In my home state of California, officials are proposing to “de-emphasize calculus” and are making a push to include “social justice” in math classes. In elementary schools in West Hartford, Connecticut, students as young as five years old are being pushed to read books about “being transgender” to abide by “social justice standards” and parents are being told they “may not opt of the curriculum.” A school district in Michigan recently announced they were going virtual three Fridays in December, although children are still trying to catch up from the learning loss they suffered over the past two years of government-mandated school closures.
The brazenness of progressive school board members has reached a boiling point, and parents are speaking out. Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin’s victory in Virginia was a win for parents who were fed up with a system led by activists who want to use America’s classrooms as a breeding ground to promote their liberal agenda, all while they neglect the real academic needs of our students. Virginia’s election showed the country a snapshot of the same frustration being felt by countless families across the country.
Contrary to what some liberal officials may believe, parents absolutely have a right to have influence on their kids’ education, a sentiment shared by nearly 80 percent of parents. To help protect parents’ involvement and deliver the transparency they deserve to have, today House Republicans introduced a Parents Bill of Rights that will empower families and bolster the rights they have when it comes to impacting what is taught in their children’s classrooms.
Just earlier this month, parents in St. Louis, Missouri, were pushing to get books removed from the library after they discovered explicit and “disturbing” images in some of the reading material on the school’s library shelves. Troubling stories like this are why we must embrace full transparency in our education system to ensure parents have a say in their child’s education. That is why our bill requires schools that receive Federal monies to disclose a full list of all the reading materials available to children and post their curriculums online.
Our bill will also provide more transparency, so parents and educators understand the fiscal priorities of school districts through public disclosure requirements to ensure parents have access to see the entire school budget, including revenues and expenditures. Last fall, as all of the county’s schools were still closed to students, through a news tip, it became publicly reported that Fairfax County School District paid $20,000, or about $330 per minute, to a Critical Race theorist to speak to the district’s staff. As taxpaying citizens, parents deserve to know how their resources are being spent by their respective school districts, especially when the resources are not being spent to better the educational experience of students.
A case that caught national attention earlier this year was a Loudoun County sexual assault case that had been reportedly covered up by school district officials. The victim’s father was arrested for speaking out at the county school board meeting this summer because he was concerned for the safety of his daughter. It was not until mounting pressure that it was finally revealed that school officials knew what transpired, but failed to notify parents. This should not happen. Our bill will require that schools notify parents of any violent activity that occurs on school grounds or at school-sponsored events, while still protecting the privacy of the students involved in the incident. Protecting students’ safety and their privacy must be our top priority.
For nearly two years of school closures, millions of families watched their children forced to learn from behind screens despite the data suggesting it was safe to return to classrooms, especially after the Covid vaccines became widely accessible. They watched elected leaders, mainly in Democrat strongholds, continuing to side with the special interest groups over the best interests of the families in their own communities. Parents have had enough and we want every parent in America to know that they have advocates who will continue to fight for them.
Education is the great equalizer in America. It doesn’t matter what your race, economic status, or background is – a quality education is a game changer that helps children change the trajectory of their entire lives. That is why we need an education system that raises the bar for our students, not one that lowers expectations under the guise of “equity.” This is a commitment we make to every family in America: the Republican Party will be the Party of Parents and Education.
Kevin McCarthy represents California’s 23rd congressional district in the House of Representatives and currently serves as the House Minority Leader.