Saturday, January 31, 2015

Do Not Support Colorado Parents' Bill of Rights (SB15-077)

Colorado Alert everyone!!!!

Parents and students are reaching out to me, asking questions after having been encouraged to testify on February 5th in support of a bill known as the "Parents' Bill of Rights" or SB15-077. Beware! Any positive elements of this bill - like opting out in limited circumstances - will be cancelled out by horrifying provisions that will have lasting impact on our children and public education system.

The bill's prime sponsor, Jeffco Sen. Tim Neville, is the brother-in-law of Jeffco School Board member Julie Williams. Last fall, Williams received national attention after hundreds of students walked out in protest over her proposal to create a curriculum review committee aimed to censor and sanitize the A.P. U.S. History program and elementary health curriculum. Weeks later, Sen. Neville and Sen. Laura Woods, who is a co-sponsor of the Parents' Bill of Rights, received a slap on the wrist for using the Jeffco Public Schools logo on their campaign propaganda. When reached for comment about the Jeffco controversy and his use of the logo, Sen. Neville stated "The crisis we're seeing in Jeffco Schools could be eliminated by giving more control back to parents and students."

This statement is the genesis of Sen. Neville's Parents' Bill of Rights  - giving more control to "parents and students." So how does Sen. Neville propose to give control to parents? His bill would mandate that school boards create policy that must include procedures for parents such as:

Public review of textbooks and courses of study.

You read that right. The Parents' Bill of Rights would legally allow any ideological board of education in the state of Colorado to follow in William's footsteps and select which version of history, science and health should be taught to our children. (Read full bill text here.)

Please DO NOT support the Parents' Bill of Rights. Like most pieces of legislation, anything positive in this bill will be overshadowed by the negative. In this case, the shade is even darker and colder than the black cloud hanging over Jeffco.

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