Today, the members of the Title 15 Working Group (Working Group) were announced. Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas sought the creation of an annual independent group to propose legislative changes to reduce unnecessary burdens and outdated statutory provisions affecting Arizona’s public schools.
“Arizona’s education code over time has grown vastly and is not comparable with student achievement. I strongly support more funding for Arizona’s classrooms, and one way to do that is to free up existing funding by relieving Arizona’s public schools from spending vital funds on unnecessary administrative requirements,” Superintendent Douglas stated. “Just as getting rid of unnecessary regulation helps businesses, de-regulation will help students.”
The Working Group is a team of public volunteers. None of the members are lobbyists, representatives of organizations, or employees of the Arizona Department of Education. The members have diverse expertise and knowledge in Arizona’s K-12 education system. They include school superintendents, human resources personnel, food service professionals, business managers, a parent, a teacher and other education stakeholders who are impacted daily by the statutes.
The Working Group is chaired by Ernest Calderón and the Vice-Chair is Kevin Hegarty. The members of the Working Group are attached.
“As the Working Group reviews the K-12 education statutes, we will be doing so by asking, ‘How does this law help kids? Is it required? Or does it increase student achievement or improve accountability?’ Our schools are burdened by ineffective administrative tasks; therefore, the Working Group’s proposed changes will redirect a school’s time, effort, and money back to improving student success,” said Mr. Calderón.
The Working Group will be available to the public for comments and suggested legislative changes during a public forum on July 8 from 5:30-7:30 pm at Thunderbird High School located at 1750 W. Thunderbird Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85023. The meeting will take place in the conference room in building A.
The public may also submit suggested changes to PolicyInbox@azed.gov. Please provide the members any suggestions that you may have; the Working Group is eager to propose changes next legislative session that will greatly benefit the students of Arizona.
Title 15 Working Group Members
- Ernest Calderón (Chairman) – President Emeritus of the Arizona Board of Regents & Partner in Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis law firm providing expertise in education law (Policy Representative).
- Kevin Hegarty (Vice Chairman) – Executive Director of Business and Operations at Laveen Elementary School District (Business Operations Representative).
- Erica Avila Hlavaty – Director of Student Services focusing on transforming the special education program at Isaac School District (Special Education Representative).
- Jeremy Calles – CFO at Kyrene Elementary School District (School Finance Representative).
- Jeanne Casteen – Member of Creighton School District Governing Board & current teacher at North High School (Teacher & School Board Member Representative).
- April Hamilton – Associate attorney at Ridenour, Hienton & Lewis law firm practicing in the area of education law (Policy Representative).
- Ricardo Hernandez – Deputy County School Superintendent and CFO at the Office of the Pima County School Superintendent (County Representative).
- Todd Jaeger – Associate Superintendent and General Counsel and Executive Director of Human Resources at Amphitheater Unified School District (Support Services Representative).
- Jody Johnson – Founder & CEO of Pointe Charter Schools (Charter School Representative).
- Quinn Kellis – Superintendent of Madison School District (Superintendent Representative).
- Bill Maas – Retired Associate Superintendent of Fiscal Services for Deer Valley Unified School District (Superintendent Representative).
- David Peterson – Superintendent of Scottsdale Unified School District (Superintendent Representative).
- Thomas Pickrell – General Counsel for Mesa Public Schools (Large District & Legal Representative).
- Jennifer Reynolds – Parent of four school aged children (Parent Representative).
- Carol Weekly – Director of Child Nutrition at Queen Creek Unified School District (Health & Nutrition Representative).
- Travis Zander – CFO at Agua Fria Union High School District (High School & School Finance Representative).