OKLAHOMA CITY – On Thursday, Sen. Mary Boren, D-Norman, filed legislation extending the Parents’ Bill of Rights to better inform families about issues important to their children’s education. Senate Bill 1268 would add information about upcoming school elections, community “wrap-around” resources for youth, ability to use free instructional materials at home, and parents’ right to opt out of certain student testing data collection.
“The Parents’ Bill of Rights first became law in 2014 to help parents be successfully engaged in their child’s education. It’s proven that when parents are supportive collaborators with schools their children are more successful in the classroom,” Boren said. “My bill modernizes parents’ rights and gives them better access to tools to help their children be more successful in school and life.”
SB 1268 would add the opportunity for parents to register to vote in local elections at their child’s school and learn about upcoming dates for board of education and school bond elections. It would further list procedures for parents to learn about community resources available to better equip their children to be successful at school, including, but not limited to, access to health care, dental care, eye care, assistive devices, professionals and specialists, community counseling centers, social workers, private counselors, tutors, mentors, and other resources.
“Schools are directly impacted by electing local school boards and voting on school bond issues. However, many parents are not aware of deadlines to register to vote or when elections that impact the daily education of their children will occur,” Boren said. “A child’s education can also be impacted greatly by access to supportive resources for their health and well-being—needs that may be met through community resources. This bill will recognize a parent’s right to have access to this kind of information to help their child get the best education possible. Voting and community resources can be routinely identified and shared through websites and enrollment paperwork.”
The bill would also add the right to access free instructional materials at school and at home to the list of parental rights.
“Parents in too many schools regularly struggle to access textbooks to help their children with homework,” Boren said. “Hopefully, this bill will solve that problem.”
Lastly, SB 1268 would modify parents’ right to opt out of any data collection for inclusion in the longitudinal student data system to include district-required standardized tests, field tests, or benchmark tests.
“As schools have been swept up in test-based accountability, many districts have implemented test-prep assessments to monitor students year-round,” Boren said. “Parents should have the right to collaborate with schools on their child’s participation in these kinds of standardized tests to make sure they are helped by the assessments and not demoralized by them.”
Sen. Boren: (405) 521-5553 or Mary.Boren@oksenate.gov