Critchfield Introduces Parental Bill of Rights Legislation House Education Committee Approves Bill with Unanimous

Tuesday, February 28, 2023

Feb 22, 2023 - (BOISE) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield has introduced legislation that will establish a Bill of Rights for parents of students enrolled in Idaho’s K-12 public schools. 

The bill, HB 163, is being sponsored by Rep. Judy Boyle and Sen. Ben Toews. Once adopted, the legislation will amend Idaho Code 33-6001 to protect parental and guardian rights not currently addressed in Idaho law.

“Parents are the number one factor in determining the success of Idaho students,” Critchfield said. “This legislation will ensure that parents will always have access to information about their children in our public schools, so they can continue to guide their student’s education as they see fit.”

Among the changes, the bill codifies requirements for schools to notify parents about important changes in a student’s mental, emotional or physical well-being. The bill also addresses parental rights regarding such things as:

Access to a student’s academic and health-related information; notification of school-offered health and wellness services;

notification and parent permission for surveys that could determine a student’s personal information such as sexuality, religion, political beliefs or family financial details; notification of contact with law enforcement in the school setting; and reasonable access to observe school activities.

“We’ve all seen the stories about schools in other states keeping vital information hidden from parents,” Critchfield said. “This legislation ensures that won’t be allowed in Idaho.”

The bill was formally introduced in the House Education Committee this morning. Legislative co-sponsors include chairs of both education committees, Rep. Julie Yamamoto and Sen. Dave Lent.

The Idaho House Education Committee voted unanimously to send the bill to the full House.

Critchfield’s other current legislation – a financial literacy bill developed with Rep. James Petzke – was approved February 13 by the House of Representatives in a 67-0 vote.

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