Maricopa County School Superintendent
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|County School Superintendent of Maricopa County|
|Term length||No term limits|
|Inaugural holder||John T. Alsap|
|Formation||February 21, 1871|
The position of Maricopa County School Superintendent is created by the Arizona Constitution and charged with the general conduct and supervision of the public school system in Maricopa County, Arizona (AZ Constitution Article 11 Section 2). The Superintendent is one of six county-wide elected officials, elected by the voters of Maricopa County every four years.
Since the inception of the office, there have been thirteen Maricopa County School Superintendents. The incumbent, Steve Watson, took office January 1, 2017.
The Maricopa County School Superintendent's office is located at 4041 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ.
The Office of the Maricopa County School Superintendent was first established with the creation of Maricopa County in 1871. Governor Anson P.K. Safford appointed John T. Alsap as the county's Probate judge on February 21, 1871. As Probate judge, Alsap served as ex officio superintendent of the county schools. Alaap served as Maricopa County School Superintendent from 1871-1875.
Powers and Duties
The powers and duties of the County School Superintendent are stated in the Arizona Revised Statute § 15-302.
School Governing Board Elections
Arizona Revised Statute § 15-421 states that the County School Superintendent shall publish (on the Superintendent's website) information about each governing board candidate. Current governing board members in Maricopa County are listed on the official website.
School Governing Board Appointments
The Arizona Revised Statute § 15-30 gives the County School Superintendent authority to appoint governing board members of school districts to fill all vacancies. The term of an appointed member shall be until the next regular election for governing board members, at which time a successor shall be elected to serve the unexpired portion of the term.
Within thirty days after notification of a vacancy, the school district governing board may recommend up to three names to the County School Superintendent for consideration of an appointment to fill the governing board vacancy. The County School Superintendent is not required to appoint a governing board member from the list of nominated candidates submitted by the governing board. However, the County School Superintendent will consider the governing board’s candidate nominations.
The County School Superintendent, if he/she deems it in the best interest of the community, may call a special election to fill the vacancies. If an election is called, the newly elected member shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired portion of the term.
Bonds and Override Elections
The County School Superintendent shall contract with the County Board of Supervisors conduct all regular school district elections. The Superintendent is responsible, in cooperation with the governing boards and the board of supervisors, for all special school district elections.
School Fiscal Agent
Governing boards are required to make an annual report to the County School Superintendent on or before October 1 in the manner and form and on the blanks prescribed by the superintendent of public instruction or county school superintendent. The board shall also make reports directly to the county school superintendent or the superintendent of public instruction whenever required.
Parents (or person with custody of the child) that wish to homeschool a child must file a notarized affidavit of intent form with the County School Superintendent registering that intent within 30 days from the time the child begins to attend a homeschool. The County School Superintendent does not oversee or monitor in any way the instruction provided in a homeschool.
Accommodation School District
The County School Superintendent is granted the authority to provide educational services of an accommodation school to the school districts in the county. The Maricopa County School Superintendent's accommodation school district is known as Maricopa County Regional School District #509.
The Maricopa County School Superintendent provides a number of services to schools and districts within Maricopa County. Current services are provided in the areas of school finance, business education partnerships, STEM, and human capital management systems.
The Maricopa County School Superintendent must hold a basic or standard certificate to teach in Arizona.
|John T. Alsap||1871–1875|
|John H. Barry||1941–1954|
|John H. Barry||1959–1968|
|Richard L. Harris||1969–1989|