Rep. Bourne Supports Strengthening Parental Rights

Springfield….The Illinois House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday which will give parents the right to opt their child out of taking a State school assessment test. State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Litchfield) voted in favor of the legislation (HB 306) in order to strengthen a parent’s decision regarding their child’s education.
HB 306 provides that a student is not required to take a particular State assessment if that student’s parent or guardian requests, in writing, that the student be excused from taking the State assessment. The current law has students being tested multiple times throughout grade school, middle school and high school stating that if a child opted out of the high school career and college readiness assessment, that they may not get their diploma. Federal law, specifically the No Child Left Behind Act from 2001, makes it illegal for school districts to provide an opt-out option for students and their parents.
HB 306 will not only give parents the option to opt-out children, but it will also provide supervised instructional and enrichment opportunities to those who choose not to take the test.
“For me, this vote came down to requiring instruction for those students who opt-out,” said Rep. Avery Bourne. “They shouldn’t be punished for opting out by sitting in an empty classroom and doing nothing. Giving our parents a say in what their children are doing in school is important to me as well. It’s all about parental rights.”
Once each school year, before any assessments are administered, school districts will communicate with the parents and guardians of students to explain the right to opt out of a particular assessment. A school district and its teachers, principals, and other administrators are prohibited from encouraging or discouraging students or their parents or guardians, either individually or collectively, to opt out of the assessments.
The measure will now move to the Senate for consideration. To track this and other legislation sponsored by Rep. Bourne, please visit www.repbourne.com.                                                                   

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