Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Huppenthal: I am NOT the superintendent of public schools

In an interview with 12News reporter Brahm Resnik today, Republican John Huppenthal, who currently holds the position of Superintendent of Public Instruction for the State of Arizona, actually said, "I am NOT the superintendent of public schools."

Of course, to understand this gigantic faux pas, one should have the context.

Which is that Huppenthal, aided and abetted by the Greedwater Institute (right-wing advocacy cabal) and the Republican legislature, recorded a 30-second robocall message that was reportedly broadcast today to 15,000 households promoting Hupp's effort to further undermine public schools.

Apparently, the robocall campaign is part of a $250,000 media campaign promoting "Empowerment Scholarship Accounts," state money that pays for private schools and supplies, according to Resnik. He also reports that the legislature is poised to expand those ESAs to include more than half of all students in Arizona. "Giving private schools potentially a new way to siphon off a lot of students from public schools."

Huppenthal contends, says Resnik, that public schools are failing the poor.

Then, in Huppenthal's own words and own voice, "I'm somebody who defines all students as being members of the public. I don't define some students as not being members of the public. I'm the Superintendent of Public Instruction not the Superintendent of Public Schools."

Now, that sounds like an argument. But it is unclear exactly what argument Huppenthal is trying to make.

This brazen robocall effort to further undermine Arizona's public schools was met by outrage. Arizona Education Association advocate Jennifer Loredo called Huppenthal's robocall "pathetic." Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction David Garcia's campaign issued the following statement:
Dr. David Garcia, an Associate Professor at ASU and candidate for Superintendent of Public Instruction declared, “This is outrageous. The head of public schools should be working to improve our public schools, not abandon them. If Mr. Huppenthal has neither the will nor the expertise needed to help our public schools, then it’s time he step aside and let someone qualified get to work.”
Sharon Thomas, the other Democrat campaigning to replace Huppenthal as Superintendent of Public Instruction, wondered aloud why we would expect anything different from Huppenthal. At best, his claims to support public education have been disingenuous. She said that it's been clear from before he took the office that Hupp has been intent on dismantling public schools.

More than one source has mentioned that Huppenthal has ties to ownership of charter and/or private schools. Expect more details on those ties very soon.


  1. If a military commander at Fort Huachuca suggested that we should divert our tax money from US troops and send it instead to a local militia, Arizonans would respond with immediate outrage.

    Why would we divert tax dollars from our highly trained troops - the men and women who we entrust with our national defense - to a private militia group that is not accountable for how they would train their members?

    We have also invested in our military infrastructure: bases, machines, arms, programs. Why then would we then elect to toss our defense tax dollars to the wind and hope that an assortment of private militias would be a better 'choice'? "Hope" is the key word here, since private groups do not have to be transparent with our public dollars. A private militia scheme - like private schools - would not need to disclose detailed performance statistics, fiscal records, or even how tax dollars are being spent.

    We are being played by fools right now. Anyone who doubts this just needs to reflect on Huppenthal's brazen actions -- or Senator Steve Yarbrough's unapologetic self-legislation to fund his own private STO scheme. These men believe that Arizonans can be so easily distracted by political party labels and ideological confetti that we'll just continue to look the opposite way as they plunder our limited state resources and drive our public schools -- the absolute foundation of our state economy -- straight into the ground.

    I, for one, hope that they are wrong.

    1. Well said, PJ. Don't forget Eddie Farnsworth, LD22 Republican and member of the K-12 Education Committee. On the side he is President and Executive Director of Benjamin Franklin Charter Schools.

      These crooks have counted on the public being ignorant, the media looking the other way, and the teacher's "union" cowering in fear for decades.