Senate Education Committee Passes Curriculum Transparency Bill

sb1211
Scottsdale Unified School District mom, Amy Carney, testifies in favor of SB1211.

On Tuesday, the Arizona Senate Education Committee passed SB1211, a curriculum transparency bill sponsored by Sen. Nancy Barto.

The bill passed 5-3 along party lines.

The bill “expands statutorily-outlined requirements providing parent or guardian access to materials used for student instruction. It requires each school operated by a school district or charter school to post on its website a list of learning materials and activities including specified information and according to specified time frames depending on the topic.”

SENATE BACKGROUND – OVERVIEW

A school district governing board (governing board) must approve basic textbooks used for common school and high school courses of study. The governing board must:

1) make available, for 60 days for public review, a copy of each textbook being considered for selection at the school district office; and

2) require all committees authorized to review and select textbooks to be open to the public. For textbooks used for high school courses, the governing board must also provide information on the proposed textbooks on the school district website and provide opportunity for public comment for at least 60 days (A.R.S. §§ 15-721 and 15-722).

On written request, school personnel designated by a governing board must allow parents or guardians to access instructional materials used or being considered for use by the school district by making at least one copy of the material available for review. A parent or guardian may take printed books and materials from the school district premises for up to 48 hours and may only review all other materials on the district premises (A.R.S. § 15-730).

A parent of a student in a public educational institution has the right to review learning materials and activities in advance and may withdraw the student from a class or program using learning material, or from an activity, to which the parent objects on the basis that it is harmful, and request an alternative assignment. A charter school may require parents, as a condition of student enrollment, to waive the right to object to learning materials or activities if the school provides a complete list of books and materials before the student enrolls (A.R.S. § 15-113).

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