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President Of Arizona Education Board Quits After Long, Ongoing Feud With Schools Chief

Diane Douglas
(Photo courtesy of Diane Douglas)
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Pressured by Gov. Doug Ducey, the president of the Arizona Board of Education has quit.

Greg Miller and the board have been in an ongoing feud with state schools chief Diane Douglas almost from the moment she took office in January 2015. Douglas tried to fire two board staffers after she said they were blocking her mandate from voters to scrap the Common Core academic standards.

Ducey interceded at the time. But the problems continued.

And the governor's office press aide Daniel Scarpinato said Ducey concluded that education priorities will not get resolved with Miller at the helm of the board since Douglas, who was elected, is going nowhere for the time being.

"Something that's critical to that happening is for the board and the department to have a productive relationship in order to achieve the goals that the board has and the superintendent and the governor share," Scarpinato said.

Miller said friction continues between the board and Douglas. And he agreed with the governor that something had to give.

"She's the elected official. She's going to be there another two-plus years. So I'm the expendable piece. She is not," he said.

Miller resigned not only as president but from the entire board. That move, coupled with existing vacancies, paves the way for Ducey to name three people of his choice to the board, potentially as early as this week.