I am happy to say that after two years of sessions being held in other venues, we are back having sessions in the State House. In my first term, I asked a lot of questions in my committee. Now, in the second term, I have started to write or offer some more extensive amendments to bills in addition to being known for asking a lot of questions during the public hearings. One such amendment was to a “Parental Bill of Rights” (HB 1431) where we had many people testify about feeling shut out of the process by their local school while others were very communicative with parents.
The bill would create a new chapter which would list a number of ways in current law that parents would be able to have input and get information about the schooling, but would also require a policy to promote parental involvement and records to be provided. A couple of things which are not currently in law is that if the state believes a crime has been committed against a child that the parents must be notified with limited exceptions and that state employees not encourage the child to keep things from their parents with limited exceptions, too. This would help ensure that parents have the information necessary to protect their children and take an active part in the schooling as many districts now offer, while trying to keep the state from trying to get between or hinder the parent/child relationship unnecessarily. The bill is in the Senate waiting for an up or down vote but even if it does not pass into law it is a bill that parents might want to read the bill as it passed the House as it lists some sections of law that currently empower parents to get records and otherwise have input in the education of their child.