During the 2023 General Legislative Session, lawmakers have proposed bills addressing curriculum, instructional materials, library books and transparency. They seek to micro-manage and overregulate public schools while failing to require any accountability or transparency of private schools receiving voucher money.
Repeatedly, UEA has asked legislators to demonstrate more trust for professional educators and local school boards and enact less regulation.
CALL TO ACTION:
Please email, call and text your senator and representative. The end of the session is Friday, March 3.
Find your legislator’s contact information here. Your personal experience in your school is most effective when speaking with lawmakers.
BILLS OF CONCERN:
SUGGESTED TALKING POINTS:
- Every year, the legislators create dozens of new requirements, regulations, and expectations for public schools. Lawmakers must stop micro-managing and start trusting professional educators.
- These bills ignore the fact that educators must teach the course standards adopted by the State Board of Education using curriculum and instructional materials adopted by their local school board. Lawmakers should reject bills perpetuating the myth that public schools “indoctrinate” students.
- The Utah Legislature already addressed curriculum and so-called “controversial” topics. A 2021 Extraordinary Session addressed critical race theory, diversity, and equity. In 2022, the State Board subsequently implemented R277-328 Educational Equity in Schools.
- If legislators have concerns about implementation, then the legislature must stop passing unfunded mandates and focus on funding professional training for educators.
- Library and instructional materials have already been addressed by the legislature. In 2022, the legislature passed HB 374 Sensitive Materials. As a result, districts and charter schools have implemented policies to review and, when warranted, remove inappropriate instructional materials.
- LEAs have spent extensive time, money and resources to develop policies in compliance with the law. Now, the legislature wants to move the goalpost and create new requirements for policies that have only been in effect for a few months.
- Cookie-cutter legislation from other states is not the “Utah way.” Legislators must focus on finding Utah solutions for Utah schools.
- Every child in every community must feel welcomed and thriving in our public schools. Legislators must not create policies that restrict the ability of educators and schools to understand and support students.
- No student should ever be the victim of bullying, harassment or discrimination. Legislators must focus on policies that foster inclusive school communities and not those that isolate or shame.