Peter Greene reviews efforts by Congressional Republicans to pass legislation guaranteeing parent rights. He goes through the legislation point-by-point and concludes that most of the “parent rights” are already common practice in American public schools.

He writes:

The bullet point version of the bill lists five rights– the right to know what’s being taught, the right to be heard, the right to see school budget and spending, the right to protect their child’s privacy, and the right to be updated on any violent activity at school. Most of which seems… kind of redundant, giving parents rights that they already have.
But maybe the actual bill reads a little better. (Spoiler alert: it does not. It is far worse.).

What the GOP is really seeking is to give parents the power to veto whatever is taught, which is alarming as it will lock in place the “right” of parents to rewrite history.

American public schools have many problems related to class sizes, lack of investment in repairing and upgrading obsolete facilities, racial segregation, and the need to retain qualified teachers, but the GOP does nothing to address critical needs. What it is actually willing to do is to pander to its aggrieved base.

Greene writes:

There’s are also levels of irony here. For one, the voucher programs that the GOP loves so well (e.g. Betsy DeVos’s Education Freedom Scholarships) champion schools that don’t have to do any of these things–and often strongly resist any pressure to make them do any of these things. The other is that the GOP is still trying to brand itself as the Parent’s Party, despite its opposition to paid family leave, medicare for all, and a variety of other measures that would actually help parents (like. say. addressing the US’s shameful maternal mortality rate). But why actually do something when you can instead float some doomed symbolic legislation that doesn’t actually do anything, let alone something useful.