by Dale Ostrander


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Some parents in Central New York who we spoke to say they have reason to be concerned with their children’s education as of late.

Baldwinsville parents have recently packed school board hearings to voice their concerns on who the school’s district’s new superintendent should be. Cortland parents told school board members they’re worried about mental health services for students and whether the district’s budget addresses it.

These are just two recent examples of how local parents are making their voices heard to school district leaders.

“I do believe that we all have a say, however, people are not using their voices because, in my earlier years, I didn’t know I had a say I just went with everything else everyone else said,” parent Jill Byrd said.

Joseph Langevine said his experience with his children’s education changed when his kids transferred to a bigger school, “So with the larger school districts, I think it kinda has a more difficult time having a close relationship with the parents.”

These are some reasons House Republicans are now proposing what they call the “Parents Bill of Rights.”

Those in support say it will give parents the right to know what their children are being taught and a right to see their school’s budget spending in addition to keeping their children safe and privacy protected.

New York Rep. Elise Stefanik in Albany helped introduce the bill with the Speaker of the House Rep. Kevin McCarthy. Rep. Stefanik is excited for this bill and hopes to see it passed, “I am the newest mom in Congress and we are proud to be standing up for families, for parents, for grandparents but most importantly for kids across this country.”

In a press release from Rep. Stefanik notes that this bill comes “in the face of the woke agenda and radical CRT (Critical Race Theory) the Far Left is pushing.”

Ashara Baker of the National Parents Union tells CNY Central this move by House Republicans feels political and doesn’t represent what all parents want. She says that Republicans should, “keep the culture wars out of the classroom. It seems to be a very partisan point of view and holistically when you are talking about getting the perspective of parents, you need to have the diversity piece of all parents that you are representing.”

So far it seems House Democrats are being quiet about this legislation and few if any are commenting on it.

In 2021, Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri proposed a similar bill in the Senate but it never made it to the floor for a vote.