Arizona Legislators on the House floor may hear House Bill 2435 soon, which would impose term limits on school board members of two consecutive terms, requires a majority of members on school boards be parents, grandparents or guardians of a student currently enrolled in the district, and eliminates staggered terms so that all members of a school board would be elected concurrently.
The Arizona School Boards Association opposes House Bill 2435, sponsored by Rep. Steve Kaiser, because it would create high turnover on school boards, impact people’s eligibility to serve as a school governing board member, reduce school board members’ institutional knowledge and impact stability of school boards’ governance.
“House Bill 2435 went through House government committee this past week, and it’s set hopefully to be not heard, but we don’t know. It’s ready to go to the floor in the House if they choose to pursue it,” said Chris Kotterman, director of governmental relations for Arizona School Boards Association.
“The bill as it was introduced would require that there be a functional majority of the boards, so either two members or three members depending on whether its a three-or five-member board, have to have children in the district either as parents, grandparents or guardians,” Kotterman said.
“It would also impose a two-term limit so a total of eight years on board members,” Kotterman said. “Finally, it would eliminate the stagger for board terms so that all board members would be up for election at the same time. And lastly, it would allow the use of electronic signatures for board members to get on petitions, but also for recall.”
#Legislative Legit: HB 2435 school board member term limits
Edited by Jacquelyn Gonzales/ AZEdNews
“The amendment that was proposed and accepted was originally the parents grandparent functional majority requirement, that was going to be imposed on school board members is now completely stricken from the bill so it’s no longer a prerequisite for you to be able to be on a board,” said Rico Yanez, governmental relations intern with Arizona School Boards Association.
“Electronic signatures being allowed to be used for recall purposes,” said Sarah Jedlowski, governmental relations intern with Arizona School Boards Association.
“It does also allow school board members to use electronic platform also known as EQual to gather signatures to get on the ballot, which we’re totally in support of, but then it also allows electronic gathering for recall elections as well,” said Leigh Jensen, governmental associate with Arizona School Boards Association.
“Over all, not a great bill. Only one provision that we support, with a whole bunch that we think are problematic, because we think that it would just basically undermine leadership, continuity in school boards and also in school districts as a result, possibly result in higher superintendent turnover, and also continue the problems that we have now for getting enough candidates for governing board.” Kotterman said.
“Overall, we don’t think it’s a great tool for effective board governance, and we are opposed,” Kotterman said.