https://hotair.com/karen-townsend/2022/12/05/department-of-education-disbands-national-parents-council-after-parental-rights-groups-sued-n515757

Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona announced last summer he was forming the new National Parents and Families Engagement Council as a means to find “constructive ways to help families engage at the local level.” Yesterday, a dismissal notice paper was filed to disband the council. That didn’t last long.

The National Parents and Families Engagement Council, according to a press release in June, was “to facilitate strong and effective relationships between schools and parents, families and caregivers.”

The Council consists of parent, family, or caregiver representatives from national organizations that will work with the Department to identify constructive ways to help families engage at the local level. Organization representatives will reflect the diversity of the education system, including, but not limited to, families of students in public schools, charters, private schools, and homeschool. The Council will be a channel for parents and families to constructively participate in their children’s education by helping them understand the rights they have, create a feedback loop with schools to shape how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are deployed to meet students’ needs, and identify summer learning and enrichment opportunities for children in their communities.

“Parents provide critical perspective, and they should always have a seat at the table whenever decisions are made that impact their children. And this is more important than ever in the effort to help students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anna King, president of National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). “National PTA applauds the Department of Education for launching the National Parents and Families Engagement Council and providing a channel for parents’ voices to be heard and considered. This is essential to help make sure the needs of students are met coming out of the pandemic and ensure every child has everything they need to make their potential a reality.”

The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA) was giddy with excitement. Its reaction was included in the press release.

“Parents provide critical perspective, and they should always have a seat at the table whenever decisions are made that impact their children. And this is more important than ever in the effort to help students recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Anna King, president of National Parent Teacher Association (PTA). “National PTA applauds the Department of Education for launching the National Parents and Families Engagement Council and providing a channel for parents’ voices to be heard and considered. This is essential to help make sure the needs of students are met coming out of the pandemic and ensure every child has everything they need to make their potential a reality.”

“NAFSCE congratulates the Department of Education for establishing a National Parents and Families Engagement Council,” said Vito Borrello, executive director of the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE). “This Council provides the opportunity to bring diverse parent voices together to inform the Department’s policies and programs, while also serving as a dissemination vehicle for engaging families across the country in equitable education policy.”

Sure, it’s all fun and games between parents and administrators until parents actually show up at school board meetings and voice concerns over the agendas of the teacher unions that permeate schools. Then those parents speaking out are labeled by the DOJ as domestic terrorists and MUST.BE.SHUT.DOWN! How dare parents ask questions of administrators and expect answers. The funny thing is Secretary Cardona thinking that the PTA was a terrific voice for support. Most parents don’t bother with the PTA in their child’s school, usually because they are too preoccupied with their own lives and children. I know when I was actively volunteering in my child’s schools, back in the day, it was very difficult to find moms and dads who had schedules that allowed them to participate.

One thing the pandemic did, though, was to open the eyes of parents about what goes on in schools. Online learning showed the lesson plans and what was being taught in the classroom and parents didn’t like it. The silver lining to the pandemic lockdowns that closed up schools, many for over a year, is that parents are newly invigorated to be active in their children’s lives at school. And, thanks to enthusiastic parents, changes are happening. Look what happened in Virginia – that blue/purple state turned mostly red and elected Glenn Youngkin as governor in 2021 because he tuned in with parents and focused on a message of parental rights.

The same thing happened with Cardona’s National Parents and Families Engagement Council. It was overreach that only went one way so parental groups complained. And, they filed lawsuits. The council was called a Potemkin Village.

The department sparked a firestorm over the summer after it announced its new National Parents and Families Engagement Council as a means to find “constructive ways to help families engage at the local level.” Fight for Schools, Parents Defending Education, and America First Legal filed a joint federal lawsuit in July saying the council violated multiple provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) that require balance and transparency.

According to a dismissal notice filed Monday, the department has agreed to “immediately and permanently” disband the council and not hold any future meetings, and the groups have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit without prejudice.

Parents Defending Education President Nicole Neily praised the decision in a statement to Fox News Digital.

“We are gratified that Secretary Cardona’s Potemkin village ‘Parents Council’ will be disbanded, because families should never be used merely as props to advance progressive policies,” Neily said. “Parental engagement is essential for students to succeed; accordingly, it is critical that ALL voices and perspectives be integrated into any feedback mechanism that the Biden Administration operates – and that the Department of Education respect the rule of law.”

The authoritarians in charge of various departments in the federal government during the Biden administration tend to overreach. The overreach is always to benefit Democrats and progressives. It was the same here. It turns out the council consisted of allies of the Biden administration and 80% of their leaders donated to Biden and other Democrats. Cardona was trying to pacify angry parents who have complained for over two years about the quality of their children’s education and the problems that developed during the pandemic, not to mention the presence of CRT and LGBTQ agenda in school curriculum. This council, though, was just more progressive power grabs. Some groups selected to participate on the council included Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and multiple pro-Black Lives Matter groups.

Instead of putting equal representation of all sides of the political aisle, the Secretary of Education focused almost solely on progressive groups. There was no balance. The council was filled with yes men and women for the administration. And, it was not established in accordance with federal law. The parental lawsuits said the Department violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act when it established the council. Now, six months after its creation, it is disbanding.

Good work. Conservatives and Republicans get things done when they unite and work together to stop progressives in their tracks, especially in such important areas like education.

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