WASHINGTON, D.C. – On a 213-208 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives today passed H.R. 5, the Parents Bill of Rights Act by Congresswoman Julia Letlow (LA-05).
“As a mom of two and a former educator, I believe for children to succeed, they need families and schools to work together as partners throughout the learning process,” Letlow said. “After spending nearly a year and a half working to pass this bill, I’m grateful that we’re finally able to advance this critical legislation.”
The Parents Bill of Rights is built on five, common-sense principles.
- Parents have the right to know what their children are being taught.
- Parents have the right to be heard.
- Parents have the right to see the school budget and spending.
- Parents have the right to protect their child’s privacy.
- Parents have the right to keep their children safe.
The bill now moves to the U.S. Senate where it will await further action.
Here is a transcript of her remarks.
Mister Speaker, I rise today to join my voice with millions of American parents as the House considers H.R. 5 – the Parents Bill of Rights Act.
H.R. 5 is about one simple and fundamental principle – parents should always have a seat at the table when it comes to their child’s education.
We believe that learning is a partnership between a family and their child’s teachers. This bill is the vehicle by which we can put parents and educators together at the same table to have a productive dialog.
This bill is not complex or complicated, nor should it be partisan or polarizing. And contrary to what you may hear from my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it is not an attack on our hardworking teachers, who will always be the heroes in my eyes.
It is not an attempt to have Congress dictate the curriculum or determine the books in the library.
Instead, this bill aims to bring more transparency and accountability to education, allowing parents to be informed, and when they have questions and concerns, lawfully bring them to their local school board.
Over the past two years, we’ve seen too many instances where rather than opening their doors to welcome parents in as partners, some schools instead slammed them shut and said government bureaucrats know what is best for our children.
Parents across this country have overwhelmingly spoken out – they have had enough. They want a seat at the table because at the end of the day, these are our children, not the government’s.
Mister Speaker, I worked in education before I came to Congress, and I’m also a mother. I’ve seen firsthand how when you educate a child, you give them a future.
We know that when parents are involved, it is the students that succeed. We also know that when a family is shut out of their child’s education, it can lead to disastrous results.
Mister Speaker, let us give parents that voice in the learning process, let schools open the doors and welcome them in as partners, and let us work together to build a brighter future for America’s children.
Thank you and I yield back.
Watch Letlow’s floor speech on the bill. A downloadable version of the video can also be accessed HERE.