rRelief funds allocated by the Arizona Department of Education were used to purchase several books featuring gay and transgender characters.
Earlier this year, Department and State Superintendent Kathy Hoffman fully funded a Tempe teacher’s “Learn to Love Reading Again” project, which aimed to “build a classroom library full of literature for critically acclaimed and diverse young adults”.
Among the books on the professor’s list were several novels for gay and transgender young adults, including Girls that I’ve been, you should see me in a crown, and Beauty Queens.
The parent activist group Parents Defending Education
this The girls I’ve been “refers to sexual assault and rape”, while the other books depict various gay and transgender themes.
In a statement on the teacher’s giving page, the Arizona Department of Education said it was “proud to champion the efforts of teachers as we rebuild and recover from the pandemic.”
“On behalf of Superintendent Kathy Hoffman and ADE staff, we hope this investment underscores our appreciation for your tireless work for Arizona students,” the department told the teacher. “It is our honor to support you in this way as you give so much of your time and talent to the students of our state.”
The teacher’s project was funded by an initiative of the Department of Education that distributed the $14 million the state received in federal coronavirus relief funds.
In a statement to Washington ExaminerNicole Neily, president of Parents Defending Education, criticized the state for using funds meant to help schools stay open on “very controversial material.”
“When covid relief funds were debated by Congress, the American people were told that this money was essential to keep schools open – what most parents assumed was for air purifiers, masks and d ‘other sanitary facilities,’ she said. “To learn that these taxpayer dollars have been diverted to put highly controversial material in schools is insulting to the word – especially as families across the country struggle with the impact of inflation caused by such federal largesse.”
The Washington Examiner contacted the Arizona Department of Education.