ASBA Connect E-News


Arizona must respond to Treasury Department on how to remediate State and Local Recovery Funds

Last month ASBA announced it was part of a coalition of education and children’s advocacy organizations, as well as

On Tuesday, the U.S. Treasury Department notified the state that using federal COVID relief money to provide funds to districts that do not have mask mandates in place is not permissible under the terms of the American Rescue Plan Act.

The American Rescue Plan Act awarded states discretionary funds as State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF), and Gov. Ducey used these funds to create two programs: the Education Plus-Up program, which conditions additional funding for school that did not receive at least $1,800 per student in ESSER funds on those schools not requiring masks, and the Pandemic Recovery Benefit program, which offers a $7,000 grant to parents to send their child from a school where masks are required to a school where they are not.

A letter addressed to Gov. Ducey from the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo, indicated that both the governor’s Education Plus-Up program and the Pandemic Recovery Benefit program, had provisions that effectively offered funds in exchange for not using face coverings, and that “a program or service that imposes conditions on participation or acceptance of the service that would undermine efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 or discourage compliance with evidence-based solutions for stopping the spread of COVID-19 is not a permissible use of SLFRF funds.”

The state now has thirty days to respond to the Treasury Department stating how it will “remediate the issues identified,” and states that failure to do so may result in further administrative action.

Read full letter here.

Wednesday Webinars: School Finance 101: Budget Basics, Part 1

Wednesday, Oct. 14, 4:00-5:00 p.m. Register now!

Join us for the first in a four-part series on the budget basics school finance. Learn what board members need to know about this complex, critically important part of ensuring all students succeed. Part one will cover accountability, Arizona’s equalization formula, the Auditor General’s Report and much more.

If you can’t attend the webinar live, receive a recording directly to your email by registering for the event in advance.

Presented by:
Julie Bacon, Leadership Development Manager
Melissa Higdon, Senior Advisor, Analytics, Forecast Five,
Tracey Benson, Associate Executive Director
Plus special guests!

Interested in becoming an officer on the ASBA Board of Directors? Application opens Tuesday, Oct. 12

Grab a seat at the table and get involved with ASBA!

Five officers serve as the executive committee on the ASBA Board of Directors. They are the president, president-elect, treasurer, secretary and immediate past-president. Each position is held for a one-year term. The officers serve on the board alongside 17 county directors and ex officio voting members that include caucus and alliance presidents.  

Election of the president-elect, treasurer and secretary are held each year at the ASBA Annual Membership Meeting. Application and deadline for applying to become an officer candidate opens Tuesday, Oct. 12

Those interested in running for president-elect, treasurer or secretary for 2022 must submit an online application by 5 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (The online application opens Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021.)  

HNAIC asks to fix structural gap that has lasted 25 years on ASBA Board of Directors

The Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus would like to celebrate by asking member districts to vote yes on a change to the ASBA bylaws to create a seat on the ASBA Board of Directors so that a Hispanic AND a Native American representative can serve at the same time.

In 1996, a group of Arizona school board members gathered together to form the Hispanic-Native American Indian Caucus (HNAIC). Their goal was to ensure that the needs of Hispanic and Native students were known and addressed at the state level. The founders believed that representation on the Arizona School Boards Association Board of Directors was necessary to help achieve that goal, and through a change to the bylaws a single seat was added. It was progress, but it created a structural gap in representation that has lasted for 25 years. The seat alternates in two-year periods from a Hispanic representative to a Native American representative. 

View detailed information on this bylaw amendment as well as information on casting your board’s vote.

Voting is now open and will stay open through November. Not only do we need you to participate in the vote, but we also urge you to vote yes so that no students are left behind and no community goes unrepresented. 

Policy Advisory update 712-715

Due to a recent ruling by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper that parts of House Bill 2898 are unconstitutional and void, Policy Services has determined that Districts and Charter Schools may rescind Policy Advisory 700 if adopted or, if not yet adopted, eliminate this PA from Governing Board or Governing Body consideration.  Although this ruling came from a Maricopa County judge, it is legally effective throughout the state.

Additionally, there is language in Policy Advisories 687, 690, and 708 that came from HB2898 that should be rescinded or eliminated from consideration as appropriate for the same reasons. Please note that while PA 700 should be rescinded or eliminated in its entirety, these three PAs are only changed in part.

As laws change and new opinions are issued by the courts and legal officers, ASBA Policy Services subscribers receive policy model revisions so compliance may be maintained. To request access, policy service subscribers may contact Renae Watson, policy services technician, at or 602.254.1100.

