Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is defending the automated calls in which he promotes private schools.
PHOENIX (AP) _ Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal is defending the automated calls in which he promotes private schools.
Huppenthal's call was sent to 15,000 homes in poor-performing school districts in Tucson and Phoenix.
In the robo-call, Huppenthal explains Arizona's Empowerment scholarship program, which offers money to parents who send their children to private schools
The Arizona Education Association calls the recording ``pathetic.'
But Huppenthal defends the call. In an interview with KPNX, he says he's the superintendent of public instruction not the superintendent of public schools.
The call is part of a $250,000 media campaign promoting the program.
The call directs parents to the Goldwater Institute website and was put together by the D.C.-based Alliance for School Choice.
STATEMENT FROM SUPT. HUPPENTHAL:
“As Superintendent of Public Instruction, the voters of this state elected me to lead our public school system and work to ensure every child in Arizona has access to quality education.
My remarks regarding Empowerment Scholarship Accounts and my reason for agreeing to inform families of this opportunity was to apprise parents of a unique program, not advocate for private school instruction over that of a public school education. These scholarship accounts provide a unique option for children with disabilities, members of military families and students attending failing schools, which includes, but is not limited to attending a private school.
I want to make it clear that I have the utmost respect and admiration for all of our public school teachers. I work tirelessly every day to assure teachers and educators are supported, students are provided with excellent education opportunities and parents have information they need to make quality choices for their children. I have great regret if any member of the public school system felt anything less than my full appreciation for what they do on a daily basis.”