Parental Legal Rights in Public Education

Public education is also known as states schools mandated by the government to all children who are subsidized by state taxes. Including basic education from primary to secondary, as well as college or post-secondary managed by the government. Fees in these schools are much lower than that of private school but are still attempting to have equal standards of the former. What Legal Rights Do Parents Have In Public Education? The scope of parental legal rights in public education around the country differs from one another but shares the common ground of protecting children's welfare in schools.

Sending a child in school may cause a lot of procrastination for the ill-informed parents. However, parents should know that they have legal rights they could exercise that would protect their child. Parents have the right to choose which school is appropriate for their child. Moreover, parents also have the right to bring up their children according to their own values, beliefs and religion. This means that parents have the right to make decisions in behalf of their children unless it poses a risk to the child. Parents also have the right to have a complete access to student's files and records. Parents are entitled to review all teaching materials and other aids used in the classroom. A parent is entitled to remove the parent's child temporarily from a class or other school activity that conflicts with the parent's religious or moral beliefs if the parent presents or delivers to the teacher of the parent's child a written statement authorizing the removal of the child from the class or other school activity. A parent is not entitled to remove the parent's child from a class or other school activity to avoid a test or to prevent the child from taking a subject for an entire semester.

State schools encourage parent involvement in their policies and programs and it is up to the parents to support these rights to participate and be consulted about their children's education. An act known as the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was proposed originally during the term of George W. Bush which guarantees the parental legal rights in their children's education. NCLB Act lay out that the parents have the right to be well-informed about their children's progress in school by receiving reports and having a conference with their respective teachers. Parents can observe their children's classroom and have reasonable access to communications with staff. Moreover, parents have the right to participate in school's policy making programs that would ensure and tackle more on the involvement of the parents by receiving a written copy of the approved new policies, providing input into how the parent involvement funds were used. With the NCLB law, parents are to receive information about the professional qualifications of their child's teachers and providing recommendations in the overall school improvements. This respective law provided parents the freedom of speech and the full involvement of the parents to their children's education from policy making to the right to transfer their child to a school that parents see fit for their children.

If parents feel that their children's education has neglected them, they can make a formal complaint through writing to a school official or under the sector of the government which handles these kinds of issues.

Parents are essential partners in the education of their children. While constitutional law does not necessarily outline parental rights regarding education, exerting efforts in knowing their right are an important step that would ensure equality in education and protect their children's welfare beyond their respective home. In addition, children's education will be greatly exercised when parents and teachers work cohesively together.

Parents' Rights Resources

  1. Special Needs Advocate for Parents
  2. Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc.