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House Republicans Introduce ‘Parent Bill of Rights’ … Again

In February, the House Education and Workforce Committee held their first hearing: “American Education in Crisis.” During the chairwoman’s opening remarks, Virginia Foxx (R-NC)  expressed her support for H.R.5 , more commonly referred to as “The Parent Bill of Rights.” The legislation was first introduced in the 117th Congress and would require K-12 school districts receiving federal funding to publicly post their curriculum and annually provide parents with a list of books in the school library, a breakdown of school expenditures, the ability to opt their child out of all data collection, and more. As anticipated, on Wednesday, House Republicans reintroduced the bill.

 Following the introduction, Chairwoman Foxx said:

“What the Parents Bill of Rights is doing is reiterating to people in this country that we believe in the Constitution…We as Republicans believe in the Constitution and we’re upholding your rights as parents, and students and citizens of this country.”

Democratic Ranking Member Bobby Scott released a statement denouncing the bill, saying:

“Now, instead of working with Democrats to address the real issues in schools, Republican lawmakers are proposing legislation that would further politicize our children’s education.”

NEA President Becky Pringle also released a statement condemning the bill and the politicization of public education saying:

“As Americans, we want the same thing — for every student to have the freedom to reach their potential. And for the more than 50 million students across the country that means strong public schools. In every community across the nation, parents and educators continue to be partners, working to ensure all students, no matter their race or background, have the opportunity to succeed. Sadly, Speaker Kevin McCarthy is ignoring the needs of our students, as well as the wishes of the vast majority of parents, to appease right-wing billionaires like Betsy DeVos who want to drag their political games into our school buildings and onto our campuses. McCarthy would rather seek to stoke racial and social division and distract us from what will really help our students thrive: an inspiring, inclusive, and age-appropriate curriculum that prepares each and every one of them for their future.”

The legislation is expected to pass in the House, but is unlikely to move in the Senate.

Supreme Court Hears Arguments Surrounding Biden- Harris Administration Student Loan Debt Relief Program

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments surrounding the Biden- Harris Administration’s student loan debt relief proposal that would forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower. The program has been on hold while the high court debates the legal justification of the program. During more than three hours of oral arguments, conservative justices on the court questioned whether the Department of Education has the legal authority to discharge federal student loan debt. The Administration for their part has argued that the HEROES Act, a 2003 law, gives the Department of Education the authority to help borrowers respond during national emergencies. The law says that the secretary of Education may “waive or modify any statutory or regulatory provision” related to federal student loans “as may be necessary to ensure that” borrowers “are not placed in a worse position financially” because of a national emergency.

In total, the Department of Education estimates that about 40 million federal student loan borrowers would qualify for the program based on their 2020 or 2021 income. Borrowers must earn below $125,000 individually or below $250,000 as a couple to receive the relief.

A decision in the case is expected by the summer.

New Resources for Educators

  • Higher Ed Dive issued a brief on declining K-12 enrollment and the impact on the higher education pipeline.
  • All 4 Ed released a new report on college and career readiness measures.

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend.

Until next time, see you on Twitter at @brennan_kait.

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