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New hotline launches for parents to express concerns about curriculum

Education
Posted at 7:03 PM, Mar 10, 2023

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — The Arizona Department of Education launched a new hotline this week that will allow parents to call in with concerns about the curriculum. State Superintendent Tom Horne said it's a way to bring the focus back to academics.

"Because in recent years, the focus went on to all kinds of other diversions," he said.

He said the diversions include critical race theory, inappropriate sexual conversations, and social and emotional learning.

"During covid, parents became aware of what was being taught and they became outraged," he said. "And we need to have a way for the parents to communicate with us and that's what this hotline is for."

Horne encourages parents to talk with the teachers and principals if they have concerns too.

"They should call the teacher first and the principal, I'm all in favor of that," he said. "But we are like the last way for parents to express themselves if they don't get it first."

For some educators, the hotline itself is concerning.

"If you just call this hotline and suddenly, I'm paying a fine or going to jail or whatever, I'm never teaching again," Margaret Chaney, the president of the Tucson Education Association, said.

Other Tucson parents like Hypatia Luna said she thinks it's a bad idea.

"I actually tried calling yesterday to just give who ever answered my two cents but I was on hold for 15 minutes," she said. "I think its really insulting to teachers and a disservice for students."

The hotline is available at 602-771-3500, or through email at empower@azed.gov.