As our Office of Policy and Government Relations reviews the signed legislation from the 2022 Legislative Session, which ended on Saturday, June 25th, this page will house guidance on the legislation and its impact on students, families, educators, and public schools. Please check this page regularly as our team develops guidance and collects resources.
2022 Legislative Session
Click here for a complete summary of bills from the 2022 Legislative session.
2021 Legislative Session
Click here for a complete summary of bills from the 2021 Legislative session.
In the 2021 Legislative session, H.B. 2862 was passed and enacted (Laws 2021, Chapter 299 as amended by Laws 2021, Chapter 404), authorizing school districts and charter schools to adopt Instructional Time Models (ITMs) to provide flexibility in the method and manner in which instructional hours are provided to students.
During the recent legislative session, the Arizona Legislature passed House Bill 2210 (Laws 2021, Chapter 437), effective September 29, 2021, which grants school district governing boards the statutory authority needed to provide food and beverages at school district events. It further clarifies that school districts that choose to provide food and beverages must abide by the Arizona Constitution’s gift clause, and follow Arizona laws regarding travel and subsistence, gifts and grants, including federal grants (2 CFR 200.432; Title I, II-A, and IV Program food policy; and maintenance of the nonprofit school food service account for Child Nutrition Programs per guidance SP 13-2014 and SP 20-2016.). Districts should reference ARS 15-342 for future audits and compliance needs.
Because HB 2210 specifies that school districts must continue to follow state and federal restrictions, local education agencies should consult with legal counsel before making any changes to their current practice based on this new legislation.
On March 24, 2021, the Legislature of the State of Arizona passed an amendment to Senate Bill 1114. Section 1. Title 15, chapter 1, article 5, Arizona Revised Statutes, has been amended by adding section 15-160.01., as it relates to student safety. Please refer to the entirety of section 15-160.01. (link is external) for additional information.
The following are the requirements as detailed in the amendment:
15-160.01. Child abuse hotline; required posting
EACH SCHOOL THAT IS OPERATED BY A SCHOOL DISTRICT AND EACH CHARTER SCHOOL SHALL POST IN A CLEARLY VISIBLE LOCATION IN A PUBLIC AREA OF THE SCHOOL THAT IS READILY ACCESSIBLE TO STUDENTS A SIGN THAT CONTAINS ALL OF THE FOLLOWING:
IN BOLDFACED TYPE, THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE CENTRALIZED INTAKE HOTLINE CONCERNING SUSPECTED ABUSE AND NEGLECT OF CHILDREN THAT IS ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION 8-455.
INSTRUCTIONS TO CALL 911 FOR EMERGENCIES.
DIRECTIONS FOR ACCESSING THE WEBSITE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CHILD SAFETY FOR MORE INFORMATION ON REPORTING CHILD ABUSE, CHILD NEGLECT, AND THE EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN.
To support schools in implementing these requirements, the Arizona Department of Education and the Arizona Department of Child Safety have created standardized materials to be posted in clearly visible and public areas of each school.
These materials can be printed on 11x17 inch paper and can be downloaded here:
To increase student awareness and understanding of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation, the Arizona Department of Education provides additional guidance to all schools to provide developmentally appropriate, trauma-informed training to all students yearly. This training should support students’ understanding of the definitions and signs of child abuse, neglect, and exploitation and increase student efficacy in reporting these instances through clearly established and safe reporting protocols.
For questions about the Child Abuse Hotline, please contact the Department of Child Safety Education Liaison at [email protected].
Last year, the Arizona legislature passed SB1376 (Schools; Curriculum; Mental Health), which went into effect in Fall 2021. The bill amends ARS 15-701.02 by requiring mental health instruction to include health instructions.
The new law includes the following:
Requires the state board of Education (SBE) to mandate that all health education instruction includes mental health instruction. Mental health instruction may be included in a health education course or another existing course.
Specifies that mental health instruction must incorporate the multiple dimensions of health.
Directs SBE to consult with mental health experts, mental health advocacy organizations, and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) when adopting this requirement.
During the October 2021 State Board of Education meeting, the board amended rules R7-2-301 and R7-2-302 requiring healthy and physical education to include mental health instruction and allowing mental health instruction to be included in other subject areas. These new rules are effective as of October 26, 2021.
These new rules align with ongoing mental health and wellness priorities at the Arizona Department of Education, and we are proud to help implement this new legislation with this resource one-pager, including:
Definitions of mental health, mental health instruction, and social-emotional competencies
Recommendations for mental health instruction in standalone health education courses and existing courses
Resources to help evaluate potential curricula, Arizona's SEL Competencies, and a school and behavioral health resource guide
At the end of the 2021 session of the Arizona Legislature, a provision was passed (Laws 2021, Chapter 404, Section 21) in the budget that prohibits instruction on certain topics from being offered in public district or charter schools in grades PK-12. This bill and the subsequent guidance issued by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) no longer applies to instruction as the law has been deemed unconstitutional and is currently unenforceable. However, we encourage educators to continue using best practices for standards-based instruction.
ADE will provide further guidance on HB2906 and prohibited training, a law still in place and impacting districts and charters.