Amendment to bill would prohibit teachers from discussing controversial policy & social issues not essential to learning objectives - AZEdNews
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Amendment to bill would prohibit teachers from discussing controversial policy & social issues not essential to learning objectives

An Amendment Added To Senate Bill 1532 By House Education Chair Michelle Udall Would Prohibit Schools From Requiring Teachers To Attend Training On Race, Ethnicity Or Sex Or Discuss Controversial

Click here for coverage May 10 and going forward

Updated May 5, 2021: An amendment to Senate Bill 1532 by House Education Chair Michelle Udall would prohibit schools from requiring teachers to attend training on race, ethnicity or sex; prohibit teachers from discussing controversial public policy or social issues that aren’t essential to course learning objectives; and allow the court to impose a $5,000 civil penalty for each violation.

The bill is similar to ones introduced recently by Republicans in Texas, Arkansas and other states.

Supt. of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman shared her take on the bill.

Senate Bill 1532 would also prohibit teachers from assigning projects that involve engaging in lobbying or public policy advocacy.

Later today, the measure was approved along party lines by House Republicans.

In an Arizona Capitol Media article, Rep. Michelle Udall said “It simply prevents teaching our students that their race determines their character, treatment or worth. Biased, unbalanced teaching hurts children.” 

But in the same article Rep. Randall Friese said, “It is not propaganda that our country enslaved people for 400 year. It is not propaganda that native tribes had their land taken by our forefathers.” 

Now, the amended version of SB 1532 returns to the Senate, which approved an earlier version of the bill without the amendment.

Save Our Schools Arizona also weighed in on the bill.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 866.022 today from 865,280 yesterday, and 17,360 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 539,632 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 115,462  in Pima County, 51,561 in Pinal County, 37,117 in Yuma County, 22,748 in Mohave County, 18,789 in Yavapai County, 17,778 in Coconino County, 16,237 in Navajo County, 11,943 in Cochise County, 11,338  in Apache County, 7,920 in Santa Cruz County, 6,911 in Gila County, 5,555 in Graham County, 2,459 in La Paz County and 572  in Greenlee County.

Arizona Dept. of Health Services Interactive Graphic: (Hover over counties and boxes for more info)


Let a teacher know why they’re so important to your student and your family during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Hear what initiatives teachers would like to start for their students and apply for an AZEdNews Classroom Grant for your idea.

See how Alhambra Elementary School District students came together to create something that will benefit future students at their schools.

Hear what two Flinn Scholars have planned for their future.

Higley High School criminal justice students did these activities to determine what driving impaired is like.

Avondale Elementary School District honored Lillian Linn, who was named 2021 Catalyst for Education by School Connect.

The Arizona Council on Economic Education reminds teachers it’s time to sign up for their annual summer boot camps.

Dysart Schools celebrates Transportation staff who have kept students safe going to and from school.

West-MEC thanks teachers for all they do to prepare their students for life and careers.

Peoria Unified celebrated two Pride of Peoria winners on their campuses.

Updated May 4, 2021: Preschool enrollment and funding has dropped nationwide and in Arizona, according to The State of Preschool Yearbook from the National Institute for Early Education Research.

Hear about key finding from the research on KJZZ 91.5 FM.

In response to commentary by a news radio host and listeners earlier today about speakers at Arizona School Boards Association’s The Equity Event, ASBA released the following statement.

“Public schools have a responsibility to ensure the highest ideals of justice, citizenship and human dignity are demonstrated and upheld, from the governing board table to the classroom. They must stand committed to leading toward and advocating for more equitable and inclusive educational environments, free of racism, where every student, teacher, staff, parent and community member is treated with dignity and respect. As an association, we have that responsibility, too, and we take it seriously,” ASBA said. 

“In fact, in June 2020, the ASBA Board of Directors passed a  resolution  condemning racism and affirming the association’s commitment to equity – the opportunity, access and inclusion necessary for every student to succeed. The resolution affirmed that ‘purposeful action against all forms of racism, both individual and organizational, is necessary to dismantle racism,’ ”  ASBA said.

“Today, an Arizona talk radio host singled out two of our speakers who spoke at our invitation at the ASBA Equity Event. Although the event featured 30 speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds and races, and tackled the difficult but important subjects of culture, race and ethnicity and their impact on students and education, these two speakers — who are Black — were singled out, maligned and their comments were mischaracterized. As an organization committed to equity and also to being anti-racist, we believe it necessary and appropriate to condemn this,” ASBA said. 

“In addition to being simply wrong, such tactics and portrayals harm all students. When concepts like equity are wrongly defined or misinterpreted, with racist intent or not, it puts up roadblocks to the school board’s essential work of building greater opportunity, access and inclusion so that every student can succeed, regardless of their culture, race, ethnicity, family income, home setting, ability, gender or any other influence or characteristic that can contribute to inequities,”  ASBA said. 

“We have never shied away from the fact that pursuit of greater equity is hard work. It’s part of our core beliefs. Rest assured, we will not shy away from the work itself, either. Arizona’s students are worth it – and they are counting on us,” ASBA said.

