Arizona Republicans aim to give conservative students a better way to challenge their grades for political bias by liberal professors through legislation on the move in the state legislature.

Glendale Republican state Sen. Anthony Kern’s Senate Bill 1477 would create a Grade Challenge Department at the Arizona Board of Regents to hear challenges from students regarding grades they believe are based on political bias, according to Courthouse News Service.

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“Some of these students, to my understanding, are feeling the need to lie about their political beliefs so that they get good grades,” Rep. Rachel Jones, R-Tucson, told the House Education Committee on Tuesday.

SB 1477 would require the Board of Regents to appoint volunteers to staff offices at each of the universities it oversees – University of Arizona, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University – to consider appeals. The bill would empower the Grade Challenge Department volunteers to require faculty to regrade work “consistent with the department’s guidance” if bias is found.

Students who disagree with the department’s decision could appeal to the Board of Regents, which could also “order any faculty member of a public university to regrade a student’s assignment or reevaluate a student’s overall class grade consistent with the Board’s guidance,” Forbes reports.

“A lot of students that I met with at ASU, they do not feel that they can debate issues according to their politics or according to what they believe, because they’re afraid their grades are going to be lowered, and this is trying to help,” Kern said before SB 1477 cleared the Senate last month, according to the Arizona Mirror.

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Kern chaired a legislative committee last summer that investigated free expression at the state’s public universities following the termination of ASU administrator Ann Atkinson. Atkinson claimed she was fired for helping to bring conservative speakers to campus, while ASU alleged her dismissal was due to funding.

Thomas Adkins, lobbyist for the Board of Regents, opposed SB 1477 during the House Education Committee meeting, arguing the board doesn’t have the manpower to staff offices at three universities that already have their own grade appeal processes. The board has about 40 employees, he said.

“We think this process works,” Adkins said. “Our preferred approach would be to identify improvements within the existing framework and go from there, rather than creating a separate system staffed by volunteers that creates a burden.”

Kern, who publicly admits he’s “not a university guy,” has described those systems as inadequate and the board as unnecessary, according to the Mirror.

ASU political science professor Francisco Pedraza told Courthouse News he believes the bill would erode academic freedom.

“Academic freedom is meant to capture the independence of scholars and thinkers from a bigger political context,” he said. “If that academic freedom is to operate in a way that is meaningful, you need to have some degree of independence for the institutions. They need to have their own set of policies and procedures to self-monitor and guide their conduct among their affiliates.”

While SB 1477 heads to a House floor vote, Kern is moving other bills to shed light on Arizona’s public universities.

Senate bills 1304, 1305, and 1306 would require things like a written and enforced free expression policy, all classrooms with a U.S. flag and Constitution, a posted syllabus and basic information about each course and the students taking it. SB 1306 also makes clear “any delegation of authority does not limit or otherwise affect the (Board of Regents’) responsibility to faithfully execute all of the board’s duties.”

The Senate approved all three and moved them to the House this week.

The bills would need approval from Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who has made a sport out of vetoing bills from the Republican majority legislature.