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Lawmakers cast final vote to settle education officials’ legal spat


The Arizona Legislature has approved a bill settling a yearlong fight between the state's top elected school official and the Board of Education and sent it to Gov. Doug Ducey for action. The House approved the proposal on a 53-6 vote Wednesday. The Senate had approved the bill on a 30-0 vote late Tuesday. House and Senate leaders and Gov. Doug Ducey's office helped negotiated the deal between Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas. Douglas prompted the fight and a series of ongoing lawsuits early last year when she tried to fire the board's top executives. Ducey blocked that firing and the board then moved to new offices outside her building. They also clashed over control of investigators who look into teacher wrongdoing, with the board suing Douglas to force remote access to teacher files she controlled. House Bill 2620 is designed to end the litigation. The board will retain control over its four employees and Douglas will assume oversight of the investigators.

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