National School Boards Association asks for federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence against public education leaders

In a letter to President Biden released this week, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) has asked for federal assistance to stop threats and acts of violence against public schoolchildren, public school board members, and other public school district officials and educators. In June, ASBA also took a stance on this issue. Read ASBA statements: Harassment, threats and purposeful disruption cannot be accepted or tolerated and Organizations that stand with school boards.

“America’s public schools and its education leaders are under an immediate threat,” reads the letter signed by NSBA President Viola M. Garcia and NSBA interim Executive Director and CEO Chip Slaven. “The National School Boards Association respectfully asks for federal law enforcement and other assistance to deal with the growing number of threats of violence and acts of intimidation occurring across the nation.”

The letter asks the federal government to “investigate, intercept, and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against public school officials through existing statutes, executive authority, interagency and intergovernmental task forces, and other extraordinary measures to ensure the safety of our children and educators, to protect interstate commerce, and to preserve public school infrastructure and campuses.”

Read more here

Apply for ASBA Annual Awards

Nominations close Oct. 22

It’s your time to shine. We want to celebrate your district’s achievements! Participate in the ASBA Annual Awards Program.

This year, we are seeing nominations for the following awards:

Lou Ella Kleinz Excellence in Governance Award

The Lou Ella Kleinz Excellence in Governance Award is ASBA’s highest honor for a full board. This award recognizes an Arizona school board that has demonstrated outstanding education leadership for the year.

All-Arizona School Board Member Award

The All-Arizona School Board Member Award is ASBA’s highest individual board member honor. This award is bestowed on up to five Arizona school board members who exemplify best practices in boardsmanship, understand their roles and follow through on their responsibilities.

Honor Roll Award

The Honor Roll Award recognizes retiring board members who were nominated by their boards for outstanding service.

ASBA Golden Bell Promise Program Award

The Golden Bell Awards recognizes school initiatives from throughout the state that maximize the promise in each and every student and have shown outstanding student growth and success.

ASBA Pillar Award for Advocacy

The Arizona School Boards Association Pillar Award for Advocacy recognizes school board members for service in the advocacy arena that goes above and beyond their regular board duties. The pin will be awarded to members who have accumulated a total of 125 points based on the below activities.

School district governing board membership in the Arizona School Boards Association is required to nominate/apply for an award and to receive an award.

All nominations and entries must be submitted using the online forms. Nominations are now open and close Oct. 22.

Please note: The Honor Roll Award is the only award that closes November 20 (for recognizing retiring board members)

Chris Thomas, General Counsel and Associate Executive Director resigns from ASBA

Chris Thomas, General Counsel and Associate Executive Director has resigned from ASBA effective October 4, 2021. He will be missed as he was a great asset to this organization over the past 22 years.

Chris served in this role since 2000 and has provided outstanding legal information and support to Arizona public schools.

We are very appreciative of all the hard work Chris has done over the past two decades, and we wish him the best. During this transition if your district needs assistance with policy or legal services, please call 602-254-1100 and ask to speak to David DeCabooter who has agreed to step into the role of Interim Director of Legal Services effective immediately while we establish a timeline for the search process.

AZEdNews celebrates Indigenous Day: How a school district honors Indigenous Peoples Day

Arizona voters statewide showed support for school mask mandates to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and school Tempe Union High School District will be one of many schools observing Indigenous Peoples Day on Monday, Oct. 11 by not holding classes. Once referred to as Columbus Day, Indigenous Peoples Day celebrates the people……read full article

ASBA Events and Webinars

September 21 – November 4, 2021: ASBA (Virtual) County Meetings 2021

December 15-18, 2021: ASBA-ASA 64th Annual Conference

Upcoming ASBA Webinars

October 13, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Webinars: School Finance 101: Budget Basics, Part 1

October 27, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Webinars: 10 Questions Every Board Should Ask About Student Achievement (Equity Lens)

November 3, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Webinars: School Finance 101: Budget Basics, Part 2

November 17, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Webinars: The Board Presidency: What Does It Entail and Is It Right for You?

November 29, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Lunch and Learn Webinar: Ask the Experts: An Interactive Conversation

December 8, 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Webinars: School Finance 101: Budget Basics, Part 3

Plus more! You can find all Wednesday webinars on the ASBA webpage, Can’t view the webinar live? No problem. Go ahead and register and you will receive the recording automatically by email so you can view it later. There is no cost to register for this webinar.  We encourage advance registration.

AZEDNews Featured Articles

Advocates turn in signatures to put tax cuts that impact education funding on ballot

Judge rules in mask mandate lawsuit

What schools can do to help Latino students impacted by policies, rhetoric

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