Hudson Valley Republicans back show education bill, while Democrats denounce it as radical
Paul Kirby reports in the Daily Freeman that Republicans Marc Molinaro and Elise Stefanik and Democrats Pat Ryan and Paul Tonko split their votes on a show bill about parental control of education. Republicans call it the Parents Bill of Rights Act, and it has no chance to pass the Senate or be signed into law by President Joe Biden. Molinaro, who represents the 19th Congressional District, said, “This bill originated from the simple idea that parents should have a say in their child’s education.... I worked so this bill was reasonable, preserved protections for children, and included measures that ensure parents know what’s being taught in schools.” Ryan cited the five Republicans voting against the measure, saying, "“Democrats and Republicans alike opposed this bill because it is a radical federal overreach that bans books and attacks LGBTQ+ students.... It is deeply disappointing that so many of my Republican colleagues went along with this political stunt, rather than working on actual improvements to our education system. I’m focused on the real issues impacting our public schools, like getting guns out of our children’s classrooms, raising pay for teachers and reducing food insecurity.” Molinaro bragged about how he voted against several more radical amendments to the bill. A statement from his office said, “Rep. Molinaro also voted against significant Republican-led amendments – preventing them from being attached to the final bill. These amendments would have burdened schools with significant costs, interfered with state and local educational decisions, and established Congress’ support to suspend all major functions and programs provided by the U.S. Department of Education for K-12 education." But Democrats introduced a motion so that the bill could not lead to book banning. But Molinaro voted against that amendment. But the bill is filled with all sorts of radical amendments. Rep. Lauren Boebert, for instance, successfully backed amendments to require schools to report when transgender girls join girls’ athletics teams and if trans girls are allowed to use girls’ school restrooms or locker rooms. The bill, if it were to become law, would also require elementary and middle schools to get parents’ consent to change a child’s gender designation, pronouns, or name. Tonko said, "This bill tramples on the rights of parents, students, and teachers alike.... This bill would force schools to submit to 'inspections' of every book in their libraries and every piece of assigned reading material to ensure they comply with draconian standards." But, since it is a show vote that won't pass this Congress, Molinaro and Stefanik aligned themselves with radical Republicans in voting for the bill. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.