Restoring parents’ voices in their child’s education

Congressman Jerry Carl

Parents have the right to make decisions for their children, especially when it comes to their education. Unfortunately, countless school districts have been ignoring input from parents while special interest groups try to influence the education of our children and negatively label involved parents.
Thankfully, the House is expected to take action this week on a bill introduced by my friend and colleague from Louisiana, Rep. Julia Letlow. Her Parents Bill of Rights Act will restore the power of parents to have a say in what their children are being taught and how they are being taught.
Parents have the right to know what their children are being taught. This bill would require school districts to post curriculum information publicly so parents are not in the dark about what their kids are learning. States would also be required to provide the public a copy of any changes to the state’s academic standards or learning benchmarks. Parents must be given notice if the school decides to get rid of gifted and talented academic programs. Also, schools would be required to give parents a list of books and reading materials available in their school library.
Parents also have the right to be heard. This bill would require teachers to offer at least two in-person meetings with parents each school year. Parents would be allowed to address the school board regarding any issues with their child’s education, while educators and officials must respect parents’ First Amendment rights plus make each school district’s revenue and expenditures available to parents.
Finally, parents have the right to keep their children safe and protect their privacy. Schools would be required to notify parents of any violence occurring on school ground or at school-sponsored events while protecting the privacy of students involved in any incidents. Parents would be given a say when schools implement or update privacy policies and procedures, and parents would have to give consent before any medical exams take place at school.
I’m proud to be a cosponsor of this legislation, and I look forward to it being on the floor of the House later this week. For too long, parents have been cut out of their children’s education process. My family is full of teachers, and they all have told me the education system works better for everyone when parents care and are closely involved in the education of their children.
Our children are the future of this country, and we should be doing all we can to give them the best possible education to set them up for success. The Parents Bill of Rights Act is a huge step in that direction.