Rights of Parents in Texas Public Schools. 25th anniversary

Today, September 1, 2020 is the 25th anniversary of the Texas Parent’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities.

The Texas Parent’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities are a set of rights and responsibilities developed to assist parents and teachers achieve the common goal of educating the youth of Texas. It is separate and apart from the Children Bill of Rights or the Parental Rights found in divorce or family law proceedings.

The Texas Parent’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities are codified in Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code. These rights must be obeyed by every Texas public and charter schools. This list is not exhaustive and parents have other rights not found in Chapter 26 of the Texas Education Code.

Here are a few of the core rights.

1. Parents are recognized as partners with educators, administrators and school district boards of trustees on their child’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing educational programs for their children.
2. School districts must establish complaint procedures to address parental complaints against the school.
3. School boards must encourage the establishment of at least one parent-teacher organization at each school within the district.
4. Parents have the right to petition the school board to request a particular campus for his or her child, or request a change in the class or teacher to which a parent’s child has been assigned.
5. Parents are entitled to access to teaching materials used in the classroom of the parent’s child and review each test administered to the parent’s child after the test is administered.
6. Parents must be informed of their right to enroll his or her middle school or high school child in the Texas Virtual School Network (TxVSN).
7. Parents must be granted access to their child’s school records. School records include attendance records, test scores, grades, disciplinary records, counseling, psychological records, applications for admission, health and immunization information, teacher and school counselor evaluations, reports of behavioral patterns, and records of intervention strategies used with a child.
8. Parents can request for his/her child to graduate from high school earlier that the child would normally graduate if the child completes each course required for graduation.
9. Parents are entitled to full information concerning their child and parent can insist on disciplinary actions against district staff who coerces their child to withhold information from the child’s parents.
10. Parents have the right to temporarily exclude their child from class or school activity that conflicts with the parent’s religious or moral belief e.g. from parent can exclude their child from sex ed. Parents cannot however use this provision to exclude their child from standardized test.

Parents have a prominent voice to direct the affairs of their child in school. Use that voice. Be an active participant in your child’s education.

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