Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 13:44, 15 July 2013 by Kristen Mathews (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
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

John Huppenthal.jpg
Name:  John Huppenthal
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 3, 2011
Compensation:  $85,000
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
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 John Huppenthal, first elected in November 2010. The post of superintendent will next come up for election in 2014.

Before becoming superintendent, Huppenthal served from 2004 to 2010 in the Arizona Senate. He was a state representative from 2001 to 2004 and a member of the Chandler, AZ City Council. Huppenthal also worked as a senior planning analyst for the Salt River Project, an Arizona power and water utility.[1]


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.[2] If no candidate receives a majority (over 50%) of the votes, a run-off election is held between the two candidates that received the largest amount. If the two candidates in the run-off 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.

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:[3]

  • 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:[4]

  • 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


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


In 2010, the superintendent of public instruction received compensation in the amount of $85,000.[5] The exact pay rate of the superintendent is determined by the Arizona Commission on Salaries for Elective State Officers, which submits recommendations for elective state officer salaries to the governor every even-numbered year. Unless those recommendations are changed or rejected by the governor, they became effective on the first Monday of January of the following calendar year. The superintendent's compensation was most recently adjusted in January 2013.[6]

State budget

The budget for the Department of Education in Fiscal Year 2012 was $3,493,488,000.[7]

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

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Arizona + Superintendent + Public + Instruction

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact info


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

See also

External links