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Chisago Lakes Schools

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June 25, 2022

2/25/2022 11:05:00 AM
Legislative action on 'Parents Bill of Rights'

Discussion has started to heat-up at the legislature, regarding “parents’ rights”  when it comes to education.  The MN Republican caucus in a press conference last week,  spoke about how steps must be taken adopting new statute language to clarify and empower the role that parents play in their child’s education.  They stated their impression that school district officials need more guidance under existing laws,  and also need new mandates for allegedly failing to provide budgets and classroom reading lists, and not making parents aware of information that’s available.  And, one bill prohibits collecting speakers’ addresses at School Board for open mic.

Two GOP Governor-candidates participated in the press conference, Paul Gazelka and Michelle Benson, who stated districts must do a better job “engaging” parents.
This  issue may be in need of attention in some school districts— but not necessarily in our local schools. Chisago Lakes ISD 2144 distributes high school syllabus copies to parents on the first day of a course, for example.  Senate File 2666 calls for providing a syllabus.

Chisago Lakes Supt. Dean Jennissen said either a teacher or the Director of Curriculum and Learning are the contacts for lesson plan details for younger students, etc.  The Senate File 2909 requires a formal regular system of notifying parents of activities.

There is a “Teaching and Learning” page at www.isd2155.org/page/350.

The Chisago Lakes District follows MN State Academic Standards, with a link to those from the 2144 website.

Supt. Jennissen also noted Policy 606 which allows for process and procedure should a parent object to a curricular resource.

The effort to pass the “Parents Bill of Rights” also includes an education savings account for tutors and private education expenses that would be state tax free. This is SF 1525.

Another bill places a prohibition on requiring speakers’ addresses at school board meetings, during open comment time periods.  It was declared at the legislative press conference this practice is “doxing” citizens and must be stopped. The anit-doxing bill is Senate File 2729. (Doxing is a term for using specific information with malice to belittle or persecute someone on the Internet.)

School Boards have asked for addresses to ascertain if speakers reside in the district, said Supt. Dean Jennissen. “The Board feels it is their function to serve the Chisago Lakes community, not residents from another community,” he remarked.  Again, there is a policy for this on the district website www.isd2144.org/Page/30.
During meeting open microphone government entities don’t pursue any back and forth discussion that evening, but Board members and/or district staff often do contact speakers afterwards. The address is helpful for this and to figure out which school the subject child attends. (Personal phone numbers are not disseminated but may be part of the sign up sheet.)

North Branch Area Public Schools Superintendent Sara Paul observed that the district doesn’t have a history of general dissatisfaction with any lesson plans in general. When a request is made related to a specific student, she said, “we have a track record of being responsive to individual requests.”
Having a discussion about this in St. Paul will help bring attention to pro-actively consider how to further work in partnership with families when requests come our way, Paul concluded.

North Branch has a strategic planning committee called the world’s best workforce advisory and several parents serve on this where curriculum topics are discussed.  If you need a question about educational materials and course plans feel free to ask your child’s teacher or call Supt. Paul at 651-674-1012 or e mail spaul@isd138.org.

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