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Bill demanding curriculum be posted publicly or face lawsuit won't go forward

Posted at 10:02 AM, Jan 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-28 19:09:50-05

SALT LAKE CITY — A controversial bill demanding all public school curriculum be posted online for parents to review or school districts could face a lawsuit will not go forward this year.

Rep. Jordan Teuscher, R-West Jordan, confirmed to FOX 13 through the House of Representatives that he has abandoned the bill this year.

"Timing is everything in politics and in order to ensure that teachers are heard, misconceptions are dispelled, and the best solutions are developed, I think this bill is going to need more than the 34 days that we have left in this session. I strongly believe that this is a topic worth taking the time to get right," he said in a statement released Friday.

Rep. Teuscher said he had spoken to House leadership and his desire was to spend the next year meeting with education leaders and others to get a better policy.

"His plans are to just push the pause button for a minute go out and speak with the education stakeholders in our state," said House Majority Leader Mike Schultz, R-Hooper.

The bill had required all classroom curriculum be posted online for parents to review. If not, school districts could be sued over it. A number of groups that have targeted critical race theory in schools and pressured districts to remove certain books with content they deem objectionable had been championing legislation like this.

"Ensuring we have more transparency in education is something that I am passionate about and will work hard to find the right solution. I welcome your input and suggestions throughout this process," Rep. Teuscher said in his statement.

The bill was a target of the Utah Education Association, the state's largest teachers union, which has argued the bill was "insulting" and would drive teachers from the profession. They had amassed more than 30,000 signatures on a petition directly complaining about Rep. Teuscher's bill.

"If you’re going to write a bill that impacts our classrooms, you better talk to the people who are in the classrooms who it will impact. Because we know what is going to work," Heidi Matthews, the president of the UEA, told FOX 13 News. "We support the ends of transparency, we support our relationships with our parents. We just want to make sure this actually achieves the goal of being the best we can be for our students, keeping our educators in the classroom, and recognizing that right now, adults who are working in our schools are overwhelmed and this bill was not received well whatsoever."

A Senate committee on Thursday had passed a similar bill that required classroom coursework to be posted online before being adopted by a local school board. That bill has been significantly changed from when it was first proposed.