Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman had a good first year in 2019.
Through hers and others in the Governor’s office, the State Legislature, and Pro Education and Children Advocacy groups, Arizona education took forward strides in the last year.
- Increased funding for schools.
- The reduction of self-contained ELL Instruction from four school hours to two.
- The repeal of a law that did not allow including the LGBTQ community in the discussion in the HIV/AIDS curriculum.
- The allotment of safety grants to schools that were in need of additional counselors, social workers, or resource officers.
- The formation of a School Safety Taskforce.
- The emergence of a State Student Council to consult with the Department on education matters.
- Creating a culture of collaboration in the Department of Education.
- Building an Educator Recruitment and Retention Team.
- Partnering with the Department of Economic Security to help fill positions in school districts.
- A Department internal audit, which has shown areas of strength in some areas and a need to improve in others.
Writing on her first year and goals for 2020, Superintendent Hoffman marveled at her experiences visiting 83 schools in 15 districts and how moved she was after hearing on how education stakeholders (students, teachers, staff, principals, and parents) were faring in their local communities.
Going into 2020, Ms. Hoffman relayed that her goals are to continue working with the Governor and the State Legislators towards:
- Solving the highly qualified teacher shortage in Arizona.
- Increasing funding for schools. This includes greater salaries for teachers, staff, and principals. Ms. Hoffman also wants more monies for school and child safety programs including more resources to help students “social and emotional needs.”
- Fully repealing the English Only Law.
While Superintendent Hoffman has earned acclaim for her performance, some reactionary individuals in the Legislature and conservative advocacy groups are scared of how well she is performing.
Some legislators and conservative groups (like the Goldwater Institute,) because her internal audits have found discrepancies in how Empowerment Scholarship Funds were spent, want to take away the voucher program from the Department of Public Education.
Most of these same legislators and reactionary entities, because of the Superintendents and other educators championing a Twenty-First Century Sex Education Curriculum, want to turn the clock back to a time where homosexuality and the LGBTQ community are not referenced in the classroom.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt once said, “I ask you to judge me by the enemies I have made.”
Judging by the enemies Superintendent Kathy Hoffman has made in her first year in office, Arizona’s children, education stakeholders, and local community members should know she is working hard to move Arizona’s public education forward.