HALL MONITOR: “YES” on Blocking Taxpayer Dollars for DEI Expenditures in Arizona (SB 1005)

Name: Arizona Senate Bill 1005, “Prohibited expenditure or public monies; diversity; equity; inclusion.” 

Summary: Prohibits taxpayer funding for diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives or require public employees to participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion programs.

Status: SB 1005 passed the Senate on January 31 and was transferred to the House. 

Sponsors: Sen. Jake Hoffman sponsored the bill. Sen. Justine Wadsack, Rep. Joseph Chaplik, Rep. Justin Heap, Rep. Laurin Hendrix, Rep. Rachel Jones, Rep. Alexander Kolodin, Rep. Cory McGarr, Rep. Barbara Parker, and Rep. Jacqueline Parker are cosponsors. 

Bill Breakdown: 

SB 1005 would ensure that state entities in Arizona—including the department of education—may not spend on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, or other efforts that teach divisive theories such as “systemic oppression” or that an individual deserves preferential treatment because of his or her race, gender identity, or sex.

The bill also prohibits public entities from requiring employees to participate in a diversity, equity, and inclusion program, and from advancing any policy that operates on the basis of race, sex, or color.

Why does PDE Action support this bill? 

Taxpayer funded institutions should not spend money preaching divisive race and gender ideology, period. Past diversity and inclusion efforts ensured colleagues treat each other with respect and dignity in the workplace. Unfortunately, such conversations have been hijacked. Now, employees—including many at public universities and K-12 schools—are taught to view and judge one another by their race or sex. 

The narrative of most DEI trainings today splits people into groups of “oppressors” or “oppressed” based on their race, sex, sexual orientation, or “gender identity.” When this type of thinking seeps into trainings for teachers, it trickles down to the classroom. The new language of equity has also been used to promote questionable teaching techniques, such as “Grading for Equity,” explained here by our partner organization, Parents Defending Education. 

As our friend Jay Greene from the Heritage Foundation said in a blog post on the issue, “[diversity officers] in K-12 public school districts may be educationally counterproductive, because like their higher ed DEI brethren, they are more focused on promoting a political agenda than they are on finding effective education interventions.” 

Legislation like Arizona’s SB 1005 would ensure that public dollars are not spent on promulgating divisive race and gender ideology to teachers and other public employees, and that no race- or sex-based policies can be implemented against students or staff.