Home » Parental rights legislation without parental engagement is full of hot air and hidden motives  

Parental rights legislation without parental engagement is full of hot air and hidden motives  

by The Grio

(Adobe Stock Images)

Editor’s note: The following article is an op-ed, and the views expressed are the author’s own. Read more opinions on theGrio.

The parent-teacher bond is a partnership forged since the first schoolhouse opened its doors. Parents overwhelmingly love their child’s teachers, and teachers know that truly lifting the voices of parents can empower young people — particularly students of color and students from low-income backgrounds — to see themselves and their community reflected in the curriculum. 

This relationship should be celebrated and strengthened through collaboration and goodwill, not by one-sided and burdensome legislation. However, it is clear the slew of state and federal parental rights bills being proposed across the country — including a national “Parents Bill of Rights” proposal adopted by the House Committee on Education and the Workforce in early March — does little to promote better alliances between parents and teachers. Instead, these bills use divisive, racially motivated tactics to pit parents against teachers in a not-so-subtle effort to delegitimatize and defund public schools, and in the process, win elections.

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) has said so several times since becoming chair of the House Education and Workforce Committee, even proclaiming in a recent interview with Education Week, “We’ve had a government-run monopoly on education for a long time, but it’s outdated. It has failed students.”

House Republicans blame teachers and administrators for stonewalling and silencing parents during the pandemic and see now as a perfect time to get back at them — even if that means further igniting culture wars and burning down the public schoolhouse in the process. By all accounts, they soon plan to introduce parental rights legislation, followed by school choice legislation that could be a cash grab to divert funds — through the…

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