CFER Opposes Senator Leyva’s Anti-Parent Comments at the California Education Senate Committee Hearing on A Parental Review Bill

For Immediate Release

April 28, 2022

SAN DIEGO, CA – April 28, 2022- Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER) condemns the disparaging remarks made by California State Senator Connie Leyva (SD 20) at the April 27 Senate Education Committee hearing on SB 1045. In an attempt to whip opposition votes against the bill which would have granted parents access to classroom lesson plans, Sen. Leyva sarcastically argued that “someone needs to give these parents a lesson on how to be professional,” referring to increasing parent participation in local school board meetings.

While the bill in discussion was sharply focused on access to educational materials, Sen. Leyva blatantly fanned the partisan fire by bringing attention to her strong disapproval of parents who are “yelling at people, screaming at people, running up and down the aisles, heckling people and students who are speaking.” Her biased, elitist opinions are of course not reflective of the general realities on the ground where the vast majority of parents who have attended school board meetings are respectful and civil individuals with strong convictions for their responsibilities as guardians of their children.

At the Wednesday public hearing on SB 1045, dozens of parents and registered voters called in to support transparency, while the opposition side was only represented by two members from the Association of California School Administrators and the California Teachers Association.

“Senator Leyva, a self-described union member of 30 years, is beholden to union special interests and dismissive of the overwhelming public support for the bill,” commented Dr. Wenyuan Wu, CFER executive director who testified as a lead witness in favor of SB 1045. “To attack a bill that’s not authored by her party comrades, she tastelessly regurgitated the talking point from the National School Board Association that parents are a danger to orderly democracy. This only serves to drive a wedge between parents and schools.”

SB 1045 would have established a state-mandated local program that “would require a classroom instructor to… provide a parent or a guardian with a copy of the classroom instructor’s lesson plan” in addition to “all primary supplemental instructional materials and assessments.” This is in line with converging public opinions for increased parental involvement in education. Schools should be required to seek parents’ affirmative consent before adopting any new classes or initiatives, thereby increasing the accountability of school officials and the education bureaucracy. CFER will continue to monitor similar legislation and advocate for parental rights and academic transparency.

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Contact:

Wenyuan Wu

wenyuan.wu@cferfoundation.org

(786) 393-8028About Californians for Equal Rights Foundation (CFER): We are a non-partisan and non-profit organization established following the defeat of Proposition 16 in 2020, with a mission to defend and raise public awareness on the cause of equal rights through public education, civic engagement and community outreach. In 1996, California became the first U.S. state to amend its constitution by passing Proposition 209 to ban racial discrimination and preferences. Prop. 209 requires that “the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.” CFER is dedicated to educating the public on this important constitutional principle of equal treatment. www.Cferfoundation.org.

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