The theme of next month’s Tucson Ministry Alliance breakfast is “Collaboration with Government”. Our Arizona Senate has displayed a great example of how legislation can be executed with stakeholder collaboration. SB 1211, introduced by Senator Nancy Barto, provides parents with the ability to have transparency of curriculum and educational material taught in the K-12 classrooms of district schools. This legislation is modeled after a national movement championed by the Goldwater Institute called the “Sunlight in Learning Act”.
When this bill was introduced, many parents, teachers and school districts had different opinions of the merits of this legislation. Senators sought input from a broad base of stakeholders. One of the most valuable collaborators was representatives of the one of the best school districts in the state, the Vail School District. Their schools are some of the highest performing with excellent teacher retention. With Vail School Districts help, amendments were added and the bill passed the Arizona Senate. It is now on its way to the House of Representative and tomorrow, March 22nd, it will be heard by the House Education Committee. Here’s a link to the floor speech from LD 11 Senator Vince Leach that describes how they collaborated, followed by testimony from other senators.
This legislation allows parents to not only see online what their children’s school is teaching, but what other district schools are teaching. It also helps teachers see what other successful teachers are offering their students. Parents might object to subjects such as Critical Race Theory, Comprehensive Sexuality Education and ideology they may deem harmful to their children. They also may want to send their children to the schools that offer the very best core curriculum. With this knowledge, parents can work with their teachers and school boards to strive for excellence.
Sometimes picking a new school is best for families. Arizona is a national leader in school choice. Open enrollment allows parents to pick the very best district schools for their children. Other options are charter schools, virtual schools, private schools and home schools,
Want to know more about school choice and funding assistance? This Friday, 4Tucson is having a free breakfast hosted by Fernando Gonzales with the Libre Initiative. The expert speakers will be Kim Kirschner, executive Director of the Institute for Better Education and Esly Montenegro, the Arizona Implementation Director of the American Federation for Children. I urge you to register right away to reserve a seat at this informative event.
We want our children to be like the seeds planted in good soil.
Mark 4:20 “But those that were sown on the good soil are the ones who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.”
Action! Please contact the members of the House Education Committee today and ask them to vote yes for SB1211, transparency in learning. Hearing is at 2 pm, Tuesday March 22nd.