Gov. Hobbs hoping to work with schools chief Horne on education, ‘taken aback’ by his priorities

Jan 13, 2023, 5:13 PM
(KTAR News Photo)...
(KTAR News Photo)
(KTAR News Photo)

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs is hoping to collaborate with public schools chief Tom Horne on the state’s education future, but the Democrat is anticipating some ideological challenges.

“He is very interested finding areas of common ground and I think for the benefit of our teachers and students, we have to do that,” Hobbs told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Gaydos and Chad on Friday about Horne, a Republican.

“I was a little taken aback by his priorities laid out in his inaugural address, so we’ll see.”

Horne and Hobbs met to discuss education prior to last week’s inauguration ceremony, a conversation both parties said was productive.

Even so, Hobbs believes their priorities aren’t fully aligned.

Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday he wants to “get rid of all those distractions” and “get the emphasis back on academics.”

“I mean, he’s completely focused on discipline,” Hobbs said.

“It is important but I think his focus on that really kind of puts him out of touch with what I’m hearing from teachers and parents and students about what they need in their classrooms.”

Hobbs’ budget proposal, released Friday, has a heavy focus on education.

Among those priorities are better resources and support for students and teachers, which includes teacher retention and raising salaries.

“We need to support teachers to be able to have that classroom management,” Hobbs said. “I don’t know that Tom Horne’s answers are the right answers.”

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Gov. Hobbs hoping to work with schools chief Horne on education, ‘taken aback’ by his priorities