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Arizona teacher punishment bill revived

Posted at 4:58 AM, May 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-22 08:27:45-04

PHOENIX — The Arizona Senate is giving new life to a bill targeting teachers who try to influence students' political or religious views despite concerns by a legislative lawyer that it's unconstitutional.

The Rules Committee advanced the bill without notice late Tuesday after sitting on it for nearly two months.

RELATED: State representative Mark Finchem attempts to limit politics in the classroom

The measure would fine teachers up to $5,000. Republican Senate President Karen Fann says she doesn't like the idea of fining teachers, so Republican Rep. Kelly Townsend has agreed to change her bill so school districts are punished instead.

Democrats, teachers and others have opposed a measure they see as retaliation for last year's "Red for Ed" movement in which thousands of teachers walked out of their classrooms to demand better pay.

Townsend says she's trying to ensure that teachers don't indoctrinate or proselytize.