PHOENIX — Next week the House Government and Elections Committee will consider a proposal to change the state's constitution, formally banning the teaching of critical race theory in public schools. The proposal would also prohibit the use of race as preferential treatment for public employment, public contracts or and public education.
The author of the resolution, State Representative Steve Kaiser (R) north Phoenix District 15 said it's to ensure, "Arizona's students and teachers are never discriminated against based upon their race or taught to discriminate against others based on race."
State Representative Jennifer Pawlik, who is a teacher, says the resolution is a bill in search of a problem that doesn't exist. "We aren't planning lessons that will tear down children and make them feel badly about themselves, their culture, or their gender. That's not what teachers do," Pawlik (D) Chandler District 17 said.
Representative Kaiser claims in the year after George Floyd was killed by police in Minnesota, a growing number of teachers nationally said they taught or discussed critical race theory with students. But Arizona educators say they don't teach critical race theory at all. Joe Thomas, President of the Arizona Education Association, said, "teachers are learning how to understand and relate to other cultural norms. Not promoting a world view that treats students differently based on race."
If the resolution makes its way thru the legislature, voters will decide if it becomes part of the state's constitution.