By Dawn Collier
A showdown is coming over parental rights in California. Instead of heeding parent concerns, school administrators and teachers unions are stepping up their campaign to sideline parents.
Nowhere is that more apparent than AB 1078, a bill introduced by newly-elected Assemblyman Corey Jackson (D-Riverside) that would strip local school boards of their authority over the curriculum taught in their school district.
AB 1078 would require school boards to receive approval from the state board of education before removing any instructional materials or books from classrooms and school libraries or “ceasing to teach any curriculum.”
The bill is an attack on parents and school boards pushing back against the teacher unions’ drive to teach Critical Race Theory and inappropriate sexualized curricula in K-12 schools. Jackson introduced the bill as part of his “anti-racism bill package.”
“This is a slap in the face to parents who voted for a new direction in school districts across the state,” tweeted Assemblyman Joe Patterson (R-Rocklin) about the bill.
It’s also the middle finger to our state education system that has always been based on local control so parents, not state bureaucrats, have the final say when it comes to their children’s education.
Would it surprise you if we told you that one of Jackson’s top five largest campaign contributors is the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) PAC?
Or that ACSA’s PAC paid $35,000 to the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender) Caucus Leadership Fund, which also happens to be one of Jackson’s top five largest campaign contributors?
Jackson is also backed by Equality California PAC, one of the most powerful LGBTQ lobby groups in the state. The organization’s largest contributor last year was the aforementioned LGBT Caucus Leadership Fund, which gave $305,000 to Equality California PAC.
You see how political donations work in Sacramento? I scratch your back, you scratch mine … which brings us back to AB 1078.
Instead of local school boards having the final say over what is taught in their districts — where they can be accountable to the people most closely affected by these decisions — Jackson’s bill will give all the power to the California Board of Education, where no doubt a committee of union-backed radicals will rubber-stamp text books and lesson plans written by union-favored authors that teach every topic through the lens of race and sexual orientation — and now gender identity.
Jackson’s bill expands on current law that requires curricula “portray the cultural and racial diversity of our society” including “contributions of both men and women” — and already specifically lists “LGBT Americans” — by replacing “men and women” with “people of all gender expressions.”
If AB 1078 becomes law, insulated and unaccountable Sacramento bureaucrats will report to union lobbyists, not parents; and when parents do speak out, local school boards will claim their hands are tied because the authority over curriculum now lies with the state.
“This is all part of the unions’ phony ‘book banning’ campaign,” said Lance Christensen, Vice President of Education Policy and Government Affairs at California Policy Center.
“Parents have been successfully exposing the inappropriate content being pushed in our schools to indoctrinate kids,” Christensen explained. “The Left is trying to deflect attention away from their propaganda by painting parents as fascist book burners.”
“It’s not going to stop until every concerned citizen says enough is enough,” Christensen said.
The good news? This week, California Congressman and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) held a press conference with House Republicans announcing the introduction of the “Parents Bill of Rights Act,” which outlines basic rights of parents when it comes to their children’s education; number one is “The right to know what’s being taught in schools and see reading materials.”
There is a reason why local school boards, not the state, should stay in charge of school curriculum.
TAKE ACTION: Californians who do not live in Assemblyman Jackson’s district should connect with their respective legislators in the Senate and the Assembly and remind them why parent voices matter in our schools. Those who want to go one step further, and respectfully express their views, may contact Asm. Jackson’s legislative director here because Jackson does not receive communication from non-constituents via his office website.
While you’re at it, take a minute to check out who is on the board of directors at the Association of California School Administrators here. If your local school administrator is on the board, we’re sure they’d love to hear from you on AB 1078.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of Citizens Journal
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