Senate GOP Education Package Would Provide Curriculum to Parents

ST. POL, Minnesota (AP) – Republicans in the Minnesota Senate on Monday unveiled the Bill of Parents Bill, which they say will empower parents by giving them more access to curricula in their children’s schools, reflecting a nationwide call to curriculum transparency.

The package consists of bills that require schools to have a parent notification system in place and not allow schools to withhold information about their child’s well-being or education, requiring parents to access curricula for the first two weeks after classes begin. and provide free educational materials to parents who request them for review.

The package also includes a proposal to prevent school boards from requiring parents to disclose their home address before speaking at a meeting, as well as another proposal that will fund a “savings account for education” that will help pay for private tutoring or alternative tuition.

“The main goal here is to engage parents and schools to work together to affirmatively and absolutely recognize that parents are part of this process,” said Republican Senate Education President Roger Chamberlain. “We want a partnership between parents and educators, and we want it to be fruitful and productive for the benefit of children.”

The current statute requires school districts to have a procedure that allows parents to request educational materials for review and take reasonable steps for alternative learning options if parents oppose it.

The package is reminiscent of curriculum transparency legislation that appears in states across the country, including Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina and West Virginia. The bills – emerging amid growing political ridicule in local school councils over the teaching of race, diversity and sexuality – are part of a wider campaign by Republicans across the country ahead of the midterm congressional elections in November.

Although Republican senators insist that legislation should empower parents in their children’s education, teachers are concerned that the requirements include additional responsibilities for an already exhausted workforce, while creating opportunities for future censorship and banning books to prevent learning on topics such as race and gender.

“Unfortunately, some politicians seem to be more interested in following the plans of national big money groups to incite disagreements about what they teach about race and gender than in presenting consistent policies to involve parents in their local schools,” she said. Denise Specht, president of the Minnesota State Teachers Union, in a statement.

Democrat Jim Downey of Minneapolis, chairman of the House Education Committee, said in a statement that the House Democrat education program includes closing gaps in opportunities, providing more resources for schools and students, and eliminating learning disruptions caused by the pandemic.

“Democrats in the House have consistently worked with parents and families, always seeking full funding for our public schools, and will continue to do so to provide the excellent education and services that Minnesota students deserve – without political agendas,” the statement said.

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