2015 Bills

SB204: Making More Explicit a Parent’s Right to Opt a Child out of Testing

This bill passed the Senate 18-6 and passed the House 54-19. It was subsequently signed into law by Governor Herbert.

Libertas Institute supports this bill.

As revealed in our recent interview with a Utah mother, schools throughout Utah are forcing children to take assessments which their parents had legally opted them out of. They were supported in doing so by the Utah State Office of Education which authored memos directing schools to only allow parents to opt their children out of select tests, despite a law passed last session by Senator Aaron Osmond, which passed almost unanimously, that provided for an opt out for a “test that is administered statewide ”

To correct this issue, Senator Osmond has authored new legislation that would require schools to excuse children out of “any summative, interim, or formative test that is not locally developed,” or “any test that is federally mandated or mandated by the state.”

Additionally, schools would be prohibited from requiring parents to meet with the principal or other school official as a condition of excusing the child, or require the parent to sign a form of their choosing, rather than accepting the written statement of the parent. The bill would also stipulate that a parent’s written statement would remain in effect until further notice, or when the child is no longer enrolled at the school

Parents are the primary stewards of their children, and the state must remain secondary and supportive to the extent is has any authority to do anything. Parents clearly enjoy the fundamental right to direct their child’s education, and therefore schools should not be forcing them to undergo certain things, such as assessments, which the parents don’t want their child being put through. As such, we support this legislation to rein in the abuse of the Utah State Office of Education.

  • Jennifer Mortazavi

    I sit here a heart broken Florida parent thinking of my child. Thinking of the stress they have to encounter because their mommy or daddy does not make enough money to send them to private school. Realizing how once again the state of Florida lets our children down. They allow them to be discriminated due to their parents financial status. You see if my child attended private school he is not required to take the FCAT or FSA. They would take the IOWA and not be held accountable for the results. From what I understand this is a state of Florida mandatory exam. Yet private schools that are located in the “state of Florida” occupied with children who reside in the “state of Florida” are not required to take these exams. Where is the equality for our children? Where are the laws that protect our children? Our children continue to be let down by the state of Florida. Enough is enough, our children have a voice, they have rights and they deserve to be heard. My child now attends Saturday school to prepare them for this exam. What is a private school student doing on Saturday? Enjoying a beautiful Florida day? Our teachers were just trained last month and are now expected to teach our children an exam in two months that will judge them and rate them. The state of Florida is causing high levels of stress and anxiety in our youth without being held accountable for the damage being caused. The stress is affecting our children’s confidence, behavior, sleeping patterns and overall health. Is it even legal to reprimand a child for their parents financial status. Why are we allowing this discrimination? Is this not illegal? If this is a state exam all children in the “state of Florida” should be mandated to take this exam. As parents of children in the public school system we should protest so that our children are treated equal. So that all children be required to take or not take the same exam across the board. Who do we address? Where do we complain? How do we become the voice for our children? We need change! We need action! My husband nor I took exams that labeled us nor judged us. We both grew up to be educated professionals that came from the public school system. I vow to gather all concerned parents and request change and equality for our children.

  • june

    As a retired Special Education teacher, I support less federal control and more parental control for every department of our educational system. It is time to have the federal government to be less in all departments.

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