In [measured] praise of Ed Supe Huppenthal


by David Safier

No surprise, I'm not Ed Supe Huppenthal's biggest fan, and I find his reenergized obsession with TUSD over its Culturally Relevant Curriculum truly scary (See my post, Huppenthal to TUSD: We really don't want to break your thumbs, but . . .). But credit where credit is due. Hupp is on record saying the legislature needs to budget more money for K-12 education, an apparent change of heart. A quote from a recent Howie Fischer article:

"Our school system needs to be compensated at least for inflation," he said. "And they need a little bit of catch-up ground from the cuts over the last couple of years."

Ann-Eve Pedersen analyzes Hupp's new position ed funding while summarizing the history of the education budget cuts on our cable TV show, Education: The Rest of the Story.


"Education: The Rest of the Story" airs Thursdays at 4:30pm on Cox channel 20 or Comcast channel 74.


  1. There was more of a nuance to Huppenthal’s comments than put forth in this commentary. Huppenthal defined corporate giveaways not a tax rate reductions, but as the buying of economic growth, special deals for some companies. He specifically supported broadly lower tax rates as being beneficial to high schools and college students. He also pointed out specific instances of education spending that yielded no results – the extra $10 billion in New York city and the surge in Wyoming and the billion dollar Kansas city debacle in the 70’s.

  2. “Fair-minded to a fault.” Is that damning with faint praise or praising with faint damns?

    To say a politician is motivated by politics is a given. But I’m going to give credit to anyone who advocates for more money for schools, and make sure as many people know about it as possible. I’m not going to roll over and say what a wonderful guy he is. His attitude toward TUSD and the CRC is repugnant and destructive. But he’s right on the funding issue, whatever his motivation.

    That being said, good, valid comment. I love you too.

  3. It was interesting when I was at the Arizona State Education Governing Board meeting a couple of months ago advocating daily physical activity, Huppenthal chastised his Republican colleagues for not supporting the common core curriculum. However, Dr.David Garcia, Democrat, would make a much better candidate!

  4. Dave…I love ya, but on this one, you are fair-minded to a fault. Ann-Eve is right on. Huppenthal is complaining about the low level of school funding at this ridiculously late date only because there is something in it for him politically. Not only will he be in a position to say “I told you so” when the PARCC scores inevitably are lower than my basset hound’s ears, but he will use his push back against the Repubs to appear moderate and try to capture those moderates in the election. It’s not as if he is going to get primaried. He voted against public education funding in the leg. He was happy to sit by mute and abdicate his responsibility as the Supe when his former colleagues decimated funding. He does not now deserve your faint praise.

    That might be appropriate if this was a state where the head of public education was a bona fide educator in an appointed position. Maybe in that situation, some praise from the choir could be valuable. But since the people of Arizona prefer to elect the Supe, then it’s about politics. Huppenthal is a political hack and must go. Hupp’s self-serving statements don’t mean squat.

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