Davids votes against Parents Bill of Rights: Says more money for teachers’ salaries the answer

WASHINGTON – Third District Kansas Congresswoman Sharice Davids voted against major legislation in the U.S. Congress last week that would have guaranteed a “Parents Bill of Rights” and entitled parents and guardians to information and access in elementary and secondary schools.

The measure passed the Congress 213-208 with all Democrats voting against. Leadership in the U.S. Senate, headed by Democrats in the majority, say the bill will not receive a hearing there.

The remaining Kansas congressional delegation, Ron Estes (K4), Jake LaTurner (K2) and Tracy Mann (K1), all voted in favor of the bill.

WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 1: House Speaker Kevin McCarthy(R-CA), upper right, and other House GOP Members hold a press event to highlight the introduction of the “Parents Bill of Rights, at the U.S. Capitol, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

Davids said in a statement to the Review the bill guaranteeing parents more transparency from their local district and protections for students privacy sought to put parents and teachers “at odds,” and that more money for teachers’ salaries was the answer to better relations between schools and parents.

“I’m focused on increasing funding for public education and teacher salaries, keeping our kids safe through reduced gun violence in schools, and addressing teacher shortages,” Davids said.

Davids did not give specifics on legislation aimed at those goals or details on elements those bills might include.

The legislation would have guaranteed parents and guardians the right to review school curriculum and required schools to post that curriculum online, to meet with their child’s teacher at least twice a year, to review budget information and inspect books and other materials in the school library. It would also entitle parents to receive information about violent activity in their child’s school and also to know if there child is not grade-level proficient in reading or language arts by the end of hte 3rd grade.

KCUR Photo

Other provisions in the bill would prohibit schools from selling student information for commercial or financial gain, and would require elementary school to obtain parental permission before changing a minor child’s gender markers, pronouns or preferred name on school forms, or allowing a child to change his/her sex-based accommodations.

Elements of the bill are part of the national outcry from parents across the country who became activated and concerned about what most have described as “progressive” influences exerted on their children, primarily in public schools. Those concerns became apparent after parents viewed and were allowed to monitor online learning sessions when their kids were locked out of schools during the Covid pandemic.

A similar bill is before the Kansas Legislature this session, among numerous other related state bills being considered across the country. Democrat Governor Laura Kelly vetoed a similar bill last year.