The Arizona Education Association and a coalition of education organizations and supporters have tabled a trial Thursday against the state on the constitutionality of the ban on K-12 masks.
The Arizona Education Association, the largest trade association for Arizona public school employees, maintains that the provisions included in the Budget Bill K-12, prohibiting school districts from requiring masks and the COVID-19 vaccine for students and staff are unconstitutional because they are unrelated to the budget.
According to the AEA lawsuit, the law violates the unique subject and title requirements for legislation and equal protection grounds set out in the Arizona Constitution,
“Governor Ducey and the GOP legislative leaders are putting our children at risk and our communities at risk,” said AEA President Joe Thomas. “Their actions are reckless and abusive. By tying the hands of the leaders of our local school boards, lawmakers are preventing them from making decisions to keep our students safe. ”
Several Arizona school districts, including the Tucson Unified School District, have chosen to demand masks in schools against the governor. On Tuesday, TUSD board member Adelita Grijalva said the district had yet to receive a letter from the governor’s office, but expected her to arrive after entering technical force of the legislation on September 29, 90 days after the adjournment of the session.
“We know that the majority of parents and educators support our principals who go out of their way to ensure the safety and health of our students and staff,” says Thomas. “We are seeing more and more school districts taking action to protect their students and their communities. But they shouldn’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 to keep our classrooms and campuses safe so that we can continue to teach our students in our classrooms. ”
Ducey’s spokesperson CJ Karamargin said: “We are convinced that the legislation we have signed is fully constitutional.”