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Republican solutions will restore America’s education system

Parents and students are bearing witness, in real time, to the decay of America’s education system, and they’re enraged at what they see. Plummeting academic standards, woke curricula, and secretive policies that encourage educators to lock parents out of the classroom are the new hallmarks of our public education system.

Families deserve serious, viable solutions before it’s too late. Republicans stand ready to deliver.

We believe the cause of freedom starts in the classroom. That is why education is so important. Students should never find themselves trapped in a failing school. Families should be empowered to find the best learning environments for their children instead of being forced into failing public schools that may not meet their child’s individual needs. While the Biden administration, teachers unions, and bomb-throwing political opportunists on the Left want to
quash
educational freedom, Republicans are putting proposals such as the bicameral
Educational Choice for Children Act
on the table. The Left’s one-size-fits-all approach to education is withering and dying on the vine — it’s time for a change.

Parents have a solemn right to protect their children, and that right is nonnegotiable. In January of this year, a school in Florida covered up regular
meetings
with a student over her “gender identity” and kept her parents at arm’s length. It was only after the young girl attempted suicide that the parents learned of the school’s cover-up. There are no words to express the outrage over the school’s actions, and we must ensure this cannot happen again. That’s why Republicans put forward the
Parents Bill of Rights Act
, which makes clear that the innate rights of parents do not end at the school door and that they must be able to hold administrators accountable.

In both K-12 and postsecondary education, the strides women have made since the inception of Title IX, a legal statute that prohibits sex-based discrimination in education, must be cherished, not gutted. The Biden administration’s radical
reinterpretation
of Title IX to include sexual orientation and “gender identity” has pushed women to the sidelines. Girls and women at the top of their sport lose a fair chance to compete when biological males enter the field. Thankfully, several states have moved to protect girls’ sports. Legislative proposals by Reps. Greg Steube (R-FL) and Mary Miller (R-IL) would prohibit the Biden administration from punishing those schools that comply with state laws to protect girls’ safety, privacy, and opportunity.

The Left is continuing to push its radical agenda on college campuses as well. A free society such as ours is built on an open exchange of ideas. Too many institutions of higher education tout false promises of academic freedom but punish those with different viewpoints for simply speaking their minds. Silencing students and professors for challenging the status quo makes university officials no better than the cancel culture mob of the Left. Rep. Greg Murphy (R-NC) introduced the
Campus Free Speech Restoration Act
, which would require universities to uphold the First Amendment and publicly share campus policies on free speech. If we want to remain a self-governed and free country, we must protect the freedom of speech.

Education is at the forefront of Americans’ minds because it matters. The Left has tried to take education out of the hands of parents, local governments, and the states for too long. The current administration has even
resorted
to investigating parents who expressed concerns at school board meetings, forming an FBI task force to track these parents after the National School Boards Association labeled them “domestic terrorists.” Despite backlash to these actions, a New Jersey teachers union recently
released
an ad calling parents “extremists.”

Republicans, on the other hand, are the party of parents. Our policies send a simple, unified message to the Biden administration, its teachers union allies, and the rogue partisan activists who support them: We will support parents and students. And when we are in the majority, we will have a referendum centered on educational freedom, and the voices of students and parents will not be silenced.

Elise Stefanik is a U.S. representative for New York and serves as the House Republican Conference Chairwoman. Virginia Foxx, a U.S. representative for North Carolina, and Jim Jordan, a U.S. representative for Ohio, both serve as ranking members on the House Committee on Education and Labor.


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