ASBA Connect E-News


Ask the Advocacy Team – When Will Laws from Arizona’s Marathon Legislative Session Take Effect?

A Benefit of ASBA Membership

By Chris Kotterman, ASBA Director of Governmental Relations

Chris Kotterman

After a record 204 days, the Arizona Legislature ended its session on July 31. Although not much happened for the last 50 days or so, they still counted. Congratulations, you’ve had the honor of bearing witness to the longest Legislative session in Arizona history. The unseasonably late conclusion makes this interim a little unique.

Question: When do all the laws passed by the Legislature become effective?

Answer: Arizona’s Constitution (Article IV, Part 1, Section 1, if you’re interested) provides for a time for all laws passed by the Legislature to become effective each year, unless they are passed with an emergency clause. That date, called the general effective date, is fixed at 90 days from the official end of the Legislative session. Usually, the general effective date is sometime right about now (or earlier if we’re lucky). This year, the general effective date is October 30, 2023. Happy 288th birthday to John Adams, our 2nd president! Or, perhaps more timely, happy 27th birthday to Devin Booker.

Question: How many new education laws are there?

Answer: Compared to previous years, not that many. At the very end of the session, we were only tracking about 20 bills directly impacting K-12 education that were signed (not including the budget). This is owing in part to the governor’s free hand with the veto stamp this session, as at least an equal number of education bills were among her single session record of 143 bills vetoed.

Question: How can we find out about what’s changed?

Answer: I’m so glad you asked! First of all, we will be covering changes to the statutes at ASBA’s 47th Annual Law Conference on September 6-8th, so if you’ll be there, you’ll get first crack at this information.

Second, we will be holding our annual ASBA/ASA/AASBO Session Wrap Webinar on September 13 at 2 p.m. So, if you can’t make it to the law conference or need a brief refresher, we will be presenting on the bills passed this year during that webinar, which will run about 75 minutes. Register for the webinar at this link.

Governmental relations folks from our partner organizations will also be on hand to help make sense of it all for you. These changes will also form the basis for board policy updates which will be forthcoming for ASBA policy services subscribers.

It’s a privilege to serve ASBA’s membership as their representative before the Legislature, the governor, and other governmental entities in our great state. Thank you for all you do for Arizona’s students.


Connect, Collaborate, and Thrive at County Meetings in Spring and Fall


ASBA is thrilled to announce a dynamic change in our county meetings – now happening in both fall and spring! This exciting shift allows us to engage with our members throughout the year, fostering deeper connections, sharing insights and building a stronger community.

Our commitment to your growth and success remains unwavering, and these revamped county meetings will provide more opportunities to connect, collaborate and thrive together. Get ready to be part of year-round ASBA engagement, empowering you every step of the way.

What does this mean for your county? ASBA will be hosting county meetings with county director elections this fall, including:

  • Graham and Greenlee Counties: Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Duncan USD
  • Pima County: Thursday, Sept. 28, at Flowing Wells USD
  • Navajo/Apache/Coconino Counties: Saturday, Sept. 30 (Location to be determined)
  • Maricopa County: Monday, Oct. 16, at Tempe UHSD
  • Pinal County: Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Casa Grande ESD
  • Yuma County: Wednesday, Oct. 25, at Gadsden ESD
  • Cochise County: Thursday, Nov. 2 (Location to be determined)

County meetings that do not have county director elections will take place in spring  2024. We understand this may cause an inconvenience for our members, and we apologize up front for this change. ASBA is working on finalizing dates and locations for these county meetings soon:

  • Gila County
  • Yavapai County
  • La Paz County
  • Mohave County
  • Santa Cruz County

By shifting half the county meetings to the spring, ASBA staff will engage year-round with all members, enhancing the quality and interactivity of these events.

Registration for this member-only event is $40. We can’t wait to welcome you to your ASBA County Dinner and Meeting. The enthusiasm and energy of fellow members coupled with the enriching content and festivities are bound to make this an event to remember.

Remember to register now to secure your spot at these exciting gatherings. We’re looking forward to seeing you there! All details can be found on the ASBA website:

ASBA Embarks on a Bold Rebranding Journey: Your Feedback Is Key

School board members after a session at the 2022 ASBA Law Conference. Photo by Jade Frazier/ ASBA

At ASBA, we’re embarking on an exciting journey of rebranding, and your feedback is crucial in shaping this transformation. As our valued members, your insights are the compass guiding us toward a fresh and invigorated identity.

