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    SB293 Parents Right to Know

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    Jess McVay

    Posts : 35
    Join date : 2010-05-20
    Age : 64
    Location : Dover,DE

    SB293 Parents Right to Know

    Post by Jess McVay on Tue Jun 29, 2010 10:49 am

    SB293, the Parents Right to Know Act, is struggling to make it's way through the State Legislature despite the support of a very vocal and committed constituency including the Delaware Family Policy Council (DFPC). You can read the bill here. It's quite short. You can get some background here at the 912 Delaware Patriots website. Here's a synopsis:

    This Bill would require schools to notify parents of information being taught to their children relating to human sexuality issues, sexual acts, profanity, violence, drugs and/or alcohol. Such policy would ensure parent/guardian notification no less than 48 hours prior to introduction or instructional use. Such policy would afford parents or guardians the flexibility to exempt their children from any portion of said curriculum or materials through notification to the school principal.


    As a Libertarian, I have some reservations about the bill. I believe it's intent is honorable, but it strikes me as a means to facilitate yet one more special interest to control the agenda, in this case school curricula, by introducing yet another layer of bureaucracy. I understand the goals and share some of the concerns of the sponsors, but I am unhappy that they resort to adding more check boxes for school administrators to fill in. Here are some of my thoughts on the subject.

    Parents have valid concerns with liberal special interests trying to force their agenda through the schools.

    I know of no evidence that schools in Delaware are not already responsive to parents wishes without adding another layer of bureaucracy. (If anybody wants to cite some examples that I am unaware of, please reply to this post).

    Libertarian principles would suggest that action at the school board level would be more appropriate where parents can get involved with their childrens' schools directly.

    To take it further, Libertarians believe that government should not be in the education business in the first place other than perhaps to administer a voucher system where parents can choose religious education, arts oriented education, vocational education, traditional college prep education or even Satanic education if that's what they want. OK, so maybe not Satanic education. But pretty much anything the market can provide that parents want for their kids. No more fighting the bureaucracy. Don't like the curriculum? Vote with your feet. Choose a school run by people who share your values. The market will sort this out.

    We won't get from A to C over a single summer vacation. That is, we won't go from where we are now, to Libertarian Nirvana overnight, but why not start now with a pilot voucher program, and grow it as it's success evolves?. Maybe a government school should always be an option for parents who want that. That would be OK.

    What are your thoughts?
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    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: SB293 Parents Right to Know

    Post by Will McVay on Tue Jul 06, 2010 4:23 pm

    I agree entirely that a voucher system and charter schools are a better way of addressing this issue. At the same time, I think that all schools should publish their curriculum somewhere that it can be accessed by anyone who is interested. I think schools will gain a competitive edge with parents and students for making the curriculum available. Forcing schools to do so would probably not be necessary in a competitive environment, but may make some sense under the government monopoly that currently exists.

    I do not think that sending letters home and offering the option to opt out of class is realistic, but posting all curriculum materials to the internet is adequate in terms of informing parents. The only realistic solution for allowing parents and students to opt out of material they do not support is a voucher system, charter schools, or some other mechanism for diversifying the education market and offering parents more choice to control how education tax dollars are spent and how their children are educated. Student equivalents of "rubber rooms" where students go to not learn do not sound practical to me...

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