HALL MONITOR: “YES” on establishing fundamental parental rights in education in Virginia (HB 1507)

PDE Action supports Virginia HB 1507.

Name: House Bill 1507, a bill relating to public elementary and secondary schools and the fundamental rights of parents. 

Summary: House Bill 1507 would outline specific rights and responsibilities of Virginia parents in public schools. 

Patron: Delegate John J. McGuire

A patron sponsors a bill in his or her chamber. 

Bill Breakdown: House Bill 1507 would require school boards to submit justification for any policy they pass that effects fundamental parental rights as outlined in Virginia State Code 1-240-1. The code states: “A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent’s child.” 

Additionally, the bill states that schools: 

  • Must provide times for parent and community input in curriculum,
  • Parents must have access to the academic, health, and other records for their children,
  • Parents must have the right to opt their children out of surveys or other data collections, and 
  • Schools must ensure that parents consent before a school takes photographs of students or transmits student data. 

House Bill 1507 also addresses how schools and parents should work together to handle a student’s disciplinary issue. The bill passed the Virginia House of Delegates during the 2023 legislative session but was killed in the Senate Committee on Education and Health. 

Why did PDE Action support this bill? 

We believe that parents, not the government, has the right to direct the care and upbringing of their children. Virginia law supports this idea. House Bill 1507 supports parental rights and inclusion in K-12 schools. This includes in student discipline. 

Virginia parents were some of the first to ring the alarm bells about pandemic school closures and the long term impacts on students. The Commonwealth was put under a national microscope for parental rights and transparency in education, and for good reason—our partner organization, Parents Defending Education, has tracked 52 incidents of divisive race or gender ideology, parental exclusion, or other troubling issues out of Virginia. 

These incidents speak to the importance of additional parental rights and transparency measures like those outlined in House Bill 1507.