By Christine Accurso |
Arizona families need a complete change in our state’s Department of Education. The current superintendent, Kathy Hoffman, has not served Arizona’s children well, and she needs to be replaced. With the election upon us, NOW is the time for change.
For far too long, the Department of Education has placed its focus on teachers. But while the needs of teachers are important, the primary focus should always be on students. That’s why we need someone who will change the focus of the entire department to a service-oriented organization—and who will build a team that wants to serve the people of Arizona. The public servant that we need is Tom Horne!
Tom will not need any training. He successfully led this department before, and he will hit the ground running to get our children back on track immediately. Tom is an attorney and has served in the legislature and as our state attorney general. He supports the new ESA school choice law and wants to see that program serve our children well. Tom has met with many of Arizona’s families and has truly listened to our needs. I have full confidence that he will address them immediately when he is in office.
In contrast, under Kathy Hoffman, our children’s test scores have been plummeting. She pushed for extended school closures during the pandemic. She violated our families by releasing sensitive, private information on our children during the data breach of 2020. She pushed for professional development under gender and sex topics and equity, diversity, and inclusion. She also pushed to repeal the “No Promo Homo” law and started a “Q chat” on the ADE website where any child can be easily groomed or confused when exploring their sexuality online, away from their parents. The last four years have been dreadful for everyone except the unions who back her.
The role of the Superintendent is to execute the state education laws and the State Board of Education policies. The Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) law is administered by the Superintendent, and the State Board of Education writes the policies and rules around this program. It has been in effect for over 10 years. As our current Superintendent, Kathy Hoffman has publicly stated that she wants to see an end to the program and has proven in the last four years that ESA Students who are in the program are not her priority. The fact that she picks winners and losers and plays games with our children’s education proves that she is not a good leader. Every single child matters and deserves an education that they will thrive in.
It’s time to turn our focus back to the children of Arizona. The most important focus is the academic success of our children in the core areas of study. This is a very important race, and I implore all of the people in Arizona, especially parents and grandparents, to support Tom Horne so that our children will be front and center again. Our children deserve the very best, and our families deserve to have a fully functioning Department of Education.
Christine Accurso is a wife, mother, and ESA parent who led the charge for the Decline to Sign Movement. You can follow her on Twitter here.