“Some believe that many anti-education legislators see this session as their last chance to force their legislation through because new, more competitive legislative district boundaries will take effect for the 2012 election,” said spokesman Doug Kilmore in an e-mail to members of Arizona Education Association, the state’s largest teacher’s union.
Extremist groups are marshaling their forces in the legislature to attack public schools, public institutions, and public workers before they risk losing their super-majority.
The harsh bills Kilgore refers to include arbitrary performance pay measures, expansions to voucher programs, and takeover schemes where “failing” public schools can be closed and turned into charter schools. Bills targeting colleges and universities would increase tuition dramatically, allow concealed weapons to be carried on campuses (seriously) and protect conservative instructors from (mostly imaginary) persecution.
Most of the aforementioned legislation is boilerplate ALEC anti-public ed stuff. But there’s one very strange bill, S.B. 1467, the provenance of which is puzzling. It would require all public school instructors, from K-12 to university level, to comply with FCC regulations in their conduct. Penalties would range from suspension for the first outburst of “obscenity, indecency, or profanity” to termination for repeated
violations. I’m sure teaching has changed a lot since I was in school decades ago but I really doubt today’s teachers are breaking out their “Aristocrats” routine on unsuspecting eighth-graders on a regular basis so this bill appears to be an insulting and disrespectful attempt to intimidate them. And as Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts quipped:
Well, there goes civics class. I mean, if you can’t utter the words ‘Arizona Legislature’….
Link to original article: AFLCIO Blog