Alaska Legislature Passes Important Parental Rights Bill

Alaska State Flag by Ed Keith (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)
Photo credit: Ed Keith (CC-By-NC-ND 2.0)

The Alaska Legislature just passed a major piece of legislation that recognizes parental rights in education including a parent’s right to opt their children out of standardized testing.

HB 156 will go to the Governor Bill Walker’s desk.

Some of the pertinent language:

(a) A local school board shall, in consultation with parents, teachers, and school administrators, adopt policies to promote the involvement of parents in the school district’s education program. The policies must include procedures

(1) recognizing the authority of a parent and allowing a parent to object to and withdraw the child from a standards-based assessment or test required by the state;

(2) recognizing the authority of a parent and allowing a parent to object to and withdraw the child from an activity, class, or program;

(3) providing for parent notification not less than two weeks before any activity, class, or program that includes content involving human reproduction or sexual matters is provided to a child;

(4) recognizing the authority of a parent and allowing a parent to withdraw the child from an activity, class, program, or standards-based assessment or test required by the state for a religious holiday, as defined by the parent;

(5) providing a parent with an opportunity to review the content of an activity, class, performance standard, or program;

(6) ensuring that, when a child is absent from an activity, class, program, or standards-based assessment or test required by the state under this section, the absence is not considered an unlawful absence under AS 14.30.020 if the child’s parent withdrew the child from the activity, class, program, or standards-based assessment or test or gave permission for the child’s absence.

This doesn’t change Alaska’s standards which are essentially Common Core, but this is a win for parents who were having issues opting their students out of assessments and certain classes, like sex ed. This is something all states should do if they haven’t already. While parents have a natural right to opt their children out of assessments it is so much easier when the government cooperates with parents rather than oppose them.

2 thoughts on “Alaska Legislature Passes Important Parental Rights Bill

  1. We tried this here in Tennessee and they slapped a HUGE fiscal note to it and the bill was DOA. This is what they do here. When they want a bill killed they just slap a huge fiscal note to it. They blamed it on ESSA. Saying if they allowed parents to opt out of high stakes testing they would lose millions in federal funding. Gee and I thought TN US Senator Lamar Alexander returned control of education to the states. The only control we got was the authority to implement the federal mandates and provide proof to the federal government that we did as were told. Time for a national 10th Amendment Governor’s campaign for 2018. We need Governors that will understand the states have the power not the federal government. It is time for the American citizen to understand that too. We MUST have Governors that will abide by that and fight for that and tell the feds to take a hike. NC is doing that and the poor man stands alone. Not one other Governor is standing with him. If other Governors would stand with him the feds would back down. But I am happy for Alaska. We tried for two years to get our bill passed. And we will keep trying. And we are vetting candidates for Governor as we speak. No Nashville or DC insiders will fill that spot. 2018 will be fast upon us.

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