Keep politics out of the classroom or she won’t vote for education budget

Supporters of #RedforEd at a protest hosted by the Arizona Education Association at the Arizona State Capitol on April 30, 2018. Photo by Gage Skidmore | Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Other Republicans have conditions for their votes

By Jeremy Duda | Arizona Mirror

Rep. Kelly Townsend says she won’t vote for the K-12 education portion of the proposed budget unless the legislature passes her plan to crack down on politicking in the classroom by teachers, which she wants as a response to the #RedForEd movement that culminated in a historic teachers’ strike last year.

Townsend, a Mesa Republican, said her new proposal has some significant differences from one she pushed earlier in the legislative session.

Her original measure, House Bill 2015 would have barred employees of public schools from school time or resources to espouse political ideology or religious beliefs. Teachers who violated the law would have faced fines of up to $5,000. It also allowed for those teachers to be fired.

The House Education Committee approved HB2015 in February. But the bill languished after that, never receiving a hearing in the House Rules Committee or in the full House of Representatives. Democratic lawmakers, public school advocates, the Arizona Education Association and others lambasted Townsend for legislation that they said was an attack on teachers and payback for the #RedForEd movement, which she vociferously opposed.


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