Your perspectives will shape not only the new face of ASBA but also the experiences, resources and opportunities we offer.

Join us in this collaborative effort during Alliance and Caucus meetings at the Law Conference, at county meetings, or participate in the upcoming member survey (Sept. 1 – Nov. 2) to redefine our association and create a future that resonates with all of us.

Your voice matters and together we’re building a stronger ASBA.

Thanking Tracey Benson for 15 Remarkable Years: Best Wishes on Her Next Chapter

Tracey Benson

Associate Executive Director Tracey Benson has resigned from ASBA effective Aug. 15, 2023. She will be missed as she was a great asset to this organization for nearly 15 years.

Tracey served in her most recent role since 2014, providing outstanding support to Arizona school board members. Previously, she was ASBA Communications Director for almost three years, and before that she served as ASBA Chief Communications Officer for three years.

We are very appreciative of all the hard work Tracey has done over the past 15 years, and we wish her the best.

Unveiling the Law Conference Guidebook: Dive into Sessions, Speakers, and More! 

2023 Law Conference Guidebook cover

View the Law Conference and Pre-Conference agendas, learn more about keynote speakers, choose your breakout sessions and see what new experiences are available at the 47th Annual Law Conference in the Law Conference Guidebook on the ASBA website at

Join the Gavel Hunt at the Law Conference and Win Big!

Find a gavel at the 2023 Law Conference and be entered in a drawing for a free ASBA-ASA Annual Conference registration!

Take part in the Gavel Hunt, a new activity at the Law Conference, for an opportunity to win one free registration for the ASBA-ASA Annual Conference!

Find an image of Gary the Gavel scattered around the Law Conference, then bring the image to the ASBA table to be entered into a drawing to win one free registration to the Annual Conference.

Want a seat at the table? Run for ASBA Executive Committee  

Desiree Fowler

If you’ve ever thought about serving on the ASBA Board of Directors Executive Committee, now is the time to find out more on the ASBA website at and view a video by ASBA Past-President Monica Trejo


Next, view Executive Committee position descriptions for president-elect, treasurer and secretary to decide which one you’d like to be a candidate for.

Then complete the online application form, which will open on Oct. 9, 2023 and close at 5 p.m. on Nov. 2, 2023.

The officer application consists of:

  • Basic information about the applicant’s board service.
  • A snapshot of the individual’s recent involvement with ASBA.
  • Narrative questions designed to demonstrate the assets the individual will bring to the ASBA Board of Directors if elected.

Applications will be reviewed by the ASBA Nominating Committee, which is comprised of a diverse group of currently serving board members from throughout the state. No interviews are required.

The ASBA Nominating Committee will review eligibility requirements and will put forth a slate of all eligible candidates for each position: president-elect, treasurer and secretary. All eligible school board members will be notified by the Nominating Committee chair to move forward as candidates.

On Thursday, Nov. 16, 2022, all ASBA members will receive an “ASBA Officer Voting Guide” featuring all candidates for each position with comprehensive information provided by each candidate in their application.  

Election of officers will take place on Thursday, Dec. 7, 2023 during the ASBA Annual Membership Meeting during the ASBA-ASA Annual Conference at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix. Every ASBA member district is eligible to send a delegate to cast its vote. 

All eligible candidates put forth by the Nominating Committee must be present at the ASBA Annual Membership Meeting to be elected and will have the opportunity to give a speech of up to two minutes.

Individuals may also choose to run from the floor for one of the three positions and will have the opportunity to make a two-minute speech. No information about individuals who choose to run from the floor will be presented to members in the “ASBA Officer Voting Guide.”   

If you have questions about the application or nominating process, please contact ASBA Chief of Staff Kristi Sisk at or 602-254-1100.   

Empower, Celebrate, Inspire: Apply for ASBA Awards 

Apply now for 2023 ASBA Awards opening Sept. 18 and closing oct. 15, 2023

Get ready to share your accomplishments with other school districts around the state by applying for ASBA awards!

In mid-September, you’ll receive a postcard-sized brochure in the mail highlighting three of ASBA’s prestigious honors and the criteria for each award.

