Arizona schools chief Hoffman scolds Trump on threat to cut funding

Jul 9, 2020, 1:30 PM

(AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)...

(AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

(AP Photo/Jonathan J. Cooper)

PHOENIX — Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on Thursday pushed back against a threat from President Donald Trump to cut funding for schools that don’t fully reopen for in-person instruction during the coronavirus pandemic.

Hoffman also expressed doubt over Arizona schools’ ability to reopen for limited in-person learning Aug. 17 since case numbers continue to skyrocket in the state.

“These threats are not welcome here in Arizona,” Hoffman told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show. “We are facing such a crisis here and it’s very disorienting when just a week ago, Vice President Pence said he was sending Arizona 500 doctors because he recognized the severity of the crisis here.

“I think the federal government needs to realize that those kinds of comments are not appropriate and not welcome here in Arizona.”

Trump’s remarks came Wednesday as part of his push to reopen schools prior to the Nov. 3 general election. He also questioned guidelines on how to properly reopen schools from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Doug Ducey delayed the start of in-school instruction on June 29 because of Arizona’s rising COVID-19 cases.

Hoffman said she’s been discouraged about the possibility of reopening because the numbers aren’t getting better.

The rate of positive PCR tests in Arizona reached 13.9% Thursday. That rate was 12% on June 30 and 6.7% on May 31.

Hoffman said a positive rate near 5% is what the state is looking for in order to feel comfortable about reopening schools to students.

“We are still experiencing a significant spread in terms of the outbreak of COVID-19 here in Arizona. I share the goal of wanting so badly to open our schools,” Hoffman said.

“That is what’s best for students. It’s just been incredibly challenging for our teachers and families transitioning to online or distance learning.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

A Phoenix Police SUV with lights on at a crime scene at night...

Phoenix police arrest 2 suspects linked to home burglary

Phoenix law enforcement arrested two suspects after a break-in on Saturday evening near 43rd Avenue and Northern Avenue.

3 hours ago

File photo of crime scene tape in Phoenix...

David Veenstra

Police investigating fatal hit-and-run collision in north Phoenix

Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run collision that killed a female pedestrian in north Phoenix on Saturday.

4 hours ago

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village. (MCSO Photo)...

David Veenstra

Motorcyclist dead after crash in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek

A man died after a motorcycle crash early Sunday morning in Desert View Village, near Cave Creek, according to authorities.

5 hours ago

World's Biggest Bounce House (XL Event Lab photo)...

Damon Allred

World’s Largest Bounce House coming to Phoenix for weekend stop on nationwide tour

The Big Bounce America is bringing its coterie of inflatable attractions to Phoenix this weekend, featuring eight inflatables.

6 hours ago

Singer Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant performs onstage during day two of the 2021 Pilgrimage Musi...

Damon Allred

Grammy-winning Cage The Elephant announces Phoenix stop during North American tour

Grammy Award-winning rock band Cage The Elephant announced a stop in Phoenix on its upcoming summer tour in conjunction with a new album.

7 hours ago

SkyBridge Arizona is an emerging business park in Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport. It, along with othe...

Ron Davis/Phoenix Business Journal

Major aerospace developments near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport move forward

The skyline around Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport has some changes in store, including major aerospace develoments.

8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.


Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Arizona schools chief Hoffman scolds Trump on threat to cut funding