AN ACT TO ENUMERATE THE RIGHTS OF PARENTS TO DIRECT THE UPBRINGING, EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE, AND MENTAL HEALTH OF THEIR MINOR CHILDREN.
Senate committee substitute replaces the content of the 3rd edition with the following.
Enacts Article 29E to GS Chapter 115C, codifying ten statutory rights of a parent:
Defines child, parent, and State. Specifies that the Article does not authorize a parent to engage in unlawful conduct, and does not prohibit State officials, employees, or courts from acting within their official capacity within the reasonable and prudent scope of their respective authorities. Deems State employees who encourage, coerce, or attempt to encourage or coerce a child to withhold information from their parent subject to disciplinary action.
Enacts Article 7B to GS Chapter 115C. Defines child, parent, principal, school personnel, and superintendent. Includes legislative findings. Requires public school units to (1) inform parents of their legal rights and responsibilities with regards to their child's education, (2) provide a parent's guide for student achievement annually to parents, and (3) develop policies to effectively involve parents in schools and their child's education.
Enumerates 11 legal rights parents have with regards to their child's education, pursuant to specified state laws:
Requires public school units to allow parents to exercise their legal rights and make the enumerated rights available to parents either electronically or by display on the school's website.
Requires the State Board of Education (State Board) to develop and annually update minimum requirements for public school units for a parent's guide to student achievement. Details nine required components, including opportunities for parental participation, educational choices available to parents, contact information for school and unit offices, and resources for information on the importance of student health and other available resources for parents. Requires public school units to provide parents, students, and school personnel a parent guide to student achievement at the beginning of each year that meets the State Board's minimum requirements, is understandable to students and parents, and is discussed at the beginning of each school year in meetings of students, parents, and teachers.
Directs the governing bodies of public school units to develop and adopt policies to promote parental involvement and empowerment in the unit. Requires consultation with stakeholders. Sets requirements for the policies, including providing links to parents for community services. Additionally requires governing bodies to establish policies to meet six purposes, including providing for parental participation to improve parent and teacher cooperation, and establishing a process for parents to review materials for and to consent or withhold consent for participation in reproductive health and safety education programs.
Establishes the procedure for a parent to exercise their right to information by submitting a written request to their child's principal. Gives the principal a 10-business day period to comply or provide a 20-business day extension notice due to the volume or complexity of the request. Allows for parents to submit a written request to the superintendent if the principal denies their request or fails to respond with the timeline required, with a statement regarding the time frame of the denial or failure. Allows for the parent to appeal a denial or lack of response to the governing board of the public school unit if the superintendent denies or does not respond to the request within 10 business days, within 20 days of the request to the superintendent. Requires the governing body to schedule the appeal on the agenda for its next meeting occurring at least three business days after submission. Requires governing bodies to establish policies governing requests for information and appeals consistent with the act and display policies as specified. Deems decisions of a governing body final.
Requires governing bodies of a public school unit to adopt procedures to notify a parent of the following, at times specified: each health care service offered at their child's school and the means to provide consent to any service; procedures to exercise parental remedies; any K-3 student well-being questionnaire or health screening form and the means to provide consent to their use for their child; changes in services or monitoring related to their child's mental, emotional, or physical health or well-being and the school's ability to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for their child; and change to the name or pronoun used for the student in school records or by school personnel. Requires school personnel to encourage a child to discuss issues related to the child's well being with their parent and facilitate such discussions. Provides limitations to disclosure of a child's education and health records. Sets limitations on procedures and formS that prohibit school employees from notifying a parent about their child's health or well-being or a change related to services or monitoring, or that encourage or have the effect of encouraging a child to withhold such information from their parent.
Requires student support services training developed or provided by a public school unit to school personnel to adhere to student services guidelines, standards, and frameworks established by the Department of Public Instruction (DPI).
Prohibits instruction on sexual orientation or gender identity from inclusion in K-3rd grade curriculum, as specified.
Directs governing boards of public school units to adopt procedures for a parent to notify the principal at their child's school regarding concerns about the unit's procedure or practice under the act and a process for resolving those concerns within seven days of notice. Requires the unit to provide a statement for not resolving the concern within that timeframe, and allows a parent to notify the State Board or bring an action against the school unit for injunctive relief if the concern is not resolved within 30 days. Directs the State Board to establish rules for parental concern hearings with five minimum requirements that must be met.
Directs DPI to review and update school counseling frameworks and standards, educator practices and professional conduct principles, and other student services and school personnel guidelines, standards, or frameworks by June 30, 2023.
Applies beginning with the 2022-23 school year.
Enacts Part 3, Article 1A, GS Chapter 90, to prohibit health care practitioners, as defined, from providing, soliciting, or arranging treatment for a minor child without written consent from their parent, and prohibit health care facilities, as defined, from allowing treatment to be performed on a minor child without written consent from their parent, subject to state law and court order. Defines treatment. Excludes services provided by a clinical lab unless delivered through direct encounter with the minor child at the clinical laboratory facility. Subjects health care practitioners or other persons who violate the Part to disciplinary action by their respective authorizing board, including a fine of up to $5,000. Applies to violations committed on or after December 1, 2022.
Effective July 1, 2022, unless otherwise provided.
Changes the act's titles.