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Gov. Ivey signs “Parental Right to Know” bill

It will require teachers to upload their class curriculum within 30 days of the start of every school year.

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On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill that will require teachers to upload their class curriculum within 30 days of the start of every school year or the adoption of new or revised curriculum. The bill only applies to public K-12 schools.

The legislation, SB48, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed, R-Jasper, includes several more provisions that establish guidelines for a complaint process. These provisions would compel a teacher to comply with a parent or guardians request for copies of instructional material and allow a parent to file a complaint with the local superintendent if the teacher is uncooperative.

“Parents’ involvement is critical in a student’s education, and in Alabama, we know that nobody knows what is best for their children than our moms and dads,” Ivey said after signing the bill. “I am proud to sign this commonsense legislation by Pro Tem Reed to ensure our parents know what is being taught in our schools. Parent-teacher collaboration is important, and SB48 will help us take another step to support them.”

Dubbed the “parents right to know” bill and championed as common sense by conservatives the legislation is part of a national push to allow parents more say and potentially control over what is being taught. 

Over the past couple of years Republicans throughout the country have attempted to pass similar legislation often claiming it is to ensure transparency. However, a likely consequence will be the harassment of teachers if a parent interprets any material being taught in the classroom in a negative manner.

A conservative outlet, The National Review, actually stated what the likely intended goal of this type of legislation was during an article last year.  

“With the legislation, parents could likely uncover whether critical race theory or gender ideology are being taught in the classroom,” the article stated.

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Under Alabama’s political configuration this would mean parents could uncover if “divisive concepts” or gender ideology are being taught. This could lead to censorship in classrooms as opponents of this legislation have argued.

The ALGOP released a statement praising the bill being signed into law. 

“The Alabama Republican Party firmly believe that parents should be in the driver’s seat when it comes to the education of our children,” the statement said. “Senator Greg Reed’s curriculum transparency bill is a significant step towards achieving this goal, as it grants families unrestricted access to the curriculum and instructional materials used in our schools. We believe that transparency is essential for accountability, trust, and collaboration among everyone involved in our education system. Parents should have full access to curriculum, and we are proud that this fundamental concept was signed into law by the Governor today.”

The legislation will mean more work for teachers even though many already produce syllabi for their classrooms.

The law will take effect June 1, 2024.

Patrick Darrington is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected].

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