Arizona schools chief Kathy Hoffman names biggest success of tenure
PHOENIX — As she seeks reelection, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman on Monday named her biggest success in office and acknowledged an area where more could have been done.
Hoffman, who assumed office in January 2019, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad Show her proudest achievement is the work that’s been done to support students and their mental health.
“We know, especially during the pandemic, that mental health was a huge challenge for our kids and families,” the Democrat said.
“We worked in a bipartisan way with the Legislature to add tens of millions of dollars to our school safety grant program, which has added hundreds of school counselors and social workers.”
Hoffman said federal funds were invested to help reduce the student-to-counselor ratio by 20%, “meaning more kids in our schools have access to mental health supports and resources that they need.”
Hoffman is in a tight reelection race against Republican nominee Tom Horne, who previously held the office from 2003 to 2011. Early voting for the Nov. 8 general election is underway in Arizona.
On what could have been done differently in her initial term, Hoffman said more needs to be done around school safety.
“I launched the school safety task force back in 2019 and I think that’s an area where we need to bring that group back together,” she said.
Hoffman said she’s concerned about schools lacking the necessary resources for planning and doing risk assessments.
“There’s all these different components that I think our schools continue to need more support on,” she said.