Governor Wolf vetos bill requiring school curricula to be published online
HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Republicans detonate Governor Tom Wolf’s veto of a bill that would have required schools to publish study plans online, but opponents are applauding the move.
Right now, parents can request to see their children’s school schedule, but this bill would have made all of that available online. Some call it transparency. Others say it is a veiled attempt at censorship.
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“This is a very reasonable and straightforward transparency bill that allows parents to see what their children are going to learn in school and access that information online,” said Representative Andrew Lewis (R -105th District). I’m very disappointed today and a little baffled, to be honest.
Wolf vetoed Lewis Bill 1332. The reasoning was echoed by Deborah Gordon Klehr of the Education Law Center.
“The bill encourages censorship under the guise of transparency,” said Gordon Klehr.
Over the past several months, critical race theory, which is not taught in public schools, has been the topic of conversation.
“I don’t see it as a political or cultural war bell or anything like that,” Lewis said. “I started working on this a few years ago. And for me, it’s a transparency bill and it’s about bringing transparency to the 21st century in education.
But that’s not how Gordon Klehr sees it.
“We see this legislation as part of a national effort that will lead to book bans, and we don’t think there is room for this type of censorship in Pennsylvania,” said Gordon Klehr.
She says it exposes teachers to harassment and silences various voices.
“This legislation would have a frightening impact on teachers and undo important efforts by school districts to make schools more welcoming and inclusive for students of color, for LGBTQ youth, for all students,” said Gordon Klehr.
“I just think the governor has shown that he is prepared to make it harder for parents to access the information to which they are entitled on the education of their own children and I am very disappointed that he has done so.” Lewis said.
In a statement, Wolf said:
“Under the guise of transparency, this law politicizes what is taught in our public schools. State regulations passed by the National Board of Education already require that public schools provide parents and guardians with curriculum and teaching materials upon request. In addition, textbooks are adopted by school boards at meetings open to the public. Therefore, requiring all public schools to publish on their websites the details of each textbook, course syllabus or written summary of each course, as well as the relevant academic standards for each course, is not only redundant, but overly redundant. restrictive. The onerous demands of this bill fall on educators who should focus on critical issues such as tackling learning loss, managing the impacts of the pandemic on students, and addressing staff shortages. Many education stakeholder groups have expressed significant concerns and opposition to this bill, including its underlying purpose, lack of need, and overwhelming impact.
“This legislation is a thinly veiled attempt to restrict truthful instructions and censor content reflecting diverse cultures, identities and experiences. My administration is committed to creating a safe learning environment for all students, and we will not participate in this dangerous and harmful imposition.