McClelland Interview – Podcast June 28, 2021

The GOP Attack On Education, Expertise, and Democracy. Karen McClelland, the longest-serving Sedona school board member, and a member of the Democratic State Committee joins Steve and Hava in a lively roundtable discussion on the state of the GOP. Beginning with the controversial Arizona budget bill, McClelland says, “There’s nothing particularly good coming out of the budget. In Arizona, the Republican governor writes budget and gives it to the Republican legislative leadership. Often even Republican members don’t know what it contains. It then passes on straight party line vote. This year, the budget contains all sorts of policy issues.”

For those unfamiliar with the budget bill, the GOP-led Senate added wording which would increase the money for school vouchers in defiance of the majority of voters and the GOP-led House added wording that all Arizona schools would have to present a civics curriculum written by the conservative Koch-funded Freedom Institute. McClelland adds that the “budget” bill also forbids teachers from teaching “controversial” subjects, such as Critical Race Theory (which is only taught in university law schools) and the 1619 Project. She says the Republicans do not want students to be taught critical thinking, i.e., the ability to think for oneself.

Asked how to change the super-partisanship of the legislature, McClelland replies, “The only way to change the system is to change the people sitting in the chairs.”

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