Press Releases


Published: August 15th, 2019

Supt. Hoffman Launches New Student Advisory Council

Fifteen Arizona students will be selected to help shape policy at the state level

Today, Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman announced the formation of Arizona Department of Education’s first statewide Student Advisory Council.

Fifteen students representing grades 5 through 12 will be selected to participate in this advisory council as part of Superintendent Hoffman’s efforts to elevate the voices of students in Arizona.

“When students have the opportunity to use their voice, it inspires and empowers them to be leaders in their educational experience,” said Superintendent Hoffman.  “It’s important for me to hear firsthand from Arizona students about their experiences in school today, and I’m thrilled to convene this Advisory Council and to invite students from across the state to share their perspectives that will help influence education policy at the statewide level.”

Superintendent Hoffman will seek student advisors’ perspectives on a range of topics, from curriculum and testing to school facilities and technology.  Selected students will serve a one-year term starting October 2019 and ending with the 2019-2020 school year.  Students from grades 5 through 12 that are residents of Arizona are encouraged to apply.  More information regarding eligibility and the application requirements can be found on our website www.azed.gov.

Posted in Announcements, Press Releases | Tagged , , , |
Published: August 15th, 2019

Apply to the Student Advisory Council

The Student Advisory Council has been created under the administration of Superintendent Kathy Hoffman in her efforts to lift up the voices and perspectives of students and teachers in Arizona. This Student Advisory Council will support the Superintendent’s work to improve education in Arizona with the input of those most affected by the department’s policies.

We are looking for students to serve as advisors on the Student Advisory Council. This year, 15 students from grades 5 through 12 from schools in Arizona will be chosen for this council. The students will serve on the council from October 2019 to July 2020. The Student Advisors will be selected by Friday, October 4, 2019.

 

Description Members of the Advisory Council will represent their school communities and discuss issues important to students in Arizona. They will advise the State Superintendent and the Department of Education about the department’s policies which have statewide impact.

Qualifications Each applicant must be currently enrolled as a full-time student in Arizona with a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5.

The Arizona Department of Education recognizes that there may be extenuating circumstances that have resulted in a cumulative GPA lower than the minimum GPA listed above (for example, multiple school transitions, out on medical leave, etc.). If you feel this is applicable to your circumstance, please email a letter of explanation along with a letter of support from a teacher and/or employer confirming the circumstance to [email protected].

Application Directions: This form, completed and submitted before the deadline to apply. In addition, each applicant needs to email 1-2 letter(s) of recommendation from a teacher, employer, mentor, parent/guardian, or community leader to [email protected]. If you need to submit the letter(s) in a different format, email [email protected]. Applications/letters of recommendation that need to be mailed, should be mailed to Arizona Department of Education Attn: Sophia Mayberry Bin #2 1535 W Jefferson St Phoenix, AZ 85007.

Selection Process: Applications are due Monday, September 16, 2019. After an initial review of applications by ADE Employees and Community Members, applications will be evaluated and qualifying candidates will be asked to participate in an interview between September 23-29, 2019. Applicants will then be notified by Friday, October 4, 2019, if they are invited to serve on the council.

ALL APPLICATIONS AND RECOMMENDATION LETTERS MUST BE SUBMITTED AND EMAILED NO LATER THAN Monday, September 16, 2019.

For further information email [email protected].

Important Dates to Save and Advisory Council Meeting Schedule:

Application Process Dates

August 15, 2019: Application Available

September 16, 2019: Applications Due

September 23-29, 2019: Student Interviews Conducted

October 4, 2019: Student Advisors Selected

Council Meeting Schedule 4pm-6pm

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday, January 29, 2019

Wednesday, April 29, 2019

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: July 22nd, 2019

ADE and DHS Team Up to Support Immunization

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and Arizona Department of Health Services Director Dr. Cara Christ authored the following letter to school administrators and health office personnel about promoting the importance of immunization.

Dear School Administrator or Health Office Personnel,

We write you today to request your continued support in promoting the importance of up-to-date vaccination within your school community. Arizona vaccine coverage among school-age children in Arizona continues to decline, putting our state at increased risk of a vaccine-preventable disease outbreak.

Vaccines are a critical public health tool to keep Arizona children, families, and communities healthy. At the beginning of the 20th century, large numbers of infectious diseases like smallpox, measles, polio, whooping cough, and diphtheria caused thousands of illnesses and deaths, but the availability of vaccines have now made these diseases rare. For their role in preventing needless illness and death, vaccines are recognized as the greatest public health achievements of both the 20th and 21st centuries.

Vaccines are safe and effective. While some parents you encounter may argue against this fact, the science is clear: vaccines are among the most studied medical products in the world and are continuously monitored for safety and effectiveness. When your students (and staff) are fully vaccinated, they are less likely to become ill with a vaccine-preventable disease and thus less likely to spread disease to other students, staff, and families on your campus who are unable to be vaccinated due to their age or a compromising medical condition.

