Governor Evers Vetoes Legislation to Provide Parents with Access to Classroom Materials
WILL-supported legislation would have required districts to post classroom material online
The News: Governor Tony Evers vetoed curriculum transparency legislation (SB 463/ AB 488), Friday, denying parents access to the classroom materials in our public schools. The Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) supported the legislation to require all public schools to publicly provide access to the material taught in our public-school classrooms.
The Quotes: WILL Director of Education Policy, Libby Sobic, said, “Governor Evers’ veto of the curriculum transparency legislation, authored by Sen. Stroebel and Rep. Behnke, denies parents access to taxpayer-funded classroom materials. By vetoing this important legislation, the Governor is telling parents that their concerns are less important than the status quo in Wisconsin public schools.”
Why WILL Supported This Legislation: The pandemic provided parents with a unique peek into the classroom. Many demanded to know more about what their children are learning in public schools. WILL supported this legislation because parents deserve to access curriculum material and information without having to jump through hoops, like submitting open-records requests and paying exorbitant fees.
- Recent WILL research revealed the difficulty of accessing curriculum material after submitting identical open record requests to nine large Wisconsin school districts.
- WILL requested information from seven teachers who taught classes at two Madison high schools. The district responded and requested at least $10,000 for the request to be completed.
- The Kenosha School District requested that we pay over $1,200 for the materials. These costs serve as significant barriers to accessing information and are, unfortunately, permitted under the public records laws.
- This legislation balanced providing transparency to parents while ensuring that the districts don’t violate copyright laws and are only required to post classroom materials twice a year.
What’s Next? Governor Evers’ veto message said, specifically, “under existing federal law – every school district already must have policies and procedures to make sure parents can request access to instructional materials being taught to their kids.” WILL intends to continue to fight for greater access and will use all existing means, including records requests and federal law, to ensure schools are being transparent.
- The next battle in the war for parents’ rights in education is a line politicians dare not cross, Betsy DeVos, FoxNews.com
- WILL Testimony in support of SB 463/ AB 488
- Opening the Schoolhouse Door: Promoting Curriculum Transparency, Will Flanders and Jessica Holmberg, May 26, 2021
- Appendix Featuring Controversial Wisconsin Public School Curriculum Material, May 26, 2021
- Republican proposal would require school districts to post curriculum lists online, Cap Times, July 8, 2021
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2 thoughts on “Governor Evers Vetoes Legislation to Provide Parents with Access to Classroom Materials”
So what happens if one parent decides that he or she does not like one of the books/topics/assignments that a teacher might give to the class? Does the teacher have to not use the book/topic/assignment because one parent objects. Does this parent have the right to deny the other students in the class the knowledge that doing this particular book/topic/assignment? This is just an attempt at harassment of teachers in our public education system.
The Bradley Foundation rears its silk stocking, private club, take over the government ugliness again.
The narrow path that they repeatedly attempt to impose upon the populace in no way conforms to promoting the common good. But that is their intent.