Arizona's state education boards should look like Arizona. More specifically, they should look like Arizona's students. It just makes sense that everyone has a seat at the table so the needs of all Arizona's students are considered when educational decisions are made.
And since, according to Arizona for Latino Leaders in Education (ALL in for Education AZ), 30 of the 34 board members on Arizona's three state education boards — the Arizona State Board of Education, Arizona State Board for Charter Schools and Arizona Board of Regents — are appointed by the governor, creating boards with an ethnic balance shouldn't be all that hard.
Yet only one of the 30 appointed board members is Latino, even though Latinos make up nearly 50 percent of Arizona's K-12 student population.
Eight board memberships are up for replacement now or in January, 2019. The newly formed ALL in for Education AZ sees that as an opportunity.
"Arizona for Latino Leaders in Education is calling on Governor Ducey to use those opportunities to appoint qualified Latino education leaders to fill the vacancies and ensure the boards look like Arizona classrooms."
ALL in for Education AZ held a news conference in Phoenix Thursday, August 23, to provide further information and discuss ways to improve the ethnic diversity of the state education boards. The organization plans to hold press conferences around the state, including in Tucson.
ALL in for Education AZ members include: Dr. Jacob A. Chávez, Cartwright School District superintendent; Dr. José Leyba, former public school superintendent, community college administrator and founding member of the Arizona Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents; Francisca Montoya, Co-Founder of the Arizona Latino School Board Association and Research & Planning Director at Raza Development Fund; Kurt Shephard, Chief Executive Officer of Valle del Sol Community Health; Dr. Yara Vargas-Ortiz, MD, advocate, doctor and mother; and Callie Kozlak, former Leadership for Educational Equity Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education during the Obama administration and current manager of multi-state advocacy campaigns for education policy in the Office of Research, Advocacy, and Legislation (ORAL), at UnidosUS.