The requirement is part of House Bill 2898 (pdf), which includes changes in laws governing K-12 education in the state. The language was inserted by Republican state Rep. Judy Burges and states that the measure will prepare students to be “civically responsible and knowledgeable adults.”
Public schools will be required to teach “a comparative discussion of political ideologies, such as communism and totalitarianism, the conflict with the principles of freedom and democracy essential to the founding principles of the United States” among other changes, the bill’s text states.
Arizona’s Department of Education must also develop new civic education standards for school districts and charter schools to include, such as on the original intent of America’s Founding Documents and principles of the United States, including the expectation that U.S. citizens will be responsible for preserving and defending “the blessings of liberty inherited from prior generations and secured by the United States Constitution.”
The education board would also have to develop a list of oral history resources that provide “patriotism based on first-person accounts of victims of other nations’ governing philosophies who can compare those philosophies with those of the United States.”
“The reality is [that] one of the greatest threats facing the globe today is communism and totalitarianism,” Republican state Rep. Jake Hoffman said, Capitol Media Services reported.
“We have governments like the Communist Chinese government, that their stated goal is to be the world’s sole and only superpower, and that they will achieve that goal through any means possible,” Hoffman added.
The legislation now heads to the Arizona state Senate for consideration.