Last week the U.S. House Republicans introduced a resolution in Congress to establish a Parents Bill of Rights, which aims to strengthen parental rights in the public education system with a new set of federal standards that schools would have to meet. The bill, which has 73 Republican co-sponsors, would make parents active participants in their children’s education. According to the initiative’s initiator, Congresswoman Julia Letlow (R-Louisiana), the resolution is based on five basic principles: parents should have the right to know what their children are being taught, to be heard, to see school budgets and expenditures, to protect their children’s privacy and to keep them safe.
Congressional Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-California) held a press conference on Thursday with legislators, parents and children to promote and support the bill, saying that distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic helped shed light on the problems in the state public education system and the difficulties parents face when trying to make their voices heard. Many of the changes planned in the Bill aim to make information more accessible to parents, therefore school districts would be required to publicly post curriculum information, and schools would have to provide parents with a list of books and other reading materials in the school library. States should make public all revisions of academic standards or learning benchmarks, and schools should inform parents in a timely manner when talent programs are eliminated. The resolution would also require disclosure of the budgets of school districts and each school, which includes revenues and expenditures. The resolution would strengthen the right of parents to give their input into the management of the public school system. It would create new federal requirements for school boards to address parents. It would also require teachers to offer parents at least two in-person meetings per year.
In the United States, there is a big backlash toward freedom of school choice, and as early as 2023, states are racing to make this freedom even more respected for parents who, let us remember, have their right to freedom of educational choice protected by various international declarations and conventions. Progress in school choice compliance over the past 30 years resembles an exponential function. Throughout the history of school choice, expansions have occurred through slow, incremental policy changes that have attracted little national attention and expanded educational options to small groups of students. In addition, they were mainly accessible to low-income families and students with special learning needs. On the back of COVID-19-induced parental outrage, 24 states have mobilized to create, expand or improve school choice programs, and ten of them we should pay special attention to because the possible legislative changes may also be very interesting for a great many European and Latin American countries.
Too often in state public schools teachers and principals introduce and indoctrinate children to doctrines and ideologies that are contrary to religious morality (LGBT) and contrary to any basic historical common sense and skills (woke culture). Freedom of educational choice, which IOF has always defended, supported and propagated, is a fundamental right of parents but, allow me to say, it is also a healthy reinforcement of the healthy competition and diversity that can make society and the state itself flourish. Unless you want to impose and return to the Soviet, Gramscian, totalitarian society of the last century…
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