As the new school year approaches, we ask for your support in helping us ensure your students are fully vaccinated. Whether you are a school administrator, school nurse, front office staff, or teacher, there are ways you can help support the health of your school community:

  • Be familiar with and abide by the Arizona laws (Arizona Revised Statute §15-871 – §15-874) and regulations (Arizona Administrative Code Title 9, Chapter 6, Article 7) for school immunization.
  • Support your health office personnel as they work with parents to comply with the laws and regulations, including exclusion of students from school without documented proof of immunity or exemption (Arizona Revised Statutes §15-872(B)).
  • Post your school’s vaccine coverage and exemption rates on your website.
  • Encourage school health offices or front office staff to provide vaccine education materials for parents.
  • Participate in the online Immunization Education Course pilot program.
  • Discourage parents from signing an exemption form out of convenience rather than providing documentation of immunization. Staff can direct parents to their healthcare provider or the Arizona Department of Health Services for a copy of their child’s immunization records.

We greatly appreciate everything you and your staff do to ensure students are safe, healthy, and ready to learn.

Sincerely,

Kathy Hoffman, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

Dr. Cara Christ, Director of Arizona Department of Health Services

 

Further Information:

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Published: July 19th, 2019

Supt. Hoffman Asks Legislature to Release Funds for ESA Program

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman asks the legislature to release funds for ESA program and addresses Representative Mark Finchem’s call on the Attorney General to investigate the Arizona Department of Education’s Empowerment Scholarship Program:

“It has been and remains my administration’s intent to run the Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) program effectively to serve enrolled students and families. With the ESA program’s exponential growth in recent years, the legislature’s failure to adequately fund the program’s management has resulted in an increased burden for families. Parents should rightfully be upset by long hold times, and they should call their legislators and demand to know why there is over $3 million in dedicated ESA administrative funding sitting in an account, unavailable for use by the Arizona Department of Education to manage the ESA program.

The statute governing the ESA program allows for 4 percent of program funding to be allocated to cover program administration. Currently, our ESA Department receives less than half that amount – 1.62 percent. It is hypocritical for members of the legislature to attack the department on this issue when they have failed to fully fund the administration of this program year after year.

As of today, there are nearly 6,500 students on the ESA program, with more than 1,300 new applications waiting to be processed. We employ 10 full-time ESA specialists who are responsible for taking calls, processing applications and contracts, reviewing expense accounts, investigating misspent funds, and more. This equates to a caseload of roughly 650 ESA students to one specialist, which is unacceptable for workload realities.

Despite these challenges, my administration is actively working on solutions that will allow us to better serve those relying on this program. These solutions include moving to a new payment system which will be easier for parents to use, ensuring taxpayer dollars are spent appropriately, and reducing the need for parents to call the department with questions on expenditures. We plan to transition to this new system in the coming months. It is an incredibly busy time of year for our ESA department, and we have approved overtime for members of our ESA staff to work this weekend and we are also working to reallocate other department resources to help answer phones to reduce hold times. The bottom line is that the department is working diligently to administer this program, despite the lack of resources allocated by the legislature.

I have made it a priority since taking office to build working relationships with members of both parties in order to best serve students and families. Arizonans deserve government officials who will work together to solve problems and find solutions — especially when it comes to our children. I am disappointed that any lawmaker would participate in efforts that only serve to damage the relationship between the department and the legislature. We have already spoken with Attorney General Brnovich’s office about our shared commitment to transparency and ways we can work collaboratively to support students and families. I appreciate his office’s willingness to work with my administration.

I urge lawmakers to provide the full amount of allowable administrative funding, so the department can effectively implement and manage this program. To do any less does a disservice to students and families.”

Posted in News, Press Releases | Tagged , , , |
Published: June 24th, 2019

Supt. Hoffman’s Statement on Proposed Sex Ed Amendments

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman’s statement on the proposed amendments regarding sex education at today’s State Board meeting:

“Today during our State Board of Education meeting, we heard nearly four hours of public comment regarding proposed amendments to board policies about sex education. I greatly respect that parents came to this meeting to advocate for their families and I appreciate the sensitivity that surrounds this topic.

While I have many takeaways from the comments, it became clear to me that there is misunderstanding about what is decided by districts and what guidelines can be set by the State Board of Education. Sex education curriculum is determined by districts and local school boards. Parents have always had the right to opt their child in or out of these health courses if they wish to provide that information themselves. The language proposed today did not attempt to change this, nor did it mandate or institute additional curriculum. The minor changes were intended to clean up outdated language in state guidelines and ensure that any curriculum a district chooses is medically and scientifically accurate.

