Arizona schools chief Horne hoping to use past experience working with Democratic governor

Jan 12, 2023, 12:00 PM

Arizona Superintendent of Instruction Tom Horne. (Facebook Photo/Tom Horne)

(Facebook Photo/Tom Horne)

PHOENIX — Republican Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne isn’t a stranger to working with a Democratic governor.

Horne, who won the Nov. 8 election, previously served in his current role from 2003-2011. The first six years of his tenure were shared with Gov. Janet Napolitano, a Democrat like newly elected Katie Hobbs.

Horne is hoping his past experience with a Democratic governor will translate well in his second stint.

“We need to cooperate — obviously that does not mean we agree on everything and there will be disagreements — but the main thrust is we need to work together because the task is to improve education in Arizona,” Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday.

Hobbs and Horne have already met to discuss their education priorities, according to the superintendent.

“My message was that we have a common interest,” Horne said.

Horne campaigned on improving test scores, an emphasis he has doubled down on since taking office.

Hobbs, in her State of the State address, unveiled an eight-part plan for education improvements.

“If our schools improve, it’s good for her and it’s good for me,” Horne said.

“If they don’t improve, it’s bad for her and it’s bad for me, so we have a lot of common interest to work together to improve the schools as much as we can.”

Horne pointed to a Napolitano initiative for all-day kindergarten — SB 1405 — as proof he can work with a Democratic governor.

“I thought that was a good idea, so we went down together and made it a bipartisan proposal,” Horne said. “We got Republican votes and it passed.”

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Arizona schools chief Horne hoping to use past experience working with Democratic governor