PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A state legislative committee has approved a bill that would make it easier for parents to find out what their children are being taught in school.
But not everybody supports the measure. In a strictly partisan vote with 15 Republicans for and 10 Democrats against, the House Education Committee approved House Bill 1332 to require schools to post online the curriculum and textbooks each teacher uses in the classroom.READ MORE: Fall Foliage Report: Cooler Temperatures Bring In The Best Colors
At a time when some are concerned about the political nature of what is taught in school, or worry that students may be taught about race in an inappropriate way, or believe schools are promoting an agenda at odds with the parents’ values, a state legislative committee approved the bill to require all curriculum and textbooks to be posted on the school’s public website.
“I think it’s critical that parents have the tools to be active within their kids’ education, and this allows them to do that,” State Rep. Josh Kail, a Beaver County Republican, told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Wednesday.
“A lot of schools across this Commonwealth are already doing it. This might broaden the scope of what’s happening,” he added.
Kail voted for the bill in committee, but State Rep. Mark Longietti, a Mercer County Democrat, voted against it, saying the bill has problems.
“The timing certainly isn’t good. We know that schools have their plates full trying to keep school in person, dealing with health and safety concerns, trying to make up learning loss among students,” Longietti said.READ MORE: Lane Restriction On Northbound I-279 Lanes After Reported Vehicle Fire, Multi-Vehicle Crash
“The School Boards Association, the Superintendents Association indicated this is another unfunded mandate,” he added.
Besides the time commitment to post ever-changing lesson plans, the Pennsylvania Federation of Teachers worries this is a way to influence how a subject is taught like Critical Race Theory.
“We’ve seen in a number of states that they have used this as a backdoor way against teaching racism,” Nina Esposito Visgitis, president of the Pittsburgh Federation of Teachers, said.
“We want our students to get the whole picture. We want our students to learn the truth. We don’t want to water it down,” she added.
But Kail said greater transparency may actually reduce parental anxiety about teaching.
“The knowledge of what’s being taught and how it’s being taught will alleviate some concerns that some parents might have,” Kail said. “I think the mystery of it actually increases a parent’s concern with what’s being taught.”MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Mayoral Candidates Ed Gainey, Tony Moreno Take Debate Stage On KDKA
Now this bill would apply to all public schools, charter schools and cyber schools but does not appear to cover parochial or private schools.