Ravell Call, Deseret News Archives
SALT LAKE CITY — Opposition to a bill requiring a state-level parent review of local curriculum complaints grew Friday to include Utah's top education officials.
The bill expands the duties of a panel of parent volunteers commissioned to review questions for a new statewide testing system to also field complaints related to curriculum and classroom instructional materials.
SB257 has come under fire from educators and parents — including some on the review panel — for pulling discussion on curriculum issues away from local educators and mandating tasks to the review panel without their input.
The bill has also been criticized for the method in which it was approved by lawmakers, with scheduling constraints prompting a hearing by the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee in lieu of the Education Committee and a disorderly House vote that included the vocal goading of representatives.
"If I was governor, and I’m not, I would veto this bill," State School Board member Leslie Castle said, "and I would want the support of the State Board of Education so I could do that."
The board's decision comes days after the Utah Parent Teacher Association sent a letter to Gov. Gary Herbert urging him to veto the bill. Veto requests have also been made to the governor's office from individual parents and educators.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Martell Menlove said he had not personally discussed the bill with members of the review committee, but he had heard reports that individual members had formally opposed SB257.
"It’s my understanding that at least some of the 15-member parent panel have already met with the governor and requested the governor veto this bill," Menlove said.
Board member Heather Groom said she "searched high and low" to find a constituent in support of SB257, but every person she spoke to was opposed. She said parents and school administrators alike worry about what effect the bill would have on local curriculum control.
"I couldn’t find one person that actually supported this, and that’s what probably made me the most nervous," Groom said. "While I want to support our good Legislature, I also have concerns with this."
Following its vote to request a veto, the board also voted in favor of holding board discussions on making the curriculum review process more accessible and transparent.
The board also discussed concerns related to HB342 and SB122, which respectively create a review committee for statewide school standards and enumerate a parent's educational rights, but members declined to request a veto of those bills.
Email: email@example.com, Twitter: bjaminwood
- Rep. Justin Miller pleads guilty to...
- Photo gallery: Night skies over national parks
- Pres. Nelson honored by the University of Utah
- Police seek alleged drug money from woman...
- Is 'Speaker Chaffetz' more likely with...
- Utah man impresses all four judges on 'The...
- Rep. Jason Chaffetz says he wouldn't run...
- Inmate charged with sending threatening...
- Is 'Speaker Chaffetz' more likely with... 68
- Chaffetz's run for speaker makes... 47
- Utah cites Warren Jeffs as reason... 42
- Scholars disagree whether compromise... 41
- Gov. Herbert says latest Medicaid... 29
- Proposal calls for 900 South to be... 20
- Judge dismisses negligence lawsuit... 15
- Lawmakers hear support for Medicaid... 15