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County Resident May Soon Have a Bigger Say in What is Taught in Their Schools

April 21st, 2017 by Jake Stofan
Parents were given a say in the selection of learning materials used to teach their kids in public schools in 2014.
Many school districts turned a blind eye to parental input and  legislation to guarantee parental say is gaining momentum.
In 2014, parents were given the right to tell school boards what they though of  materials being used to teach their children, but there was no teeth in the law.
Some boards ignored what parents had to say.
As a result, new legislation makes the input mandatory.
Senate sponsor Tom Lee says school districts didn’t start listening until decisions were already made.
“Yeah and I don’t know how widespread this problem is. We have a fair amount of anecdotal information coming out of the local communities,” said Sen. Lee.
Keith Flaugh with Citizens Alliance says they’ve found a number of objectionable material in K-12 textbooks.
“In the form of political and religious indoctrination, sexually explicit material that just would shock you,” said Flaugh.
The proposal will open the door for not just parents, but everyone in the county  to play a bigger role in deciding which text books make it into the schools.
Supporters say opening up input to the entire community will help the vetting process become stronger.
“So many parents we talk to and even teachers are afraid to come forward and get involved in the process because they don’t want to put a bulls-eye around their child by raising objections,” said Flaugh, “Grandparents on the other hand usually have the time to get in this.”
State Rep. Joe Geller was one of the few no votes when the House passed the legislation Thursday.
“You’re setting it up for there to be small groups of parents that are organized. This thing could turn out also to end up violating separation of church and state,” said Rep. Geller.
Ultimately, it’s still the school board that will have the final say.
The Bill’s next stop will be a vote on the Senate floor, next stop… the Governor’s Desk.

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