Then get together with your team to share the amazing work your district and board do by completing ASBA awards online entry forms on the ASBA website at when they open on Sept. 18, 2023 and close at 5 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2023.

Also, please submit your nominations for the Barbara Robey School Board Member of the Year Award before entries close at 5 p.m. on Aug. 29, 2023 at

When you apply for ASBA awards, you honor your staff and governing board for all they do for students and your communities. You also inspire school districts throughout the state to build on your legacy by sharing your processes so they can adapt it to meet their students’, schools’ and communities’ needs, making us stronger together.

Applying for awards is one way to engage with your association, and it is a key measurement in the ASBA member engagement survey.

Spotlight on Service: Navajo County Director Jarrahlyn Begaye Champions Student Voices  

See why Navajo County Director Jarrahlyn Begaye says she serves as a school board member.

Throughout the year, Connect will highlight your ASBA Board of Directors and content from the Journal. This week, learn a little more about why Navajo County Director Jarrahlyn Begaye serves her community. 

ASBA Executive Search Facilitates Transparent, Inclusive Superintendent Searches  

Roosevelt ESD Superintendent Dr. Dani Portillo gives a student a high five in the classroom. Photo by Jade Frazier/ ASBA

ASBA Executive Search has helped governing boards in 12 Arizona school districts find their new leader in this past fiscal year. 

Among those new educational leaders are Clarkdale-Jerome ESD Supt. Matthew Schumacher, Creighton ESD Supt. Jay Mann, Ganado USD Supt. Dr. Leandra Thomas, Naco ESD Supt. Rusty Taylor, Prescott USD Supt. Clark Tenney, Roosevelt ESD Supt. Dr. Dani Portillo, Sacaton ESD Supt. Robert Lewandowski, Tonto Basin ESD Bobbie Warren, Ray USD Supt. Anthony Morrison, Quartzsite ESD Supt. Brad Pico, Littlefield USD Supt. Troy Heaton and Sedona-Oak Creek USD Supt. Dr. Tom Swaininger.

“Competing for this step in my career was challenging! Thankfully, the process that ASBA used was clear, fair and transparent,” said Roosevelt ESD Supt. Dr. Dani Portillo. “The search team members were so communicative and positive. I also valued the care and approach they took to include our community’s input both in person and digitally in both Spanish and English.”

Unlike other search firms, ASBA Executive Search encourages the board to identify who they should interview, facilitates support including pre- and post-search sessions for the whole board, and offers a reasonable pricing model, based on ADM that provides members with exceptional value and attentive service.

“ASBA’s Executive Search process was immensely appreciated. We at Sacaton Elementary School District #18 are appreciative of all the guidance, direction and support provided by ASBA in assisting us in hiring our superintendent,” said Governing Board President Karen White.

Whether you’re a small, rural district or a district in downtown Phoenix, ASBA Executive Search can assist you in finding the best candidates. From helping your board become search ready, to launching a statewide or nationwide search, to assisting you with a smooth transition post-search – ASBA Executive Search has you covered.

In addition, ASBA Executive Search is familiar with Arizona politics and issues that affect education, participates in a national network of school board association searchers, has knowledge of governing board meeting notices, offers comparative salary and benefit survey information gathered annually by ASBA from Arizona superintendents and provides an ASBA public relations plan to introduce a new superintendent to the community.

Find out more at If you have questions, please contact Ben Adams at or (602) 254-1100.

ASBA Events and Webinars

Upcoming ASBA Events

ASBA 47th Annual Law Conference 
Sept. 6, 2023 – Sept. 8, 2023 (Register July 10, 2023 – Aug. 18, 2023)

ASBA Delegate Assembly
Sept. 9, 2023 from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. (Registration opens July 10, 2023)

ASBA County Meetings 2023 
Sept. 18, 2023 – Spring 2024  (Register July 7, 2023 – 1 week before the meeting)

Apply to become an Executive Officer Candidate
Oct. 9, 2023 – Nov. 2, 2023

ASBA-ASA 66th Annual Conference 
Dec. 6, 2023 – Dec. 8, 2023 (Register Oct. 16, 2023 – Nov. 22, 2023)

ASBA Annual Membership Meeting at ASBA-ASA Annual Conference
Dec. 7, 2023

View all ASBA events on the ASBA website.

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