Douglas vs. Ducey: Showdown over board firings

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has overturned the firing of two top officials at the Arizona Board of Education by the state's schools chief in a quick rebuke to another elected official by the new governor. 2/12/15
There is a political power show down between the Governor and the State Superintendent of Public Education.

Just weeks after being sworn into office, Gov. Doug Ducey and Diane Douglas have been involved in a very public battle. 

After Douglas tried to fire two state Board of Education employees, Ducey came out saying she doesn't have the power and the staffers were not fired.

Douglas responded by lashing out at Ducey in a long statement, mostly attacking him.

She wrote: "Governor Ducey apparently views himself as both Governor and Superintendent of Schools... Governor Ducey has refused to take calls or meetings with me personally since his swearing in." "It is no surprise that his office supports retaining two liberal staff who have publicly stated they will block all efforts to repeal or change common core."

"I was a little embarrassed, quite frankly for the position and the state," said former State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jaime Molera. 

Molera is a Republican and previously had Douglas's job. He was one of 40 education and business leaders who met with the Governor this morning in an emergency meeting where Ducey explained his stance on the issue.

"The State Board of Education is part of our constitution, and it has to be adhered to. They are the policy making body for K-12, and you might disagree with them, you might want to make changes to them, but you shouldn't just want to blow it up and go around it, and unsurp their constitutional powers," he said.

Gov. Ducey's office issued a statement this afternoon. "Governor Ducey is disappointed Superintendent Douglas has chosen this path. His office will continue working every day to improve educational outcomes for every Arizona child, and he hopes she joins that conversation."

"The Governor is doing what he needs to do, be the professional, be the adult, and try to bring people together and try and resolve this," said Molera.

>>READ: Arizona Dept. of Education fact sheet

>>READ: Superintendent Douglas' statement on Gov. Ducey's decision

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