I heard from community members and parents who were concerned about the information their children would be provided if their districts were to account for LGBTQ students in health education. Arizona’s public schools exist to serve all students who walk through their doors. However, for decades, codified bigotry has denied too many children information about their sexual health. I am greatly concerned with the health of our students. With rising rates of suicide, depression, and transmission of STIs, it is my utmost priority that all students have access to medically accurate information so that they can make healthy, informed choices. It is a matter of safety and respect.”

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Published: May 6th, 2019

Superintendent Hoffman Announces New Leadership Position Focused on Equity

The application process for this position is now closed. Individuals selected for consideration will be contacted directly. 

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman today announced the creation of a new executive leadership position at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) focused on issues of equity. The Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion will be charged with driving ADE’s internal and external efforts to better serve under-represented, marginalized, and at-risk students and their families.

“All of Arizona’s students deserve the chance to succeed and reach their full academic potential, regardless of their background,” said Superintendent Hoffman. “This leadership position is among the first of its kind in the nation. It reflects my administration’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion both in our internal practices and in the state policy we help drive.”

Among other responsibilities, the new Associate Superintendent will be tasked with identifying opportunities for cross-agency collaboration, developing a state strategic plan for equity initiatives, and working with the Policy & Government Relations team to propose legislative solutions to state lawmakers. The Associate Superintendent will also participate in many of the State Superintendent’s task-force groups that focus on issues of equity, such as the African American Advisory Council, Latinx Advisory Council, Culturally Inclusive Practices Advisory Council, and more.

Interested individuals can apply by e-mailing their resume and cover letter to [email protected] using the subject line “Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion.” Acceptance of applications will end on May 24, 2019. The full job description for the Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion can be found below.  

 

Associate Superintendent of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

Responsible for:

  • Leading ADE’s internal efforts to become a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.
  • Identifying opportunities for cross-agency collaboration to better serve under-represented, marginalized, and at-risk students and their families.
  • Providing ADE staff with professional development and resources focused on cultural competence and biases.
  • Leadership and oversight of program areas assigned by the Superintendent.
  • Assessing internal processes in collaboration with Human Resources to ensure that workplace policies are equitable, culturally responsive, and promote diversity.
  • Developing a state strategic plan for equity initiatives and related public policies with the input of stakeholders and ADE staff.
  • Engaging with staff, districts, and community stakeholders on equity issues and proposed solutions to strengthen communities through more equitable resources and educational practices.
  • Working with Policy & Government Relations team to propose legislative solutions for lawmakers.
  • Participating in committees, advisory councils, or task force groups that focus on issues of equity (e.g. African American Advisory Council; Culturally Inclusive Practices Advisory Council), and support committees and ADE staff on the implementation of collective ideas and goals.
  • Monitoring statewide data on achievement gaps among groups of students and bring together ADE staff and other stakeholders to develop strategies and solutions.
Posted in Announcements, News, Press Releases | Tagged , , , |
Published: April 26th, 2019

Updated Residency and Enrollment Guidelines

To provide clarity and guidance to school districts, the Arizona Department of Education has updated its residency and enrollment guidelines.  An Arizona driver’s license is one type of documentation that may be used to prove Arizona residency, but parents are not required to produce one to enroll their children. Other acceptable forms of documentation include, but are not limited to, utility bills, bank or credit card statements, or payroll stubs.

For more information and a complete list of acceptable documentation that can be used to establish one’s residency in Arizona, please see the following documents:

Residency & Enrollment Guidelines – English

Formulario de Documentación de Residencia en Arizona – Espanol

Posted in Press Releases |
Published: April 11th, 2019

Superintendent Hoffman Celebrates Repeal of Anti-LGBTQ Curriculum Law

Today, the state legislature fully repealed anti-LGBTQ legislation regarding HIV/AIDS curriculum, sometimes referred to as the “no promo homo law,” with strong bipartisan support, and the Governor signed it into law minutes later. This repeal means students will no longer be denied access to medically accurate, science-based information regarding HIV/AIDS.

More importantly, after nearly three decades of this law placing stigma on our LGBTQ community, the repeal sends a signal to every student, teacher, and family in Arizona that they are welcome in our schools – regardless of who they are and who they love.

I ran for Superintendent of Public Instruction because I saw firsthand the impact of these laws in our classrooms. I knew we could no longer stand by and allow discriminatory practices to be our status quo. Equality Arizona, GLSEN Phoenix, Aunt Rita’s Foundation, Planned Parenthood Arizona, one n ten, ONE Community, Human Rights Campaign, Arizona School Boards Association, Arizona Education Association, Arizona Students’ Association, and many more groups have long fought for this bill’s repeal. I also want to thank Senator Martín J. Quezada for his tireless leadership on this issue.

I applaud my colleagues in the legislature for taking this important step toward building a better and more equal state. Today, and every day, we say: all are welcome in our schools.

Posted in News, Press Releases |