The Arizona Department of Education and its chief position, a publicly elected state Superintendent of Public Instruction, were created upon the ratification of the Arizona Constitution. The job of the state superintendent is to “superintend” the K-12 public education system in Arizona through the state department of education. As stated in the state constitution, this involves providing for the students of Arizona a uniform public school system including kindergarten schools, common schools, high schools and normal schools.
Arizona Public Education Facts
As of September 2011, the Arizona K-12 public education system is comprised of the following:
- The Arizona Department of Education, the State Board of Education, 15 County School Districts and hundreds of district and charter governing boards
- 225 School Districts, 374 charter holders and 13 Joint Technological Education Districts
- Over 2200 public schools
- Over 60,000 certified teachers
- Over 1,000,000 students
Role of Superintendent of Public Instruction
From a fiduciary standpoint, the Superintendent of Public Instruction is charged with executing various education laws and State Board of Education policies; accurately distributing almost $6 billion in education funding to Arizona’s public school system and helping schools comply with the many national and state laws and State Board of Education policies.
Equally important is the state superintendent’s leadership role. Virtue of this constitutional, elected public office, the state superintendent serves on all statewide public education boards, including First Things First, the Arizona Board of Education, and the Arizona Board of Regents – governing bodies which, in aggregate, encompass a pre-kindergarten to graduate school perspective. This unique opportunity allows the state superintendent to develop best practices and strategies which take into account the needs of our children at every stage of the process: from birth to college to the workforce.
Basic State Superintendent Duties (as Outlined in ARS 15-251):
1. Superintend the schools of this state.
2. Request the auditor general to investigate when necessary the accounts of school monies kept by any state, county or district officer.
3. Subject to supervision by the state board of education, apportion to the several counties the monies to which each county is entitled for the year. Apportionment shall be made as provided in chapter 9 of this title.
4. Direct the work of all employees of the board who shall be employees of the department of education.
5. Execute, under the direction of the state board of education, the policies which have been decided upon by the state board.
6. Direct the performance of executive, administrative or ministerial functions by the department of education or divisions or employees thereof.
Some Important K-12 Public Education Partners:
- US Department of Education
- US Department of Agriculture
- US Congress
- Governor’s Office
- Arizona Legislature
- Arizona’s public universities and colleges
- First Things First
- And many more!
Arizona Department of Education
1535 West Jefferson Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007