |

    When the appointed State Board of Ed creates subcommittees for specific topics, it’s a way to hand off the grunt work to others. See the State Board of Ed only is constitutionally set to meet a select number of times per year. The State Board passes off the work to subcommittees then TYPICALLY rubber stamps whatever that subcommittee decides.

    Recently, this State Board of Ed violated their OWN created policy and procedure and completely ignored the recommendations of the committee tasked to review and replace Common Core. The subcommittee reviewing the standards had parents and conservatives who really wanted to see something different than Common Core. The State Board of Ed didn’t appreciate challenge to the status quo–they didn’t even want to have a conversation about the new standards!

    The State Board of Ed doesn’t like people who don’t “go along to get along.” So they changed the policy of who picks members for future subcommittees. That way, they can go back to quietly making decisions with your tax dollars and direct your child’s education without being questioned. Pretty clever of them don’t you think?

    This State Board of Ed reveals itself to be an Establishment Fed Ed led dream team that suffers from group-think.

    It’s not their fault though—they were selected and expected to be that way. They don’t know better.

  5. Anything we can do to get rid of Common Core and the absolute total ineptitude and cronyism in TUSD will be good for the people and the future of our kids.

    Husband of 40 Year special ed teacher

  6. Listen to a Mom | January 9, 2017 at 12:33 pm |

    Luke Abrams, County Superintendents are elected by the people in each county and this was done on your November Ballot.

    HT Sanchez is a School Superintendent..a much lower position. Sanchez is only in charge at TUSD vs the County so he wasn’t on your ballot. School Super’s are hired/fired by the local elected school board. If you don’t like HT, it’s HT’s board who hired him or retains him. Put pressure on the elected school board members to find a new school super OR find new like minded school board candidates who will get rid of him.

    I’ve read on ADI that is all easier said than done.

    In many ways, the State Board of Ed also likes the path of least resistance. For too long, voters have been ignored or haven’t raised enough noise to overcome the lobbyists who follow them all around like puppy dogs.

  7. Heather Dale | January 9, 2017 at 2:31 pm |

    Now he needs to introduce a bill that allows US to elect county supervisors, ie, Chucky.

  8. Heather Dale, Chuck Huckleberry is not a County Supervisor. He is a county manager appointed by the county supervisors. The only way to get rid of him is by changing the county supervisors.

  9. Until we fully understand the board system and how it works (or more specifically doesn’t work) little that we do will have a lasting affect on our ability to protect children from ideologues who insist they know more than parents about thier own children!
    Have we forgotten so soon that amidst the Douglas/Miller brouhaha that Ducey initiated his own “think tank” to lobby for the direction that education should take? Add this to an bloated lobby contingency*** that already plagues Az. education and ask yourself who’s listening to you? Where’s your “lobby” group? To be sure the valiant groups and individuals that do post here – god bless them all, consider the odds! What part of the ignoring the recommendations of thier own standards committee recommendations then voting over it by the Board did we miss?
    As long as the board system exists, all of it:state, county and district and it has lasted way too long, as well as shadowy legislative committes little will change! When you throw into the mix Ducey’s brain trust – coupled with Senate and House committes, to coin a phrase: parents are screwed! Three minutes of comment time are no match for daily phone and personal contact allotted to lobby groups in and out the legislative sessions! Should a parent or several parents try that they’d be arrested for stalking!
    Here’s the frightening part: our children are actually in their hands more hours per day than they are with parents! Well, that has just worked jim dandy hasn’t it! Might I point out that CC slithered it’s way through the system almost five years before someone said: What the h!!? And it’s still there, isn’t it!
    ***(When Ducey was on his cut lobbyist rant – did he do away with the BofE lobbyist? To date I haven’t heard that he has!)

  10. WhiteSuburbanMom | January 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm |

    The State Board of Education has been unaccountable for too long. Ducey nominates (or leaves seats vacant for years), and they become puppets to governmental whim. Parents, taxpayers, the electorate?? Who needs them. Their opinions, ideas, concerns, or frustrations are of no import to the governor’s lackeys. Rep. Finchem has been a strong supporter of an elected Bd of Ed. Parents need people in those seats that will act as their advocates and we be the voice of the voters. Appointed boards are too easily influenced, with rare exceptions, and serve with their own agenda. The State Board of Education has done Ducey’s bidding for too long. It’s time to change the system to favor the true stakeholders; parents and children!

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