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Education Bills in the Arizona Legislature – February 13th, 2023

A brief look into what’s going on with education in the Arizona legislature the week of February 13th, 2023:

HB2533

Sponsor: Gillette

Co-Sponsor: Biasiucci, Grantham, Gress, Harris, Jones, Kolodin, Marshall, B. Parker, Peña, Smith, Borrelli, Rogers, Shamp

HB2533 directs a school district or charter school, for each school, to post a free electronic copy of specified classroom instruction materials on its website. This is a near copy of a similar bill that failed to pass last year that vastly increases the amount of work for public district teachers and administrators while allowing charters and private schools to waive this requirement. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, February 14th. 

HB2539

Sponsor: Pingerelli

Co-Sponsor: Bliss, Chaplik, Gillette, Gress, Heap, Hendrix, Marshall, McGarr, B. Parker, J. Parker, Peña, Carroll, Hoffman, Wadsack

HB2539 creates the Arizona School Choice Division (Division) within the State Board of Education (SBE), outlines its duties and appropriates monies and FTEs to the Division. Alters and creates new public notification requirements for a D or F letter grade school. Essentially, this bill will appropriate $600k from the state General Fund to promote Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA) and further direct students to Charter and Private schools. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, February 14th. 

HB2786

Sponsor: Heap

Co-Sponsor: Carter, Diaz, Harris, Jones, Martinez, McGarr, B. Parker, J. Parker, Peña, Pingerelli, Quiñonez

HB2786 mandates a school district governing board (governing board) develop parental notification and access procedures if the school district is involved with a training for teachers or administrators. It requires districts to provide access to all the training materials for review. Scheduled for the House Education Committee on Tuesday, February 14th. 

SB1040 

Sponsor: Kavanagh

Co-Sponsor:

SB1040 Requires a public school to provide access to a single-occupancy or employee restroom or changing facility to a person who is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person’s sex or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters. Grants a private cause of action, against the public school, to a person who encounters a person of the opposite sex in specified areas. This bill defines sex as a person’s immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of the person’s birth, and would open Arizona and its schools to Title IX lawsuits at the cost of the taxpayer. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 15th. 

SB1674

Sponsor: Epstein

Co-Sponsor:

SB1674 would require the State Auditor General to conduct a cost study of Arizona online instruction to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and efficiently. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 15th.

SB1675

Sponsor: Epstein

Co-Sponsor:

SB1675 would require that all public and charter schools serving the 6-12 grade populations provide menstrual hygiene products free of charge in all women’s and gender-neutral restrooms in the school. Appropriates $1M for this program. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 15th.

SB1700

Sponsor: Wadsack

Co-Sponsor: Jones, McGarr

SB1700 would ban a wide variety of books from public school districts. This bill is focused predominately on gender fluidity, gender pronouns, or a very broad and inaccurate definition of what the author considers grooming and normalization of pedophilia. A parent who objects to a book because of its contents could ask the district to remove it from the library or course offerings. Books would need to be provided for public review for four months before being released to the students and ADE would need to keep a list of banned books. Scheduled for the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday, February 15th.

SB1706

Sponsor: Marsh

Co-Sponsor: Alson, Burch, Diaz, Epstein, Fernandez, Gabaldón, Gonzales, Hatathlie, Hernandez, Mendez, Miranda, Sundareshan, Terán, De Los Santons, Gutierrez, Mathis, Schwiebert, Stahl Hamilton, Sun, Terech

SB1706 requires the State Board of Education to provide a quarterly report to provide taxpayers with transparency into who is using Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA), how taxpayer money is being spent on these programs. 

Want more insight into what’s going on in the Arizona state legislature with a focus on education? Head over to Save Our Schools Arizona for their weekly update!

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