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Parents’ Right to Know: Alabama Senate committee passes bill requiring school curriculum be made available to parents

On Thursday, the Alabama Senate Education Policy Committee passed a bill that would require schools in the state to post instructional guidelines online so parents and guardians can see what their children are being taught in the classroom. .

of “Parents’ Right to Know” BillThe bill, sponsored by state Sen. Greg Reed (R-Jasper), would require each classroom teacher, upon request, to provide parents of children enrolled in the class with access to everything available to the students in the classroom. It also requires that educational materials, supplementary materials, and books be made available for viewing.

If a classroom teacher does not comply, parents can file a complaint with their local superintendent. If the case is not resolved within 10 school days, the parent may file a complaint with the State Superintendent of Education.

“This is a starting point for parents to know what their children are being taught,” said Sen. Reed.

“The right of parents to know about the bill was a top priority for me,” Reed told reporters after the bill passed. “How can we put all the information that goes on in a child's education on a website for parents and grandparents?”

The original version of the bill would have required a teacher-parent conference to be held within 10 days of a parent raising a question or objection about the curriculum. Democrats opposed this. This was because we believed that this would create a new obligation for teachers, increase their workload, and further hinder their concentration during class time.

“We want to make sure we're not overburdening teachers,” said Sen. Vivian Figures (D-Mobile).

Democrats called for changes to the bill. Republicans agreed. As a result, the bill was held up for an hour until a compromise was negotiated between the two sides. “As written, the bill requires teachers to meet with parents within 10 days of the curriculum being posted,” said Senate Minority Leader Bobby Singleton (D-Greensboro). explained to reporters.

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of singleton fix Parents or guardians will still be allowed to “request information regarding instructional materials and supplementary materials.” But it allows schools to address “the concerns of parents, guardians, and guardians by providing by email, telephone, or other electronic means a detailed summary of the materials adopted by the local school board.” That's what it is.

“If the parent or guardian fails to satisfactorily address the issue through that telephone or email process, the parent or guardian may request that the local school board authorize inspection at the school board's next work session. The board shall notify parents or guardians and teachers of the relevant issues and the date and time of the next work session. ”

Senator Singleton explained the proposed amendment as follows: “We don't lose any instructional time in the classroom. I have no problem with parents being able to know what's going on in the classroom. I have no problem with that at all.”

“I supported this amendment,” Reed said. “This allows parents to stay engaged with their students. The goal here is transparency.”

SB48 passed the Senate as amended. The bill now goes to the Alabama House of Representatives and is assigned to the House Education Policy Committee.

The council will next meet on Tuesday, the fourth day of its regular session. Alabama's regular legislative session lasts up to 30 days.

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