Lawmaker wants to bring transparency to public schools
BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - When the coronavirus hit, kids and teachers were forced to take learning from the classrooms to their homes. Parents got a first-hand look at what their kids were being taught. It didn’t take long before some became upset with lessons, particularly those involving history and race.
Republican State Rep. Lance Harris, from Alexandria, chairs the House Education Committee. He wants to make all public-school curriculum easier for parents to access at the local level, even though the information is already available at the state level.
“It’s not just about critical race theory or anything else, it’s about the parents knowing exactly what they’re expecting their children to be taught in schools. They’re required to post the agendas and the study guides etc. in January of every year and then update it by January the 15th before the school year starts,” said Rep. Harris.
The school systems would not only be required to publicize textbooks used in schools but also lectures and other presentations, including those from outside the school.
“So that they can comment to their local school boards, and to their districts and maybe those changes can be made before it gets to such a point where it’s almost out of control,” Rep. Harris continued.
Similar proposals have popped up in other states around the country. Critics of the bill say the requirements would make lessons more difficult and could even lead to certain books being banned. An employee with the Louisiana Federation of Teachers said if it were to pass, she would like to see it equally applied.
“I would say I would hope that if this is something they want to do that the legislature would provide the funds for it and that this legislation would apply to any school public or private,” said Cynthia Posey.
As far as how much funding it would take to make this happen, Rep. Harris said that will become clear once this bill is taken up for debate and changes are made to it.
The regular session will begin on March 14, 2022.
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