Arizona Education Association

Winter 2021

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WINTER 2021 | ADVOCATE 5 AT THE CAPITOL AEA Celebrates Arizona Supreme Court Ruling Against Governor's Mask Ban O n November 2, 2021, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously upheld the lower court ruling that found portions of the K-12 education budget – including bans on mask mandates, vaccines, and controversial topics in the classroom – passed by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law by Governor Ducey to be unconstitutional. "Today's Arizona Supreme Court ruling is a victory for our students, educators, and parents," says AEA President Joe omas. " is ruling puts the power of local control and decision making back in the hands of our communities. Now, our elected school boards can make decisions based on local conditions in determining whether to have a mask requirement to keep their students and school sta safe." e Arizona Education Association and a coalition of education organizations and supporters led the lawsuit against the state over the constitutionality of the ban on mask mandates in our public schools. We want to give special appreciation to our attorneys, Roopali Desai of Coppersmith Brockelman, PLC who successfully argued our case before the Supreme Court and to the Arizona Center for the Law and Public Interest for their important contributions to this victory. When Governor Ducey signed the 200-page K-12 education budget it included new policy provisions for schools unrelated to the budget. ese provisions included language prohibiting school districts from requiring face coverings and the COVID-19 vaccine for students and sta , and a teacher gag bill that prohibits teachers from discussing "controversial" topics in the classroom. "We know the majority of parents and our educators support our school leaders doing everything they can to keep our students and sta safe and healthy," says omas. "We're seeing more and more school districts taking steps to protect their students and communities. Today's ruling ensures they won't have to break the law to implement common sense protections for our students. We urge lawmakers to listen to their constituents and make the right decision by accepting this ruling to ensure our classrooms and campuses are safe so we can keep our students learning in our classrooms." AEA and its 20,000 members are committed to our mission of Keeping the Promise of Quality Public Education. At the core of that promise is an unwavering commitment to the health and safety of our students and sta . We will advocate by all means necessary to deliver on that promise so that every student in the state has access to a quality public school. AEA is proud to stand alongside other public education champions in this e ort. Subscribe to the AEA Legislative Update and get the latest from the AEA Lobbyist on changes to education policy and funding and receive alerts to take action on legislation that impacts Arizona's students and public school employees. The award-winning AEA Legislative Update is a newsletter emailed weekly during the legislative session. Subscribe at LEGISLATIVE UPDATE SESSION ARIZONA EDUCATION ASSOCIATION 2022 Subscribe to the AEA Legislative Update

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