Due to the “RedForEd” movement that was led by teachers this year, a number of education laws have changed this year. The laws on this list will go into effect on August 3rd, 2018.
1) An education budget of $400 million was signed by Governor Doug Ducey
This was one of the main issues being pushed during a teacher walkout that shut down many Arizona schools in 2018. Included in the budget is about $273 million aimed at giving teacher pay raises next year, and $100 million in capital funding that could be used to pay for things such as new textbooks, buses or support staff pay increases.
2) Mandatory recess
Republican state Senator Sylvia Allen instantly acquired an elementary-aged fan club by sponsoring a bill that requires two recess periods for students in grades kindergarten through third grade. In 2019, it will be applied to students in fourth and fifth grade as well as their younger counterparts. On days when students have physical education, this will count as one recess period. There is no time requirement imposed for the recess periods.
3) An extension of Proposition 301
This means that Arizona’s .6 percent sales tax will proceed $667 million worth of educational funding. Without this, the school system faced a financial disaster.
4) Public school in Arizona will receive report cards
To keep schools accountable for progress, they will now be graded on a variety of indicators on an A – F scale. The State Board of Education will be responsible for coming up with the dashboard. They will also be responsible for coming up with a method of gathering data with which to score the schools.
5) “Ditat Deus”
Recent legal trends to omit any references to God in public schools are being amended to allow historical phrases and the Arizona state motto to be posted in the classroom. The motto, “Ditat Deus” is Latin for “God Enriches.” It, along with the national motto, “In God We Trust,” the Pledge of Allegiance, The Declaration of Independence, and acts of U.S. Congress are also now permitted to be posted in classrooms. References to God would have cause them to be banned in recent history.
6) Expectations for full-day kindergarten programs
At this time, the state of Arizona does not consider to kindergarten to be a grade. It also only funds 2.5 hours of kindergarten instruction. There is now a law that requires full-day kindergarten to have “academically meaningful” instruction and to “meet or exceed” the Arizona State academic kindergarten standards. Most schools that currently offer full day kindergarten either collect tuition or fund it through local property taxes.
7) Honoring students with the “Seal of Civics Literacy”
High school seniors who have a “high level of proficiency in civics” will receive a special seal acknowledging this.