Thursday, January 12, 2017

Conflicts of Interest in Arizona -- They Don't Exist

Greg Miller, until recently, was Chairman of the Arizona State Board of Education. The fact that Miller also owns a charter school in Glendale, a suburb of Phoenix, from which he, his wife and his daughter draw more than $400,000 in salary annually is nothing special in the state of Arizona. You see, Arizona really doesn't believe in conflicts of interest. By state law, all that one must do is publicly record one's conflicts -- nothing else. No blind trusts, no selling or handing over assets to trustees, none of that. Just say that you own a dairy and that your state office buys a million dollars of milk from your dairy every year, and you are clean.

Last fall the Arizona Governor decided he wanted to remove Miller from the State Board. Miller apparently could read the handwriting on the wall and he agreed to leave. As he walked out the door, Miller told the press that he agreed to quit if he could control the wording of the press release, the timing of the announcement and got some assurances that the charter school he runs would get "political protections that I no longer could provide."

So there you have it, straight from the horse's mouth. Miller used his position as Chair of the State Board of Education not just to promote privatization of the public school system, but also to protect his own stake in the privatization campaign, his family's Challenge Charter School.

Gene V Glass
Arizona State University
University of Colorado Boulder
National Education Policy Center
San José State University

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent the official position of the National Education Policy Center, Arizona State University, University of Colorado Boulder, nor San José State University.

1 comment:

  1. Greg Miller is not alone. This is happening across the country as the greed-is-great frauds who worship at the alter of avarice, move forward with the privatization of the federal government and the end of the United States as a republic.