SB 451 - This act establishes the "Parents' Bill of Rights" for the purpose of protecting and promoting the rights of parents to participate in and direct the education of their child and to know what is being taught in their child's public school.
The act secures the following parents' rights:
(1) The right to be involved in their child's education and to be notified of their parental rights and of any information that affects the well-being of their child;
(2) The right to access and view school curricula, guest lecturer materials, and staff training manuals;
(3) The right to access school district and school building performance information;
(4) The right to access to school and school district financial information;
(5) The right to choose an existing educational choice option provided by law that best suits the learning needs of their child;
(6) The right to opt their child out of the classroom for the presentation of any content listed in the syllabus with which the parents disagree, provided that the parents shall provide for an alternative location and safe and secure supervision during the presentation of such content;
(7) The right to control their child's likeness in district materials;
(8) The right to control their child's health and identifying markers including, but not limited to, the right to opt their child out of health measures not required by state order or statute; and
(9) The right to be notified in a timely manner if a school employee suspects that a criminal offense has been committed against their child. An employee who is required to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child shall not be required to notify the parents if the parent is the alleged perpetrator. No school employee shall encourage a child to withhold information from his or her parents, but a person who is required to report suspected abuse or neglect of a child may encourage such child to withhold information if its disclosure could reasonably be expected to result in abuse or neglect.
The act requires public schools to take all necessary actions to promote, preserve, and protect the parents' rights described in the act, including, but not limited to, the following actions:
(1) Making available to the public all school curricula at least thirty days before the beginning of a semester in which the material will be taught;
(2) Making available to the public school building level and district academic performance information, including, but not limited to: (a) any financial and academic data submitted to the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE); (b) the percentage of all students scoring at the proficient level or higher on all assessments administered under the Missouri assessment program; (c) the percentage of students in each reportable subgroup including race, ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, students with disabilities, and English language learners; and (d) for grades three to eight, the growth score in English language arts and in math measured against the national normal curve equivalent or any subsequent equivalent measurement adopted; and
(3) Making available to the public all financial data available in a searchable and easily understood format including, but not limited to: (a) financial reports and audits including any reports submitted to the state; (b) data showing all payments made by the school district; and (c) information about the tax rates and revenues associated with the school or school district.
Any material required to be available to parents under this act shall be made available in a searchable electronic format. Such material shall be placed on the DESE website or on such electronic platform as may be provided by DESE.
Under the act, no school or school employee shall compel a teacher or a student to adopt, affirm, adhere to, or profess ideas in violation of Title IV or Title VI of the federal Civil Rights Act, including, but not limited to, the following:
(1) That individuals of any race, ethnicity, color, or national origin are inherently superior or inferior to any other;
(2) That individuals should be adversely or advantageously treated on the basis of individual race, ethnicity, color, or national origin; and
(3) That individuals, by virtue of their race, ethnicity, color, or national origin, bear collective guilt and are inherently responsible for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race, ethnicity, color, or national origin.
The provisions of this act shall not be construed to prohibit teachers or students from discussing controversial or potentially offensive public policy issues or ideas, including the ideas and history of the ideas listed in the act.
This act is similar to provisions in SS#2/SCS/SBs 4, 42 & 89 (2023) and in HCS/HB 482 (2023), to HCS/HB 627 (2023), to provisions in SS/SCS/SB 741 (2022) and in HCS/SS#2/SB 761 (2022), to HB 2195 (2022), to HB 1474 (2022), to provisions in HCS/HB 1858 (2022), and to HB 2195 (2022).