Arizona superintendent of public instruction candidate Michelle Udall now looks to govern schools

Michelle Udall/Gage Skidmore/Flickr

By Yana Kunichoff | Arizona Republic

The past year has been busy for Michelle Udall.

As chair of the House education committee, Udall sponsored legislation that would make significant changes to how schools in Arizona function, from revamping the state’s school funding structure to opening a pathway for out-of-state charters to take over Arizona’s lowest-rated schools. 

Now, one of the leading legislative voices on education policy is looking to move to governance.  

Udall is one of three Republican candidates running for the position of Arizona superintendent of public instruction.

She is no stranger to politics. The educator and mother of four married into a family with a lengthy political lineage and has served in the Legislature since 2017. 

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Her most recent campaign filings for the first quarter of 2022 show she has raised $15,152, the least of any of the candidates. (She turned in the paperwork 38 days late and was fined $725.)

Udall, who said she has focused less on fundraising because of her work during the legislative session, says she is all in for the superintendent role. It would shift her relationship with the governor, with the public and, she hopes, offer a new way to find solutions for Arizona’s education struggles. 

“I don’t want to keep trying to solve problems from the outside legislatively,” said Udall. “They really need to be solved from the inside — and it’s where I feel like I can do the most good.” 

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