Sen. Thatcher: Senate OKs key curriculum transparency bill

By Senator Kim Thatcher,

The Oregon Senate passed Senate Bill 409, a bill that brings greater curriculum transparency to Oregon. This bill, which passed with bipartisan support, promotes student success by empowering parents with the knowledge of what their kids are learning in the classroom, and aims to improve communications and trust between parents and teachers.

This bill requires school boards to post a link to the Department of Education’s website, which parents can click to see the list of textbooks and other instructional materials adopted by the State Board of Education.

“Accessing school curriculum is not an easy and transparent process in Oregon. I’ve heard stories from parents who’ve even had to submit a public records request to learn about what’s being taught in their child’s school,” said Representative Lily Morgan (R-Grants Pass), a co-chief sponsor of the bill. “If this process was easier and more accessible, then we could cut to the chase and know exactly what our kids are learning in the classroom.”

“We know that parental involvement is the key to student well-being and success,” added Senator Suzanne Weber (R-Tillamook), a co-sponsor of the bill and Vice-Chair of the Senate Committee on Education. “By empowering parents with the knowledge of what their children are being taught, we are better positioning them to be able to help their children learn essential skills like reading, writing, and math.”

“SB 409 is a step in the right direction for Oregon’s kids and parents. But we are not done yet. In the spirit of this legislation, it is my hope that school districts will voluntarily post their own specific curriculum on their websites,” said Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), a co-chief sponsor of the bill. “Every parent deserves a seat at the table in their child’s education. I will keep standing up for curriculum transparency and parental rights in Oregon.”

SB 409 is now headed to the Oregon House of Representatives for consideration.