A group of leading Republicans on Wednesday introduced a “parents’ bill of rights,” saying that Democrats have recently started to take power away from parents and hand over more control to politicians and teachers unions to “dictate what our children should be taught in classrooms.”
“Parents matter. Their involvement is critical to a child’s academic success. We will not stand idly by as Democrats try to take power away from parents and give it to politicians,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said in a statement on Twitter
Sponsored by McCarthy, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), the top Republican on the House Committee on Education and Labor, Rep. Julia Letlow (R-La.), Rep. Burgess Owens (R-Utah), and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Republican Study Committee Chairman, the “Parents Bill of Rights Act” (pdf) seeks to ensure the rights of parents are honored and protected in the nation’s public schools.
“House Republicans understand that not only do parents matter, but their involvement is critical to a child’s academic success,” the release states.
A fact sheet released by McCarthy outlines five rights that should be guaranteed to parents that make up the main principles of the legislation.
These include the right to know what is being taught in public schools and to see reading material, the right to be heard, the right to see school budgets and spending, the right to protect their child’s privacy, and the right to be updated on any violent activity at school.
It specifically would, among other measures, prohibit public schools from selling student data, and would also require that parents sign consent forms before schools administer health procedures.
The Republicans said in a joint statement that their legislation will protect parental involvement by reinforcing their right to be heard, their right to see curriculums, and their right to be updated on any violent activity that happens on their children’s campus.
“America’s parents should never be made to feel powerless—they should be empowered and protected when it comes to having an influence in their own children’s education,” they added. “We are proud that we have an opportunity to stand with families and demonstrate through our policies and actions that the Republican Party is the Party of Parents and Education.”
McCarthy earlier this month signaled that Republicans would roll out the bill, saying that they valued a campaign message aimed at parents.
“The one thing you will find is, the Republican Party will be the party of education,” McCarthy said at the time.