Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal released this statement Tuesday afternoon in response to media coverage of phone messages he made Monday to 50,000 homes in poorly performing school districts in Phoenix and Tucson in which he mentioned Empowerment Scholarship Accounts.
“As Superintendent of Public Instruction, the voters of this state elected me to lead our public school system and work to ensure every child in Arizona has access to quality education.
My remarks regarding Empowerment Scholarship Accounts and my reason for agreeing to inform families of this opportunity was to apprise parents of a unique program, not advocate for private school instruction over that of a public school education. These scholarship accounts provide a unique option for children with disabilities, members of military families and students attending failing schools, which includes, but is not limited to attending a private school.
I want to make it clear that I have the utmost respect and admiration for all of our public school teachers. I work tirelessly every day to assure teachers and educators are supported, students are provided with excellent education opportunities and parents have information they need to make quality choices for their children. I have great regret if any member of the public school system felt anything less than my full appreciation for what they do on a daily basis.”