Minnesota Republicans propose 'Parents’ Bill of Rights' in Senate

Minnesota’s Senate Republicans are proposing what they call a "Parents Bill of Rights" in an effort to bring "transparency, disclosure, and accountability back into schools," according to a recent announcement. 

As part of the proposal, several bills have been introduced in the Senate that would affect how schools districts notify parents of curriculum and provide alternative instruction if requested. 
Senator Justin Eichorn (R-Grand Rapids) offered a bill that states schools must not withhold information about their child’s well-being or education, and require schools to have a regular system for notifying families of activities at school. It would apply to both public and charter schools. 

Meanwhile, Senator Michelle Benson (R-Ham Lake) has a bill to require access to all class syllabi be made available to parents within the first two weeks of the educational term.

"Parents have the right to know what their kids are being taught," Benson said in a statement. "It’s imperative our schools have a well-planned and transparent curriculum. This legislation affirms what many educators are already doing and allows parents to have the information necessary to help decide what education option is best for their child."

Former Senate majority leader and current governor candidate Paul Gazelka also presented a broader curriculum review bill that requires schools to make all instruction materials available to parents, without cost, and requires a school to allow for reasonable accommodation for alternative instruction if a parent objects to the content.

"Children are most successful when their parents are engaged and involved in their education," Gazelka said in a statement. "Unfortunately, Minnesota parents are being shut out of the classroom by teachers and administrative bureaucrats who think they know best."

The bills are seemingly tied to a nationwide GOP imitative, and in response to some districts teaching the critical race theory as part of its curriculum.

In addition to the measures, Senator Roger Chamberlain (R- Lino Lakes) presented a bill to prevent doxxing of parents’ home addresses. The bill allows a parent or other citizen to not be forced to provide an address or contact information in order to participate. 

A bill to provide for Educational Savings Accounts was also introduced. The accounts would allow parents to set aside money to pay for tutoring, tuition, and other support services with a tax-preferred account.