Letter of Support from State Superintendent of Public Instruction

October 26, 2023

Sent Via Email to: [email protected]
[email protected]

U.S. Department of Education
Attn: Secretary Miguel Cardona
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Dear Mr. Secretary,

I am the Arizona elected State Superintendent of Schools.

I am writing you on behalf of Grand Canyon University. They report to me that they have been subjected to a lot of harassment from the Federal Department of Education which is unjust. I can speak to you from a half century of experience about the value that they give to the education system in Arizona.

I was first elected to the school board for Arizona's then third largest district in 1978. Starting in my first year on the school board, I was hearing about how the best teachers always come from Grand Canyon University. I served 24 years on the school board, 10 as its President, and continued to hear the same things.

I served four years in the legislature as chairman of the Academic Accountability Committee and continued to hear the same things.

I was first elected superintendent of schools of the state of Arizona in 2003 and served eight years until 2011. There was a two-year term limit. As Superintendent, I continued to hear the same thing.

In 2010, I was elected Arizona Attorney General, and later, returned to private practice of law.

The term limit is only for sequential terms, so last year I was elected state Superintendent of Schools again. As State Superintendent of Schools, I serve on the Board of Regents that regulates the universities. I am investigating on behalf of the Board of Regents the education being given to students at the teachers colleges, because I believe that some of our problems in our schools stem from bad education of teachers at teachers colleges. Grand Canyon University is an exception.

In the public universities, we have some professors who use their positions to push their political ideology. That is not true of Grand Canyon University. Their students are connected to a K-12 school the second semester of their freshman year, so their education is oriented toward obtaining the skills to be a good teacher, rather than political ideology which I am sorry to report happens elsewhere.

Grand Canyon University has graduated 30,000 students in each of the last two years, and GCU’s College of Education has approximately 3,000 students enrolled in licensure programs in Arizona which makes their graduates absolutely crucial to my goal of increasing academic performance in our schools. I am requesting that your department sit down with Grand Canyon University and work out any differences. They are a major ally to my effort to raise academics in Arizona schools, and any harm you did to them would do harm to my goal of academic excellence.

Thank you.


Tom Horne
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Arizona Department of Education

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