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S.B. 122 Enrolled

             1     

PARENTAL RIGHTS IN PUBLIC EDUCATION

             2     
2014 GENERAL SESSION

             3     
STATE OF UTAH

             4     
Chief Sponsor: Aaron Osmond

             5     
House Sponsor: Rich Cunningham

             6      Cosponsor:Mark B. Madsen              7     
             8      LONG TITLE
             9      General Description:
             10          This bill addresses certain rights of a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a public
             11      school.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    specifies certain rights of a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in a public
             15      school; and
             16          .    requires a school district, charter school, or the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the
             17      Blind to annually notify a student's parent or guardian of certain rights.
             18      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             19          None
             20      Other Special Clauses:
             21          None
             22      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             23      ENACTS:
             24           53A-15-1501 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             25           53A-15-1502 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             26           53A-15-1503 , Utah Code Annotated 1953
             27     
             28      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:


             29          Section 1. Section 53A-15-1501 is enacted to read:
             30     
Part 15. Parental Rights

             31          53A-15-1501. Definitions.
             32          As used in this part:
             33          (1) "LEA" means a school district, charter school, or the Utah Schools for the Deaf and
             34      the Blind.
             35          (2) "Reasonably accommodate" means an LEA shall make its best effort to enable a
             36      parent or guardian to exercise a parental right specified in Section 53A-15-1503 :
             37          (a) without substantial impact to staff and resources, including employee working
             38      conditions, safety and supervision on school premises and for school activities, and the
             39      efficient allocation of expenditures; and
             40          (b) while balancing:
             41          (i) the parental rights of parents or guardians;
             42          (ii) the educational needs of other students;
             43          (iii) the academic and behavioral impacts to a classroom;
             44          (iv) a teacher's workload; and
             45          (v) the assurance of the safe and efficient operation of a school.
             46          Section 2. Section 53A-15-1502 is enacted to read:
             47          53A-15-1502. Annual notice of parental rights.
             48          An LEA shall annually notify a parent or guardian of a student enrolled in the LEA of
             49      the parent's or guardian's rights as specified in this part.
             50          Section 3. Section 53A-15-1503 is enacted to read:
             51          53A-15-1503. Parental right to academic accommodations.
             52          (1) (a) A student's parent or guardian is the primary person responsible for the
             53      education of the student, and the state is in a secondary and supportive role to the parent or
             54      guardian. As such, a student's parent or guardian has the right to reasonable academic
             55      accommodations from the student's LEA as specified in this section.
             56          (b) Each accommodation shall be considered on an individual basis and no student


             57      shall be considered to a greater or lesser degree than any other student.
             58          (c) The parental rights specified in this section do not include all the rights or
             59      accommodations that may be available to a student's parent or guardian as a user of the public
             60      education system.
             61          (2) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent's or guardian's written request to
             62      retain a student on grade level based on the student's academic ability or the student's social,
             63      emotional, or physical maturity.
             64          (3) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent's or guardian's initial selection of a
             65      teacher or request for a change of teacher.
             66          (4) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate the request of a student's parent or guardian
             67      to visit and observe any class the student attends.
             68          (5) (a) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a written request of a student's parent or
             69      guardian to excuse the student from attendance for a family event or visit to a health care
             70      provider, without obtaining a note from the provider.
             71          (b) An excused absence provided under Subsection (5)(a) does not diminish
             72      expectations for the student's academic performance.
             73          (6) (a) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent's or guardian's written request
             74      to place a student in a specialized class or an advanced course.
             75          (b) An LEA shall consider multiple academic data points when determining an
             76      accommodation under Subsection (6)(a).
             77          (7) Consistent with Section 53A-13-108, which requires the State Board of Education
             78      to establish graduation requirements that use competency-based standards and assessments, an
             79      LEA shall allow a student to earn course credit towards high school graduation without
             80      completing a course in school by:
             81          (a) testing out of the course; or
             82          (b) demonstrating competency in course standards.
             83          (8) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent's or guardian's request to meet
             84      with a teacher at a mutually agreeable time if the parent or guardian is unable to attend a


             85      regularly scheduled parent teacher conference.
             86          (9) (a) Upon the written request of a student's parent or guardian, an LEA shall excuse
             87      the student from taking a test that is administered statewide or the National Assessment of
             88      Educational Progress.
             89          (b) The State Board of Education shall ensure through board rule that neither an LEA
             90      nor its employees are negatively impacted through school grading or employee evaluation due
             91      to a student not taking a test pursuant to Subsection (9)(a).
             92          (10) (a) An LEA shall provide for:
             93          (i) the distribution of a copy of a school's discipline and conduct policy to each student
             94      in accordance with Section 53A-11-903 ; and
             95          (ii) a parent's or guardian's signature acknowledging receipt of the school's discipline
             96      and conduct policy.
             97          (b) An LEA shall notify a parent or guardian of a student's violation of a school's
             98      discipline and conduct policy and allow a parent or guardian to respond to the notice in
             99      accordance with Chapter 11, Part 9, School Discipline and Conduct Plans.


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