LEWISVILLE – Tonight, at the Founders Academy of Lewisville, a public charter school, Governor Greg Abbott unveiled his Parental Bill of Rights which seeks to give parents back the control of their children’s education. Governor Abbott was joined by former U.S. Education Secretary Bill Bennett.
“Nothing is more important to the future of Texas than ensuring that the next generation have the support and resources they need to succeed, and no one is more important to that development, well-being and success of our children than their parents,” said Governor Abbott. He continued, “The fact is no government program can or should replace the role that parents play in their children’s lives. That’s why as Governor, I have fought to defend the rights of parents, whether it comes to education or health care.”
Governor Abbott noted that while some states kept children at home, Texas gave parents a choice. “While students around the country were forced to stay at home for virtual learning, we opened Texas schools in the summer of 2020. We empowered parents with the decision-making power over whether to send their children to school for in-person learning or to continue virtual education. When local governments across the nation were imposing mask mandates for students, I issued an executive order barring those mandates in Texas, instead leaving the decision with students and parents where it belongs,” said Governor Abbott.
Governor Abbott also discussed this battle against Critical Race Theory saying, “When Texas parents were rightfully upset about CRT being taught in Texas schools, I signed two bills banning CRT in Texas public schools. Now Texas has the toughest anti-CRT protections in the nation.”
“But,” Governor Abbott said, “there is more we must do to preserve the rights of parents and give our children the future they deserve.”
Governor Abbott noted that the role of parents is being diminished by government itself in states across the country saying, “Parents are losing a voice when it comes to their children’s education and health matters. Many parents feel powerless to do anything about it, and that must end. I am running for Governor to bolster a Parental Bill of Rights to restore parents as the primary decision-makers over their child’s education and healthcare.”
Under Governor Abbott’s Parental Bill of Rights, the Texas Constitution will be amended to reinforce that parents are the primary decision makers in all matters involving their children.
Governor Abbott said, “When it comes to the classroom, Texas parents should have every right to know what their children are being taught. Under my plan, we will expand parents’ access to course curriculum, and all material that is available in schools. Also, we will ensure that if a parent has a concern about curriculum or policies, that those concerns are heard quickly and respectfully.”
Governor Abbott also detailed the new control parents will have over their child’s ability to repeat grades saying, “Under my plan, Texas will give parents the option to decide if their child should repeat a course or grade level, instead of leaving that decision in the sole hands of the school district.”
“We also have a duty to protect our children while they are in school, including protecting their privacy. Under my Parental Bill of Rights, Texas will prohibit the selling or sharing of students’ personal data outside of the Texas public education system,” said Governor Abbott. He continued, “Under this plan, Texas will also ensure that any educational personnel convicted of providing minors with pornographic materials will lose all their educational credentials and state licensing, plus forfeit their retirement benefits and be placed on the do not hire list.”
Finally, Governor Abbott detailed how his plan will help parents keep schools accountable saying, “Texas will require schools post the Texas Parental Bill of Rights online so parents have access to all their rights, and school districts would be required to provide parents with information and options for charter schools, magnet schools and other public schools available for their children.”
Former U.S. Education Secretary Bill Bennett joined Governor Abbott virtually for a discussion on the importance of education, and how the Parental Bill of Rights can empower Texas parents to provide their children with the education they need to be successful in the 21st Century.