For immediate release: February 5, 2024
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Horne extends deadline to schools for Holocaust instruction reporting
Failure to respond will be added to school report card
PHOENIX – On the same day that state legislators have introduced legislation - prepared at the department and submitted at Superintendent Tom Horne’s request - to strengthen the Arizona law that requires Holocaust education in public schools, Horne is announcing an extension of the deadline to February 23 for schools to report their compliance with the current law.
Horne has sent an updated email to district superintendents and charter school representatives to ensure all schools report on whether or not they are complying with current Arizona law, A.R.S. § 15–701.02, that requires students to receive instruction in the Holocaust and other genocides at least once in middle school and once in high school. The existing law does not specify the amount of time for that curriculum and the requested changes solve that problem.
Horne said, “Since we first requested that schools attest to their compliance with the state mandate for Holocaust education for middle and high school students, we have received many responses, but not all districts and charters have replied. Arizona law is clear that this is a requirement for middle and high school students. As Superintendent, I have the legal authority to make sure that laws pertaining to education in Arizona are being followed. Therefore, my enforcement action will be that for the online ADE School Report Card we will indicate in red letters any school’s failure to respond to the Holocaust education verification by February 23.”
Horne added that Representatives David Marshall, a Republican, and Democrat Alma Hernandez have co-sponsored legislation to bolster the current law requirements for Holocaust education. The bill will require that students in grades 7-12 will have to twice complete a three-day program on the Holocaust and other genocides.
Horne noted, “After the horrific events of October 7, there was a one-sided pro-Hamas presentation at Desert Mountain High School that produced antisemitism among students and made Jewish students uncomfortable and fearful. If Holocaust studies are presented, students will be less gullible to antisemitic presentations and this legislation will strengthen that effort. I am grateful to Representatives Hernandez and Marshall for their bipartisan work to strengthen this law.”