SB 204 – Parent Rights Update – Stronger Opt Out Rights

Senator Aaron Osmond has listened to a lot of parents this past year and the sometimes horrible situations schools have put their children in forcing them to take tests they were opted out of, lying to children and telling them it was the law and they had to take it, etc… With the recent USOE memo trying to tell parents what they could or couldn’t opt their children out of, this bill is a major relief to parents. Here’s the changes being made. You can find the full text here:

http://le.utah.gov/~2015/bills/static/SB0204.html

Words that have a line through them are being removed and if it’s underlined it’s being added.

  (f) providing that scores on the tests and assessments required under Subsection (2)(a)
89     and Subsection (3) [shall] may not be considered in determining:
90          (i) a student’s academic grade for the appropriate course [and]; or
91          (ii) whether a student [shall] may advance to the next grade level.

53A-15-1401. Definitions.
132          As used in this part:
133          (1) “Individualized Education Plan” or “IEP” means a written statement, for a student
134     with a disability, that is developed, reviewed, and revised in accordance with the Individuals
135     with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. Sec. 1400 et seq.

160          (2) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent’s or guardian’s written request to
161     retain a student in kindergarten through grade 8 on grade level based on the student’s academic
162     ability or the student’s social, emotional, or physical maturity.
163          (3) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent’s or guardian’s initial selection of a
164     teacher or request for a change of teacher.
165          (4) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate the request of a student’s parent or guardian
166     to visit and observe any class the student attends.
167          [(5) (a) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a written request of a student’s parent
168     or guardian to excuse the student from attendance for a family event or visit to a health care
169     provider, without obtaining a note from the provider.]
170          [(b) An excused absence provided under Subsection (5)(a) does not diminish
171     expectations for the student’s academic performance.]
172          (5) Notwithstanding Chapter 11, Part 1, Compulsory Education Requirements, an LEA
173     shall record an excused absence for a scheduled family event or a scheduled proactive visit to a
174     health care provider if:
175          (a) the parent or guardian submits a written statement at least one school day before the
176     scheduled absence; and
177          (b) the student agrees to make up course work for school days missed for the scheduled
178     absence in accordance with LEA policy.

192          (9) (a) Upon [the] receipt of a written [request] statement of a student’s parent or
193     guardian, an LEA shall excuse the student from taking [a test that is administered statewide or
194     the National Assessment of Educational Progress.]:
195          (i) any summative, interim, or formative test that is not locally developed; or
196          (ii) any test that is federally mandated or mandated by the state under this title.
197          (b) An LEA may not:
198          (i) require a meeting as a condition of excusing a student from taking a test described
199     in Subsection (9)(a); or
200          (ii) specify the form of a written statement under Subsection (9)(a).
201          (c) A written statement to an LEA to excuse a student from taking a test under
202     Subsection (9)(a) remains in effect across multiple school years until:
203          (i) further notice from the student’s parent or guardian; or
204          (ii) the student is no longer enrolled at the LEA.
205          (d) An LEA may not reward a student for taking a test described in Subsection (9)(a).

217          (11) An LEA shall reasonably accommodate a parent’s or guardian’s request to include
218     in an Individualized Education Plan elements that the parent or guardian believes are in the best
219     interest of the child.

4 thoughts on “SB 204 – Parent Rights Update – Stronger Opt Out Rights”

  1. Tennessee is using the Utah law passed by Sen. Osmond for our parents this legislative session. Rep. Rick Womick and Sen. Mae Beavers are sponsoring the same bill that was passed in Utah last year. I guess next year we will look to add the updates from Utah to our law too. Thanks so much for your leadership and for sharing your success with me. SB122 will provide hope for many parents in TN too. It is shame we have to even pass laws like this. Restoring rights that are already rights given to parents from God.

  2. Shall we have him include a provision that all LEA’s/Teachers/School staff shall be required to read the law as written and be able to pass a test showing proficiency in being able to understand these changes and clarifications? I think YES!

  3. We’ve opted our children out of Sage Testing. Our school administrators were fine with our decision but one of the math teachers pulled my niece aside and told her “it would be in her best interest to take the Sage test” if not he would create a test that was so hard she would struggle to pass it and it would go toward her grade. Can teachers create another test and use it against the kids who have opted out of the Sage?
    Is the proposed legislation (below) talking about Sage Tests or the tests teachers will can create to replace the Sage test?
    (f) providing that scores on the tests and assessments required under Subsection (2)(a)
    89 and Subsection (3) [shall] may not be considered in determining:
    90 (i) a student’s academic grade for the appropriate course [and]; or
    91 (ii) whether a student [shall] may advance to the next grade level.

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