House Republicans have advanced a legislative proposal to empower parents to take a more active role in their children’s education by re-introducing the “Parents Bill of Rights Act.”
The bill (H.R. 5), re-introduced on March 1, gives parents a number of protections, including:
- The right to review curriculum of their child’s school
- The right to know if the state changes academic standards
- The right to meet with each of their child’s teachers at least twice during each school year
- The right to review the budget — including all revenues and expenditures — of their child’s school
- The right to a list of the books and reading materials in school libraries
- The right to address school boards
- The right to information about violent activity in their child’s school
- The right to information about plans to eliminate gifted and talented programs at their child’s school
“The pandemic brought to light for a lot of us moms and dads for the first time ever, we sat down and we saw what our children were being taught through the virtual classroom. And when we saw that, so many of us were disheartened with what we were viewing,” the bill’s lead sponsor Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.) said, according to The Hill. “Then we did the right thing, right? We went to our school boards and we voiced our displeasure. But we were turned away.”
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy cited the recent attacks against parents, who have pushed back on local school boards after learning that controversial topics were being taught, as part of the reason the legislation was needed, according to Fox News.
“We want the parents to be empowered. And that’s what we’re doing today – that you have a say in your kids’ education, not government,” Fox quoted McCarthy as saying at a press conference the day the bill was re-introduced.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re from Louisiana, Florida, Indiana, New York or North Carolina or even California,” McCarthy explained. “It doesn’t matter, the color [of] your skin, your wealth. When you have a child that is the most important thing in your life,” McCarthy said at the press conference. “And one thing we know in this country is education is the great equalizer.”