The Parents’ Bill of Rights Act proposed by the GOP is mostly a way to strip education down to only what the most most conservative voices want taught.
The so-called Parents’ Bill of Rights Act passed on Friday in the House of Representatives. It won’t become law, because it doesn’t have a chance of being approved in the left-leaning Senate, let alone being signed by President Biden, and that’s a good thing.
It could have been a good bill. It contains measures that would benefit students, teachers, and parents, such as a requirement that schools notify all parents when violence occurs on school grounds and keep stricter records of incidences, and a sorely-needed ban on schools selling student data to commercial interests. If those made up the bulk of the bill, it would have been a bipartisan success.
But most of the bill is a blueprint for harassing school staff and driving education quality into the dirt.
The bill would require all schools to submit a list of all books, reading materials, and educational topics for public review with a method for parents to challenge or ban anything they don’t like. It would require schools to allow parents to approve all technology used in classrooms. It would require schools to submit all curriculums, even the day-to-day changes commonly necessary in classrooms, to advance review approval by all parents. It would require schools to notify parents if any child asks for a change of pronouns or preferred name, or seeks mental health care.
The bill would also give funding priority to private and charter schools over public schools, which would further deepen the divide between wealthy and poorer students.
If it were to pass, this bill would further legitimize laws recently passed in anti-education states like Florida, which is requiring every book allowed in classrooms to be approved by a governor-appointed panel and not allowing teachers to teach about slavery or the civil rights movement.