March 1, 2023
Dear Members of Congress,
Independent Women’s Voice (IWV), which fights to enhance people’s freedom, opportunities, and well-being, supports the Parents Bill of Rights Act, introduced by Representative Julia Letlow.
The Parents Bill of Rights protects parental involvement in education by amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as well as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA). The bill is based on five key principles that
would apply to all federally-funded K-12 schools:
- Parents have the right to review their school’s curriculum, reading
materials, and state academic standards.
- Parents have the right to lawfully engage with their local school board
- Parents have the right to see a school’s budget and spending, including
detailed information about revenues and expenditures.
- Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy.
- Parents have the right to keep their child safe and be updated on any
violent activity at school.
Parents do not simply turn children over to government schools with the assumption that the school will make every decision without parental input. As parents, we have a right to direct the upbringing, care, and education of our children. This means that parents, in collaboration with educators, should be involved in deciding what students are learning. Families should also be kept in the loop on the policies and safety procedures in place at their children’s school.
Today, unfortunately, this is not always the case. Parents who deeply love and want the best for their children often face steep barriers when they attempt to voice their opinions. In some schools, transparency is non-existent, and parents are barred from accessing information about instructional materials or how their tax dollars are being spent. Concerningly, some schools have lowered their academic standards and eliminated vital programs without informing parents.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act acknowledges parents’ fundamental right to make decisions for their children. Importantly, schools are required to disclose their curriculum, budget, safety procedures, and any violent activity that takes place on school grounds. Under this bill, schools must also obtain parental consent before surveying students or performing any medical exams and screenings at school.
The Parents Bill of Rights Act is a step forward in ensuring that parents are the directors of their children’s education. Thank you, Representative Letlow, for putting students’ success ahead of systems and for promoting parental involvement in K-12 schools.
Education Freedom Center