Illinois House Passes Parental Opt-Out Bill

illinois-state-flagThe Chicago Sun Times reports that the Illinois House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 64 to 47 in favor of a bill that give parents a “formal way” to opt-out their students out of assessments – in particular PARCC.

“This bill wouldn’t take PARCC away. Opt-out’s happening, it happened last year, it happened this year, it will happen next year whether we pass this bill or not,” state Rep. Will Guzzardi, D-Chicago, said.  ”All this bill does is create a clear process and take the student out of the role as the decision maker.”

Guzzardi, sponsor of HB306, said that now if parents think the state standardized test is inappropriate they tell their children to refuse to take the test, putting them in an awkward position. Some older students are opting out on their own without consulting their parents.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, a longtime supporter of the school reform movement, has threatened to veto the opt-out bill and has been leaning on Republican lawmakers to vote “no.” The governor’s administration worries Illinois could lose federal funding for poor students — or local control over that money — if more than 5 percent of students statewide refuse to take the PARCC.

A Republican governor is leaning on Republican lawmakers to short circuit parental rights… terrific.  To be clear here, Illinois parents do not need an opt-out law to opt-out, this bill just makes it less messy.