In August of 2020 The Arizona Republic asked the Maricopa County School Superintendent candidates a series of questions.
How would you improve the financial accountability of schools and governing boards?
The first tool I have as County School Superintendent is to appoint fiscally responsible school board members in the event of a vacancy. In education, fiscal responsibility means focusing our tax dollars on the classroom. This can be in the form of hiring the right number of teachers to ensure a productive class size, or perhaps increasing teacher pay, especially for outstanding teachers. In Arizona our districts run relatively lean budgets compared to other states, and that’s why principals and teachers have been asked to step up and play bigger roles in student success. That is where our money should be focused – at the school and classroom level. Sometimes districts begin to show signs of financial trouble, and that’s when our office steps in. We work to ensure proper audits, and if necessary we use our expert financial management staff to get districts back on track.