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District and Staff Participation in Political Activities

Section G: Personnel

Policy Title: District and Staff Participation in Political Activities
Policy Code: GBI

Print Version (in PDF)

District Participation in Political Activities

The district and persons acting on behalf of the district or a person who aids another person acting on behalf of the district shall not use TUSD time, personnel, equipment, materials and supplies, buildings, or other resources including email, to influence the outcome of an election, except that:

  1. The district may distribute informational reports on a proposed budget override election and hold or participate in public hearings as provided in A.R.S. §15-481 and the district may distribute informational pamphlets on a proposed bond election as provided in A.R.S. §15-491 if those informational pamphlets present factual information in a neutral manner (except for those arguments allowed under A.R.S. 15-481).
  2. The prohibition on the use of public resources to influence the outcome of bond, budget override and other tax-related elections includes the use of school district-focused promotional expenditures that occur after an election is called and through election day. This prohibition does not include routine district communications which are messages or advertisements that are germaine to the functions of the district and that maintain frequency, scope and distribution consistent with past practices or are necessary for public safety.Nothing in this policy shall preclude the district from producing and distributing impartial information on elections other than district budget override elections or reporting on official actions of the Governing Board.
  3. As required by state law, the district will not spend monies for membership in an association that attempts to influence the outcome of an election.
  4. The district shall not make expenditures for literature associated with a campaign conducted by or for a district official.

Staff Participation in Political Activities

  1. No employee while on duty shall engage in political activities upon district property.
  2.  Campaigning and other election activities must be done in off-duty hours, when not working in an official capacity or representing the district, and without the participation of district employees or students acting in the capacity of district or school representatives.
  3. An employee acting as an agent of or working in an official capacity for the district must not give pupils written materials to influence the outcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.
  4. The discussion and study of politics and political issues, when such discussion and study are appropriate to classroom studies, are not precluded under the provisions of this policy.
  5. Employees must not use the authority of their positions to influence the vote or political activities of another employee or student.
  6. District employees who hold elective or appointive office are not entitled to time off from their school duties for reasons incident to such offices, except as such time may qualify under the leave policies of the Board.
  7. This policy and its administrative regulation will be construed so as to not infringe upon an employee’s civil or political liberties as guaranteed by the United States and Arizona Constitutions, including participation in voter registration activities during off duty time.
  8. District employees shall be permitted time as provided in statute, if required, to vote in the primary or general election.

Political Activities in the Schools

  1. Non-partisan voter registration activites are allowed on district property, in keeping with the requirements of Policy KF and Regulation KF-R – Community Use of School Facilities.
  2. Invitations to participate in election activities on a given campus, except when extended by groups leasing or using school facilities, shall be permitted only when such invitations are to all candidates for the office. The rental use of district property by a private person or entity that may lawfully attempt to influence the outcome of an election is permitted if it does not occur at the same time and place as a related district-sponsored forum or debate.
  3. Political circulars or petitions may not be posted or distributed in school.
  4. The collection of campaign funds and/or the solicitation of campaign workers is prohibited on school property.
  5. Students may not be given written materials to influence the outcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.
  6. Students may not be involved in writing, addressing or distribution of material intended to influence the ooutcome of an election or to advocate support for or opposition to pending or proposed legislation.

Sanctions

  1. Organizations or persons allowed access to school resources for purposes other than influencing the outcome of elections that violate this policy will have the access privileges revoked.
  2. Employees who violate this policy will be subject to district disciplinary action as set forth in Governing Board policy and accompanying regulations.

Definitions

As used in this policy, “election” means an election conducted by federal, state, or local government. This policy does not apply to an election conducted by student government or a private organization.

Regulations

The Superintendent is authorized to adopt regulations to implement this policy and its related Administrative Guidelines: Restrictions on Political Activities in accordance with state law.

Adopted: August 16, 1960
Revised: February 16, 1965
Revised: February 16, 1971
Revised: September 9, 2008 (numeric to letter format only)
Revised: July 2, 2012
Revised: March 10, 2020

LEGAL REF.:
A.R.S.
15-481  Override election; budget increases; informational pamphlet; notice; ballot; effect
15-491  Elections on school property; exceptions
15-511  Use of school district or charter school resources or employees to influence elections; prohibition; definitions 15-903  Budget format; prohibited expenditures; annual report
15-1105  Lease of school property, immunity
16-402  Absence from employment for purpose of voting; application therefor; violation; classification
A.G.O. I15-002

CROSS REF:
Administrative Guidelines: Restrictions on Political Activities
Policy KF – Community Use of School Facilities
Regulation KF-R – Community Use of School Facilities

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