“We have said it before and will continue to say it again. School board members should never feel that they are placing themselves or their families at risk by serving their communities or doing what is right for kids. Remember, ASBA is here to serve you and will always be your association,” ASBA said.

In addition, ASBA also released a FAQ on School Board Safety, Open Meeting Law and Parental Rights in response to people recently protesting mask policies at School Governing Board Meetings in Vail School District, Sahuarita Unified School District, and Chandler Unified School District.

Gov. Doug Ducey signed Senate Bill 1453 today allowing community colleges to offer four-year degrees.

Take a few minutes today to thank a teacher for all they’ve done for you, your children and other students to help you succeed and to be there when you need support during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Arizona Education News Service thanks teachers and encourages them to apply for the AZEdNews Classroom Grant to make their visions a reality.

Cave Creek Unified and Dysart Unified students thank their teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in Arizona rose to 865,280 today from 864,579 yesterday, and 17,355 have died from the virus, said the Arizona Department of Health Services.

In Maricopa County, there are 539,080 confirmed cases of COVID-19, 115,437  in Pima County, 51,492in Pinal County, 37,110  in Yuma County, 22,724 in Mohave County, 18,766 in Yavapai County, 17,764 in Coconino County, 16,224 in Navajo County, 11,935 in Cochise County, 11,335  in Apache County, 7,920 in Santa Cruz County, 6,908 in Gila County, 5,554 in Graham County, 2,459 in La Paz County and 572  in Greenlee County.

Here’s how to stay curious and calm when you encounter ideas that don’t match your world view.

Higley Traditional teacher Emily Asay says orchestra was her favorite class in school and now she enjoys sharing her passion with her music students.

This year’s college graduates are entering a much stronger job market than last year’s graduates.

Mesa Public Schools celebrates their Food and Nutrition Staff for the work they do to ensure students and healthy and ready to learn.

See how mindfulness can help alleviate with symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Cactus High School received a grant to support their new innovation center, robotics, cybersecurity and crime scene investigation programs.

Washington Elementary School District honors an employee that manages attendance for six learning models at one of their schools.

Deer Valley Unified honors it’s junior high spiritline for winning the cheer and pom state championships.

Earlier coverage

April 28 to May 3, 2021: Thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week for all they do for students

April 21 to April 27, 2021: 3 years after Red for Ed there’s much left to do

April 12 to April 20, 2021: How & why teachers discuss trial with students; Schools keep masks after Gov. rescinds mandate

March 29 to April 9, 2021Children, young teens may be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine before next school year

March 15 to March 26Masks are still required in all schools; Video: Dr. Christ’s news conference today

Feb. 24 to March 11, 2021: COVID-19 aid funds will help AZ students, families & schools

Feb. 11 to Feb. 23U.S. Dept of Ed: Students must take standardized tests, but there’s flexiblity on when & how

Feb. 2 to Feb. 9Video: Supt. Hoffman gives State of Special Education address

Jan. 21 to Feb. 1Black History Mural Month Project to highlight pioneers of the Black community launches in Phoenix

Jan. 10 – Jan 20How students engage with Inauguration Day

Dec. 21, 2020 to Jan 8, 2021Teachers help students deal with attacks on Congress, Capitol

Nov. 30 – Dec. 16Watch it now: Dr. Christ asks people to avoid holiday gatherings with people they do not live with

Nov. 18 – 25COVID-19 cases rise before Thanksgiving adding to school and hospital leaders’ concerns

Nov. 16: More schools return to online learning as COVID-19 cases rise

Nov. 2 – 13: $19 M grant would help schools with teacher development, stipends, reading & math curriculum, summer ed resources and more

Oct. 20 to Oct. 30: AZDHS amends COVID-19 school benchmarks

Oct. 7 – Oct. 19What are teachers doing ahead of elections to support students afterwards

Aug. 25 – Sept. 8: Parents voice concern about online class size; school nurses prepare for students

Aug. 12 – Aug. 24: Students, teachers affected by Zoom outage

July 30 – Aug. 11Parent organizes co-op for learners; group rallies for in-person school days after benchmarks release

July 13- July 30: Teachers prepare for digital learning and back to school

June 29 – July 12Video: Gov. says ‘Goal is to get children back to school when it’s safe;’ Schools lay out learning models

June 29: Video: Gov. delays in-person classes to Aug. 17 due to rise in COVID-19

June 15 – June 29: Video: Gov. pauses re-opening of some businesses as COVID-19 cases rise

June 24: Plan provides more funding, flexible instruction as schools re-open

May 26 – June 12: Increase in COVID-19 cases marks a new daily high

May 20 – 25: AZ Dept. of Ed releases COVID-19 guidance to schools for summer programs, back to school

May 11 – 19: Arizonans consider workplace safety, what back to school will look like amid COVID-19

April 26 – May 10: Stores re-open, COVID-19 testing blitz resumes on Saturday

April 8 – 25You can get tested now if you think you’ve been exposed to COVID-19

March 12 – April 7, 2020Coronavirus response: Cases rise; AZ Day of Giving prohibit requi