PHOENIX — Governor Doug Ducey today signed legislation that protects parents’ rights to transparency in their children’s education.
“Parents should have the right to know what their children are learning in school,” Governor Ducey said. “This is a no-brainer piece of legislation that protects our children from learning materials that aren’t suited for them. Every family has their own priorities for their children’s education, and parents should get to weigh in. I’m grateful for Senator Nancy Barto and Representative Gail Griffin for being leaders on this issue and sponsoring this legislation.”
House Bill 2035 codifies into law the curriculum transparency and parental notification measures included in Executive Order 2021-11, which Governor Ducey issued on April 20. The legislation provides parents with an opportunity to participate in, review, and provide input on any proposed sex education course of study before it is adopted. This legislation also prohibits sex education from occurring in kindergarten through fourth grades.
In addition, this bill requires schools to provide parents the opportunity to opt their children in to any instruction, learning materials or presentations related to sexuality, in courses other than formal sex education curricula. Under previous law, parents were only able to opt-out of this instruction.
The bill ensures that teaching age-appropriate child abuse prevention is not considered sex education and can be taught without these restrictions. A separate provision enacted as part of the budget further strengthens these protections.
“It is critical that we protect families from overreaching education boards,” Senator Nancy Barto said. “Transparency and parental involvement are always the best policy. And for our education system, it is critical policy. Thank you to Representative Griffin and my colleagues for supporting and passing this bill.”
Arizona is and has been a leader on parental choice. Arizona is one of only five states that has an opt-in sex education policy. Without the express authorization of a parent opting their child in, Arizona students are not allowed to receive sex education in school.
“This is an important development for parents’ right to direct their children’s education,” Representative Gail Griffin said. “There should be transparency around what kids are learning in their classrooms. Thank you to Governor Ducey for his initial executive order and his signing this legislation.”
Each school district and charter school with existing sex education instruction is required to review its course of study and comply with requirements by December 15, 2021.