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Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

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Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $3,493,488,000
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Arizona Constitution, Article 5, Section 1 (Version 2)
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Diane Douglas.jpg
Name:  Diane Douglas
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 5, 2015
Compensation:  $85,000
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Arizona Executive Offices
GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerSuperintendent of Public InstructionAuditorAgriculture DirectorInsurance DirectorLands CommissionerLabor DirectorCorporation CommissionState Mine Inspector
The Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction is an elected state executive position in the Arizona state government. The superintendent oversees the state of Arizona's public school system and directs the state's Department of Education.

Current officeholder

The current superintendent is Republican Diane Douglas. Douglas took office on January 5, 2015, succeeding incumbent John Huppenthal (R), who lost to Douglas in the Republican primary on August 26, 2014. She won the general election on November 4, 2014.


The office of superintendent is established by the Arizona Constitution as part of the state's executive department.

Arizona Constitution, Article 5, Section 1 (Version 2)

The executive department shall consist of the governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction...


The Arizona Constitution requires all of the officers in the state's executive department, including the superintendent of public instruction, to be at least 25 years old, a U.S. citizen for 10 years, and an Arizona resident for five years.

Arizona Constitution, Article 5, Section 2

No person shall be eligible to any of the offices mentioned in section 1 of this article except a person of the age of not less than twenty-five years, who shall have been for ten years next preceding his election a citizen of the United States, and for five years next preceding his election a citizen of Arizona.


Arizonans elect their superintendent of public instruction in midterm election years (2006, 2010, 2014, etc.) for a term of four years. The winner assumes office on the first Monday of January after his or her election.[1] If no candidate receives a majority (over 50%) of the votes, a runoff election is held between the two candidates that received the largest amount. If the two candidates in the runoff receive an equal number of votes, the state legislature chooses a winner.

Arizona Constitution, Article 5, Section 1 (Version 2)

A. The executive department shall consist of the governor, secretary of state, state treasurer, attorney general, and superintendent of public instruction, each of whom shall hold office for a term of four years beginning on the first Monday of January, 1971 next after the regular general election in 1970.

B. B. The person having a majority of the votes cast for the office voted for shall be elected. If no person receives a majority of the votes cast for the office, a second election shall be held as prescribed by law between the persons receiving the highest and second highest number of votes cast for the office. The person receiving the highest number of votes at the second election for the office is elected, but if the two persons have an equal number of votes for the office, the two houses of the legislature at its next regular session shall elect forthwith, by joint ballot, one of such persons for said office.


See also: Arizona down ballot state executive elections, 2014
Superintendent of Arizona, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDiane Douglas 50.5% 740,273
     Democratic David Garcia 49.5% 724,239
Total Votes 1,464,512
Election Results via Arizona Secretary of State.

Term limits

Article 5, Section 1 (Version 2) of the Arizona Constitution limits superintendents to two consecutive terms. Former officeholders may run again after they have remained out of office for one full term.


Article 5, Section 8 of the state constitution allows governor to fill vacancies in the office of superintendent by appointment.


The superintendent of public instruction oversees and administrates the Arizona Department of Education, which manages the state's public school system. His general duties include managing the employees of the department. Other specific responsibilities enumerated by law include:[2]

  • Executing the policies established by the State Board of Education.
  • Apportioning state education funds to individual counties each year.
  • Distributes school materials, courses of study, administrative information, teachers certificates and other items to individual school districts.
  • Audits the accounts of school officials across the state with the assistance of the auditor general.
Click here to view a larger-scale image of the Arizona Department of Education Organizational Chart as of March 18, 2013.


The Department of Education includes a number of individual programs, including:[3]

  • Vocational and Technological Education
  • School Finance
  • School Accountability and Improvement
    • Student Assessment
    • Research and Evaluation
    • School Improvement and State Intervention
  • Education Services
    • Exceptional Student Services
    • English Acquisition Services
    • Early Childhood Programs
    • Title I (Financial assistance to low income areas)
    • Career Technical Education
    • Adult Education and GED
    • Standards Based Best Practices
    • Nutrition
    • Family Literacy
    • Outreach Programs
    • Innovative Exemplary Programs
  • Professional Development
    • Highly Qualified Professional
    • K-12 Literacy
  • Administration
    • Administrative Services
    • Information Technology


See also: Compensation of state executive officers

The salaries of the superintendent and other elected executives in Arizona is determined by the Arizona Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers. This five-member committee is sanctioned by Article 5, Section 12 of the Arizona Constitution. Two members are appointed by the governor and one member each is appointed by the President of the Senate, the Speaker of the House and the Chief Justice of the Arizona Supreme Court.[4]

Commission members meet prior to June 1 of each even-numbered year to produce salary recommendations for the governor. The governor may accept, reject or modify recommendations prior to delivery to state legislators. The legislature has 90 days following the governor's transmission of the recommendations to reject or modify salary proposals. If no changes are made, the commission's recommendations take effect following the next election for applicable offices.[5][6]


In 2014, the superintendent's salary remained at $85,000, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the superintendent was paid an estimated $85,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2012, the superintendent was paid an estimated $85,000. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the superintendent received compensation in the amount of $85,000.[9]

State budget

See also: Arizona state budget and finances

The budget for the Department of Education in Fiscal Year 2012 was $3,493,488,000.[10]

Historical officeholders

Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for chronological lists of historical officeholders. That information for the Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction has not yet been added because the information was unavailable on the relevant state official websites, or we are currently in the process of formatting the list for this office. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

Recent news

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Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction News Feed

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Contact info


Physical/mailing address:
1535 W. Jefferson Street
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Phone: (602) 542-5393

See also

External links