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Diane Douglas to conduct second statewide tour in October

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas is planning another statewide tour for October.

Douglas recently completed a “listening” tour of the state,. where she received more than 3,000 comments she received either at events or via social media, Education Department Spokesman Charles Tack said.

She plans to respond to the comments when she visits the same cities during her “We Heard You” tour in October. Tack said the locations of the events may be different.

Tack said the top issue for commenters was the lack of funding going to Arizona schools.

“It’s impacting particularly our teachers, particularly our students, and all of our schools and districts are feeling the pinch,” he said. “That’s something that we heard everywhere we went.”

Tack said Douglas’ tour has led her to create a new position in Flagstaff to try to encourage new teachers to stay in Arizona.

“They will be working quite closely with the Teacher Preparation Program at Northern Arizona University to insure that (we can keep) the great number of teachers that go through that program in Arizona when they’re ready to start in the classroom,” he said.

Tack said the hire has not been finalized.