In Rare Move, Arizona Takes Control of a Local School District

June 29, 2018

When Robert Donofrio retired as the longtime superintendent of Murphy Elementary School District in 2004, the small district had a "well-regarded" reputation, he said.

Murphy led its cohort of low-income, urban Phoenix schools in student achievement, and the district appeared to be a model of cohesiveness among parents, educators and community members.

Fourteen years later — as superintendents came and went, teachers cycled through in droves, and a large swath of parents became disillusioned with district leadership — Murphy's fate now rests with the state.

Monday, the Arizona State Board of Education unanimously voted to appoint a receiver to oversee the district's operation amid a $2.2 million spending deficit that publicly unraveled years of tension within the community and mismanagement in the district.

“If we don’t give them help, I don’t know what’s going to happen with these children. I think they’ve suffered enough.”

State intervention in public schools is rare in Arizona, and it is unclear how many years the receivership process will last for Murphy.

View Full Story From the Arizona Republic