Education Report: Disciplinary Actions For Arizona Educators Is Under Reported

By Alexandra Olgin
Published: Wednesday, December 9, 2015 - 6:05pm
Updated: Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 8:31am
Alexandra Olgin/KJZZ
Diane Douglas

The Arizona Department of Education released a report about undocumented educator disciplinary actions.

In the past five years 34 percent of those actions weren’t recorded in at least one database. The investigative unit is under the supervision of the Arizona State Board of Education. It’s in charge of updating state and national databases with disciplinary actions, among other tasks.

State schools chief Diane Douglas said this report is an excellent opportunity to make legal her case that she has authority over board employees.  

“I mean the law is crystal clear. There is no ambiguity of the law," she said. "State employees that serve the state board work under the direction of ADE.”

Douglas filed a lawsuit this summer claiming she controls board of education staff. It was dismissed, but is pending appeal. She and the board are involved in another legal dispute about remote computer access.

Board president Greg Miller said the two units used to be housed under one roof, but were separated in 1998.

“I think there is a need to keep the investigative unit separate from the certification, application, review, renewal process,” Miller said. “One is an administrative one; one is basically an investigative process.” 

Miller and other board members acknowledged the reporting gaps and said they will work to fix it.

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