On Tuesday, Governor Doug Ducey issued an Executive Order that requires all sex education curriculum to be posted online for parents to review, without exception. This Executive Order includes more aggressive transparency requirements than Senate Bill 1456, which was vetoed by the Governor. Under that bill, posting sex education materials online would have been optional.
Arizona already has among the most pro-parental choice laws in the country around sex education. The state is one of only five across the nation that requires a parental “opt-in” on sex education, rather than “opt-out,” no matter what grade in which their child is enrolled. With this added transparency, parents can now make a more informed decisions, and school districts will be held accountable for inappropriate curriculum.
The order requires the State Board of Education to adopt the following requirements by June 30, 2021:
- All meetings held for the purposes of reviewing and selecting the sex education course of study must be publicly noticed at least two weeks before occurring and be open to the public.
- Any proposed sex education course of study must be available and accessible for review and public comment for at least sixty days before the governing board or governing body decides whether to approve that course of study.
- At least two public hearings within the sixty-day period before the governing board or governing body approves any course of study must be conducted.
- Once a course of study has been approved, a school district or charter school shall make the sex education curricula available for parental review, both online and in-person at least two weeks before any instruction is offered.
- Any existing sex education course of study must be made available and accessible for review both online and in person.
“Arizona is and will remain a national leader in parental rights,” the Governor said upon issuing the Executive Order. “Too often, parents are left out of this process, and the importance is even greater when it comes to educating students about deeply personal matters like sex education. This Executive Order ensures that parents are in the driver’s seat when it comes to overseeing the education of their children.”
Concurrent to the issuance of the Executive Order, the Governor vetoed Senate Bill 1456. He called the legislation overly broad and vague, which could lead to unintended consequences, including concerns it could put vulnerable children at risk by limiting discussion around sexual abuse prevention.
The parental rights and transparency measures included in the bill are upheld and even go further in the Governor’s Executive Order by requiring that all material be posted online and available for review.
View the Executive Order HERE.
View the Governor’s veto letter HERE.