Posted on March 27, 2023

House Republicans Pass Broad Education Measure on ‘Parents Rights’

Bianca Quilantan, Politico, March 24, 2023

House Republicans approved sweeping “Parents Bill of Rights” legislation on a 213-208 vote Friday morning, amid five GOP defections.

The legislation — H.R. 5 (118) — is the cornerstone of the GOP’s education agenda and mirrors several policies that have been introduced or adopted in states across the country. It outlines what parents have the right to in their children’s education, including access to teacher-parent meetings, school budget materials, curriculum and books, and the opportunity to testify before a school board.

The ‘no’ votes: Five Republicans voted against the bill: Reps. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.), Ken Buck (R-Colo.), Matt Rosendale (R-Mont.) and Mike Lawler (R-N.Y.). No Democrats voted in favor.

Amendment drama: The bill also became a sweeping vehicle for several other GOP priorities such as ensuring parents know what their schooling options are and policies on transgender students. However, Republicans failed to shore up enough votes to add a sense of Congress that the Education Department should be eliminated by the end of the calendar year.

Roughly half of the 22 amendments considered on the floor were tacked onto the legislation ahead of the final vote, which came after some internal strife among Republicans about the limited debate. The amendments that received bipartisan support included requiring schools to provide parents timely notices on major cyberattacks and the GAO to submit a report to Congress on the cost of the requirements of the bill and to evaluate the impact of the bill on protecting parents’ rights.

The legislation — which has already faced condemnation from the White House — will not be brought up on the other side of the Capitol, said Senate Majority Leader Schumer, who vowed Friday that the bill “will meet a dead end” in his chamber.

The Education Department was also quick to criticize the bill.


Still, the House vote does allow Republicans to use Democrats’ vote against a “Parents Bill of Rights” as 2024 campaign fodder.