House Bill 567: Public Education and Parental Rights

BOISE, Idaho - The bill is called Public Education and Parental Rights. House Bill 567 states "parents and legal guardians have a right, responsibility and obligation to participate in the education of such minor children."

Representative Janet Trujillo introduced the bill.

"As we were attending our town hall meetings we heard one theme repeated over and over again and that's Idaho took education in a different direction and parents felt that parental rights were being taken away," Representative Janet Trujillo (R) said.

The issue for many parents is the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium standardized tests. The assessments are developed by a 26 state consortium with input from the U.S. Department of Education. The argument is that parents have lost influence because school districts now have to teach to the test. If they don't they risk having the students fail.

The bill has given false hope to parents who might want to opt their children out of SBAC testing.

"At this point no, this (the bill) would not allow that. All this is saying is that parents have the right and responsibility and obligation to participate in their child's education which we know is very important," Trujillo said.

Stacey Knudsen and Stephanie Zimmerman run Idahoans for local education. They're against Common Core and the SBAC tests.

"Anytime the state recognizes parents as the ultimate authority in a child's life, that's a step in the right direction. However, it's a little disappointing that we even have to have this conversation about parent's rights," said Stephanie Zimmerman of Idahoans 4 Local Education.

Either way, the chairman of the House Education Committee says that parents always have an option.

"At the end of the day, if a parent doesn't want a child to take a test, obviously keep the child home from school that day. But I'm fairly confident that most parents want to know how well their students are doing in school," House Education Committee chairman Reed DeMordaunt said.