Rep. Gillette’s Bill Seeks To Bring Transparency to The Classroom
By Daniel Stefanski |
District and charter schools have been under much more scrutiny from parents since COVID-19, and one bill from an Arizona Representative this session seeks to increase awareness and understanding on what is being taught in children’s classrooms.
The legislation, HB 2533, which was introduced by Representative John Gillette, deals with posting requirements for classroom instruction. According to the overview provided by the State House of Representatives, this bill “directs a school district or charter school, for each school, to post a free electronic copy of specified classroom instruction materials on its website.” These materials include “each educational course of study offered, a list of all learning materials being used (including the source of any supplemental educational materials, and each lesson plan being used or implemented.”
Representative Gillette’s piece of legislation has 13 co-sponsors both in the House (Representatives Biasiucci, Grantham, Gress, Harris, Jones, Kolodin, Marshall, B. Parker, Peña, and Smith) and Senate (Senators Borrelli, Rogers, and Shamp).
HB 2533 passed out of the Education Committee on Tuesday, February 14, with a party-line 6-3 vote – with one member absent. Republican Representatives David Cook, Liz Harris, Lupe Diaz, Michele Peña, David Marshall, Sr (Vice Chairman), and Beverly Pingerelli (Chairman) voted in favor; while Democrat Representatives Jennifer Pawlik, Laura Terech, and Nancy Gutierrez voted against passage. Democrat Representative Judy Schwiebert was absent from committee action Tuesday and did not cast a vote.
After introducing his bill on January 24, Representative Gillette tweeted a picture of the bill and co-sponsor list, writing, “You demanded school transparency during the campaign…This will require public schools to put the curriculum, program of instruction and vendor on-line free of charge.”
In an exclusive interview with AZ Free News on why he supports this legislation, Representative Austin Smith (and bill co-sponsor) said, “Curriculum transparency is paramount for parents to have total autonomy over what their children learn in school. This is a great step in the right direction for parents.”
Senator Sonny Borrelli, also a co-sponsor of HB 2533, told AZ Free News that he supported this bill because “transparency to empower parental authority is a good thing.” Responding to a question from AZ Free News on this bill, House Majority Leader Leo Biasiucci stated, “This bill will allow parents to know exactly what is being taught to their children.”
This bill generated a great deal of interest – both in support and opposition – in the lead-up to the committee hearing and vote. The Arizona Association of County School Superintendents, Stand for Children, the Arizona School Administrators Association, the Arizona Education Association, Save Our Schools Arizona, the American Civil Liberties Union of AZ, and the Arizona Charter Schools Association were recorded among the hundreds opposing HB 2533 in the Arizona Legislature’s system.
The Center for Arizona Policy listed HB 2533 as one of its “Other Bills of Interest.”
Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.