A watered down form of a bill that would require parental consent from students to join non-curricular clubs cleared the House floor Monday.
But Rep. Aaron Tilton, R-Springville, sponsor of the so-called student-clubs bill, said he plans on beefing the bill back up once it gets to the Senate floor.
HB236 would require non-curricular clubs to establish a name that is connected with the purpose of the club, create a statement explaining the club's purpose, goals and activities along with parental consent.
Those were the provisions left after legislators gutted the original measure and voted 72-3 for the substitute bill.
Despite the overwhelming support for the changes, Tilton said he plans to get the bill amended in the Senate, adding provisions that would give parents the authority to view any content and material to be distributed in a club seven days prior to the meeting.
He also wants to require the school to appoint a faculty adviser to each non-curricular club. Some schools currently have parent volunteers and paraprofessionals as advisers, as was in the original bill.
Tilton said that as the original measure stood, the Utah Attorney General's Office could defend districts sued over club application decisions, thus freeing districts from legal costs.
Under its current form the school districts would be responsible if sued.
But some lawmakers said that allowing only school faculty to advise clubs could rule out qualified community members and put an extra burden on teachers. Others felt providing school leaders with club material seven days in advance was also a tall order.
District and state education leaders have said the bill was unnecessary since currently local boards have their own policies and some lawmakers feared the measure could be overstepping the Legislature's role and micromanaging school districts.
Rep. Scott Wyatt, R-Logan, said he has heard lawmakers complain about how federal education regulations like No Child Left Behind mandate what is going on in individual states.
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