Last week, I had the honor of helping pass HR 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act, in Congress.
Parents have a right to guide their child’s education and to know what’s being taught in the classroom, as moms and dads are reminding school boards across the country.
Our legislation puts parents in the driver’s seat, where they belong.
It’s hard to imagine who would fight against the tidal wave of support for parental rights and school choice these days. But earlier this month, Democratic state legislators in my home state of Georgia were trying to stop several successful bills that would expand education options for families. Shockingly, their reasoning was that disadvantaged families are too uneducated to have a say over their children’s schooling.
Don’t believe me? Here are the exact words of Georgia state Rep. Lydia Glaize during debate over the Georgia Promise Scholarship Act:
I see parents being able to direct their child’s education—they are already in the lower 25th percentile, meaning a lot of those parents did not finish high school, cannot direct, could not finish their own education.
I am extremely concerned that we would put money in their hands—that entire piece of life in the hands of parents who are not qualified to make those decisions.
The vast majority of Americans, whether moms and dads or teachers and students, know that’s nonsense. Regardless of income or education, hardworking parents deserve the tools to make a better life for their children.
That’s why I offered two amendments to the Parents Bill of Rights to make its protections even stronger.
The first one would establish the right of parents to be informed about, and consent to, participation in any non-curriculum events or activities.
We already do this for things that the government schools deem important, such as field trips, programs for gifted students, individual education plans, and subsidized free and reduced-price lunches.
Parents’ rights don’t end at the discretion of the administration.
Unfortunately, in recent years some school systems have used the classroom as a bully pulpit to push social engineering instead of a learning environment. This has to stop—and it stops by keeping parents informed of what is happening at school.
My other amendment guarantees parents the opportunity to address their school board regarding any violation of their rights. As we have seen too often across the country, concerned moms and dads have been silenced, thrown out, or threatened when standing up for their children.
That’s unacceptable. Families need accountability in their schools and a place to make their voices heard.
Now, the Parents Bill of Rights—which passed the House on March 24 on a 213-208 party-line vote—is headed to the Senate. We’ll have to see whether Senate Democrats want to use their razor-thin majority to sink this historic legislation, or if they will join us in putting students over systems and parents over bureaucracy.
Either way, the revolution of school choice and parental rights is just kicking into high gear, and nobody is going to stand between moms and dads and their children’s education.