Glendale school board severs ties with teachers from religious college

The Washington Elementary School Board says the district's values don't align with Arizona Christian University.
Published: Mar. 3, 2023 at 5:48 PM MST
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GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - School districts across the state work with many colleges and universities to recruit and train teachers. But there’s one relationship coming to an end. The Washington Elementary School Board in Glendale just decided to stop bringing in student-teachers from nearby Arizona Christian University. And that’s not going over well with parents like Kalyn Foggy. “Teachers are stretched so thin right now, doing the best they can,” said Foggy. “To turn people away based on deeply personally held beliefs is just wrong.”

School Board members stated during their Feb. 23 meeting that the district’s values don’t align with ACU, an institution that instructs students and faculty to spread their religious beliefs and requires them to sign a statement of faith that has anti-LGBTQ principles.

Jeanne Woodbury, interim executive director of Equality Arizona, says that ACU’s core beliefs violate the school district’s non-discrimination policies. “This isn’t about excluding anyone of faith from being a teacher in a public school,” said Woodbury. “It’s about the legal problem of having a legal contract with religious institution.”

Arizona Christian University released this statement:

More than 100 student teachers have served in the Washington Elementary School district over the past five years. WESD Governing Board President Nikkie Gomez-Whaley released this statement on behalf of the Governing Board: