Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is establishing an annual committee to review regulations on education in Arizona’s Education Code A.R.S. Title 15 Education.
“The first education statutes enacted for the area now known as Arizona was under the Revised Statues & Laws of the Territory of New Mexico dated January 27, 1860. At that time Arizona was still part of the New Mexico Territory. Those statutes consisted of only ONE page,” Douglas said. “Now, Title 15, the current 2014-2015 edition of the code, contains more than 1,000 pages. No one can reasonably claim that education has become one thousand times better as a result.”
The panel will conduct a review of Title 15 to identify regulations that are outdated, unnecessary or detrimental to the work of school district and charter schools.
“If it does not result in a better education for our children, better fiscal accountability, or is required by federal law, then it should be excised from the code,” she said.
For business, Governor Ducey has called for deregulation to unburden the private sector to stimulate economic growth.
“I want to remove the burden of unnecessary and bureaucratic regulations on education,” Douglas said. “For education, those regulations are mainly found in Title 15 statutes. In many cases, no one knows why the regulations were included in statute in the first place. Over time, Arizona’s education code and its associated bureaucracy has grown, although not commensurate with student achievement or student success. It’s time to make Arizona’s education code shorter, not longer.”
“I strongly support the effort to free up more funding for classrooms, and one way to do that is to remove unnecessary burdens which force local education agencies to use vital funding for administrative costs,” Douglas stated.
The committee will be composed of school superintendents, human resources and food services professionals, business managers, and other education stakeholders directly impacted by the statutes. Both current and retired professionals are encouraged to participate. They must be able to “think outside the box” and be willing to suggest changes where needed, Douglas said.
Professionals in those areas and who are interested in participating on the committee should submit their C.V. or resume either electronically via email to the ADEInbox@azed.gov or by U.S. Postal Service to Superintendent of Public Instruction, 1535 W. Jefferson, Phoenix, Arizona, 85007. The deadline to apply is May 15, 2015, with the first meeting planned for June. Please include in the email title, or on the envelope, “Application for Title 15 review committee.”
The committee will review and recommend elimination or modification of sections that do not specifically address the education of children, accountability, finance or areas required by the federal government. Those regulations will be compiled into recommendations, with a deadline of Dec. 1, 2015. That report will be the basis for proposed legislation during the second regular session of the 52nd Arizona Legislature.