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Education Bills in the Arizona Legislature – January 23rd, 2023

If you’re interested in education politics, this is the place to be! These are the education bills to watch in the Arizona State House and Senate this week.

HB2057

Sponsor: Diaz

Co-Sponsor: Pingerelli

HB2057 amends ARS 15-553 related to the classification of educators in the classroom. Currently, the statute prohibits a school district from employing a teacher if the teacher has not received a teaching certificate granted by the proper authorities. This amendment would force schools to reclassify candidates enrolled in a classroom program as employees. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

HB2291

Sponsor: Cook

Co-sponsors: Hendrix, A. Hernandez, L. Hernandez, Peña

HB2291 provides a way for school boards unhappy with their superintendent to rescind or terminate a superintendent contract without the ability to recover damages or compensation for the remainder of the contract’s term. Suppose a Governing Board determines that the superintendent violated governing board policy, or one or more schools have been assigned a D or F letter grade for at least three years. In that case, the governing board can terminate the superintendent. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

HB2421

Sponsor: Gress

HB2421 would require that each school have at least one employee with a valid CRP certificate, mandate that each charter and public school provide all school personnel with at least one CPR training session per year, and establishes that all schools provide annual CPR training for high schoolers and at least one training for middle school students. However, the bill does not require that certified CPR trainers provide CPR training and does not provide an additional budget for this training. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

HB2459

Sponsor: Pingerelli

Co-sponsors: Bliss, Carter, Chaplik, Gillette, Gress, Hendrix, Marshall, McGarr, Carroll, Wadsack

HB2459 prevents a school district from employing, including employment through a third-party contractor, any individual who served on the school district’s governing board during the preceding two years. It also allows the governing board to extend the prescribed prohibition to more than two years. In a time where we have a mass shortage of educators and staff, should we introduce bills preventing the employment of qualified individuals? Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

HB2460

Sponsor: Pingerelli

Co-sponsor: Pawlik

HB2460 exempts a school district or charter school from having to meet the prescribed criteria for the suspension of a pupil in kindergarten or the 1st-4th grades if the suspension does not exceed two days. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

HB2504  

Sponsor: B. Parker 

Co-Sponsors: Carter, Grantham, Heap, Hendrix, Jones, Kolodin, Livingston, Marshall, J. Parker, Smith, Fransworth, Gowan, Petersen, Wadsack

HB2504 would expand the School Tuition Organization (STO) voucher program to students in foster care. The STO program is a dollar-for-dollar tax credit that provides scholarships to students to attend Arizona private schools. Costing Arizona taxpayers $2.1 billion since the program’s introduction in 1998, the program’s cost has skyrocketed in recent years – with $250 million in donations resulting in tax credits in 2021. Arizona public schools are funded so poorly that we’re in the bottom five nationwide, yet there is a push to expand taxpayer dollars to private education entities further. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, January 24th. 

SB1044

Sponsor: Kavanaugh

SB1044 requires a school superintendent or person suspending a pupil for nonattendance, including being truant or having an unexcused absence for less than one class period, to transfer the student to a location isolated from other students on school premises and provide the student with academic work during the suspension period. It specifies that a suspension for nonattendance may be provided during or after school hours. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, January 25th. 

SB1054

Sponsor: Gowan

SB1054 will establish procedures for eligible nonprofit organizations to apply to be an instructional service providers of civics education and leadership development to public and charter schools. Any provision requiring nonpartisanship or preventing political influence is absent from this bill. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, January 25th.

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