Arizona Law Requires Textbook and Curriculum Committees to Follow the Open Meeting Law

June 26, 2023 By Gust Rosenfeld In Legal Alerts

Carrie O’Brien and Chris Thomas

Under Arizona law, any school district committee formed to review or adopt textbooks or curriculum must comply with the requirements of the Open Meeting Law (“OML”), pursuant to A.R.S. §§15-721 and 15-722. School district textbook and curriculum committees that failed to follow the OML recently have been the subject of multiple complaints to the Arizona Attorney General. Last week, the Arizona Attorney General found yet another school district had violated the OML related to this issue.

The OML requires any committees formed to adopt or review textbooks and curriculum post notice of meetings, be open to the public, and take minutes. This requirement applies to all such committees, no matter how the committee is created (by governing board action or by a single head of the agency) or authorized to act. It is for this reason that we recommend that school districts delete the word “board-authorized” from any policies that apply to textbook or curriculum committees. The specific policies affected are most commonly found in Arizona School Boards Association policies IGA, IGB and IJJ.

Please contact any of our education law attorneys if you have specific questions about the textbook adoption/curriculum review committee process or policy revisions to comply with the law.

Robert D. Haws

Carrie L. O’Brien

Jennifer N. MacLennan

Susan P. Segal

Clair DeChambre

C. Benson Hufford

Nathan Schott

Christopher P. Thomas

Brittany J. Reed

Mary Colleen Fowler

R. Gehl Tucker

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