Senator John Rizzo Proposes Parents’ Bill of Rights Ahead of Legislative Session
Jefferson City — State Sen. John Rizzo, D-Independence, announces he has pre-filed legislation proposing a Parents’ Bill of Rights ahead of the 2022 legislative session. The Parents’ Bill of Rights would protect parents’ rights to be active and engaged in their children’s education, would strengthen parents’ rights to take action to improve their children’s education, would increase transparency in Missouri’s schools and would protect taxpayers from people defrauding education funding sources.
“Ensuring a quality public education for every child is a cornerstone value. I welcome anyone to the table who shares our passion for empowering parents to be more active and engaged in their kids’ schools,” said Sen. Rizzo. “This is Missouri. When a parent wants to know what’s happening in their kids’ school, they have the right to say ‘Show Me’, and get clear answers.”
Ahead of the upcoming legislation session, Sen. Rizzo has crafted and filed this legislation to be considered when the Legislature convenes next month. The proposed bill would give parents a right to know about and approve of their child’s health care decisions, have access to health and mental health records, educational materials and curriculum and would require parents to consent to biometric scans, DNA extractions and video/voice recordings. The legislation would give parents a right to be notified of investigations involving their child.
As part of the Parents’ Bill of Rights, each school will be required to develop a policy that would guarantee parents a right to participate in their child’s education, and:
- View the curriculum their child is being taught;
- Receive information on all extracurricular clubs at the school;
- Receive information regarding the criminal penalties for misusing funds awarded through Missouri Empowerment Scholarships Accounts;
- Receive information on the individual health benefits of childhood immunizations, how to receive these FDA-approved life-saving vaccines and the process to decline preventative measures against diseases including polio, whooping cough, hepatitis and more; and
- Receive information about enrolling their child in individual educational plans or gifted programs.
Further, the Parents’ Bill of Rights would require the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop a Missouri Transparency Portal that would track and provide easy access for parents to view school curriculum, and:
- Other related source materials;
- Professional development trainings for teachers; and
- A list of speakers and guest lecturers within each school and related costs.
Lastly, the Parents’ Bill of Rights would be enforced by local prosecutors who may file a lawsuit in the county in which the school is located.
For more information on Sen. Rizzo, please visit his official Missouri Senate webpage.