ST. PAUL -- Schools could not withhold information from parents about their child's well-being or education... districts would have to make all instructional materials available to parents at no cost... and no citizen could be forced to give their address or contact info at a school board meeting -- all parts of a "Parents Bill of Rights" unveiled Monday by Minnesota Senate Republicans.

Lino Lakes Senator Roger Chamberlain says, parents...

"With the last couple of years (and) the turmoil, they've been ignored, they've been bullied, they've been silenced, they've been threatened -- even to the point where some people wanted to treat them as terrorists -- for simply going to a school board and wanting answers for their children."

The package also would establish Education Savings Accounts, allowing parents to set money aside for tutoring, tuition and other support services with certain tax benefits.

Education Minnesota responded Monday to the “Parents Bill of Rights” package of legislation from Republican senators.

Denise Specht, the president of Education Minnesota, says:

“Most Minnesotans believe all children should receive an education that gives them the freedom to pursue their dreams as critical thinkers in our increasingly diverse state. Unfortunately, certain politicians seem more interested in following the lead of the national big money groups’ plans to inflame division about what’s taught about race and gender than in presenting coherent policies to engage parents in their local schools.

“Every educator I know welcomes conversations with parents about the lessons being taught in school, but GOP senators today presented a plan to drop a crushing amount of extra paperwork on already exhausted teachers without a plan for how it would work, how parents would use the information, or even if it was necessary. When mandating more work for every teacher in the state, the details matter.

“The senators also called for a return to the old, discredited idea of school vouchers. Instead of having the debate about how to equip every school with the resources to deliver a high-quality education that prepares every child for the future, no matter their color, background or ZIP code, we’re once again being asked to siphon taxpayer money away from schools used by nearly all students to schools that can, and do, turn students away on the basis of their parents’ faith, sexual orientation, gender identity, health condition and disability.”

This story is courtesy of the Minnesota News Network.

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