by Bethany Torstenson
Digital Manager and Writer, John Locke Foundation
As the first day of school fast approaches, parents may once more find themselves taking a backseat in their children’s educational journey, at least for the time being.
Earlier this year, legislation including parental rights (Senate Bill 49) was introduced and passed by both the North Carolina House and Senate but was ultimately vetoed by Governor Cooper.
The North Carolina House is waiting to reschedule a vote to override Governor Cooper’s veto on Senate Bill 49.
A few thoughts:
Here at Locke, we believe that it is the fundamental right of parents to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their children. We firmly believe that one of the best ways for parents to reassert this authority and influence would be through a Parents’ Bill of Rights. You can learn more about our work with parents and other stakeholders in crafting a “Parent’s Bill of Rights here.
Earlier this spring, we conducted a poll that found that 62% of respondents supported a Parents Bill of Rights, and only 27% opposed it.
Digits that clearly show a 2 to 1 ratio in support of legislation.
Looking at the numbers more closely, you can see that a Parent’s Bill of Rights has strong support on both sides of the political spectrum, with 69% percent of Democrats supporting the idea and 63% of Republicans. Independents’ support was slightly lower at 45%.
The support is there. So, why the holdup?
It appears the governor is more concerned about the “political culture wars” that would occur in the classroom than he is about student enrichment.
In his statement regarding his veto of SB 49, Governor Cooper commented:
“Parents are the most essential educators for their children, and their involvement must be encouraged, but this bill will scare teachers into silence by injecting fear and uncertainty into classrooms…the rights of parents are well established in state law, so instead of burdening schools with their political culture wars, legislators should help them with better teacher pay and more investments in students.”
If the governor says that parents should be the “most essential educators” for their children, you’d think he would listen to the voters rather than make statements trying to please his party’s leadership.
Friend, the overwhelming support for a Parent’s Bill of Rights could not be more clear.
My biggest hope is that parents will finally be given the right to decide the best course of action to ensure that their child succeeds and thrives- something that every young person deserves.
It’s far time that we put children over politics.