Arizona Capitol Times reports Diane Douglas’ chief of staff today fired Christine Thompson, State Board of Education executive director, and Sabrina Vasquez, assistant executive director,setting up a legal showdown between the board and the Department of Education.
Brahm Resnik with 12 News says that it’s not clear whether Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas has the legal authority to fire staffers, according to a former superintendent and Republican State Rep. Heather Carter.
The Arizona Republic‘s Cathryn Creno and Yvonne Wingett Sanchez report that State Board of Education President Greg Miller confirmed the firings.
Miller said he was “terribly surprised” that the education department would be involved in terminating school board staff, and questioned the legality of the move.
KTAR says that Miller said Thompson and Vazquez work for the board and not Douglas. He calls the firings “totally uncalled for, unprovoked and not at the will of the board.”
The Associated Press reports that the 11-member Board of Education is a constitutional office that oversees school policy in the state and operates independently of the elected Superintendent of Public instruction.
Gov. Doug Ducey’s spokesman says he is reviewing the firings, according to The Associated Press.