Friday, February 13, 2015

Dynamic Duo Discord: Douglas' firing of Board of Education staff overturned by Ducey, Douglas dumps on Ducey

BAM!!! Douglas fires Board of Education staff.

BAM BAM!!! Ducey says she does not have the legal authority.

BAM BAM BAM!!! Douglas accuses Ducey of dictatorship.

Let's all go to the lobby, Let's all go to the lobby, Let's all go to the lobby, to get ourselves ...

I'm thinking to move to Phoenix and set up a popcorn/candy/soft drink counter at the capitol. This is great theatre.

Here is the scoop from Arizona Capitol Times.

Gov. Doug Ducey today said education Superintendent Diane Douglas lacks the legal authority to fire two top State Board of Education staffers.

Why would she do that so soon?

Greg Miller, president of the Board of Education, told the Arizona Capitol Times that Douglas attempted to fire Thompson and Vazquez in an effort to halt the implementation of Common Core, the controversial K-12 learning standards that she campaigned against in 2014.

Here is more.

Douglas on Wednesday fired Executive Director Christine Thompson and Assistant Executive Director Sabrina Vazquez. But Ducey said he spoke with his legal counsel and determined that only the Board of Education has the authority to fire its employees.

"We don’t think anybody’s been fired," Ducey told reporters. "The board has the legal authority, and they have not yet acted. So that’s where we are."

Ducey added, "We’re going to follow the law in this administration."

Douglas issued a press release early this afternoon responding to Ducey’s determination that her decision to terminate Thompson and Vazquez is not legal.

"Governor Ducey apparently views himself as both governor and superintendent of schools. For someone who has spent so much time discussing the plain meaning of ‘or vs. and’ as a justification to deprive schools of hundreds of millions of dollars to give to his corporate cronies as tax cuts, I wish he would use the same precision in looking at the plain language of the law with regard to the powers and duties of the Superintendent of Public Instruction," she said in the release. (See the full statement below.)

State statute says that the Board of Education shall "employ staff on the recommendation of the Superintendent of Public Instruction."

The Governor’s Office also cited a 1985 legal opinion from the Arizona Attorney General’s Office stating that the statute gives the board the power to dismiss its employees.

"In the case of employees of the board, the hiring recommendations of the superintendent of public instruction are subject to the final approval of the board. The power of appointment likewise extends to the power to dismiss," the opinion read.

Read the full article here or link from the Politics UNCUFFED Facebook page (h/t Julie Erfle) or check out the AZ Daily Star -- all have the same stuff.

BTW, I'm betting on Ducey winning this one. Douglas needs to do her homework and pick her battles. What comes to mind? How about the matter of school funding?

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