Bill Description: Senate Bill 1099 would enable parents to inspect any instructional materials used in conjunction with a survey, evaluation, or analysis given to students. It would also require prior, written consent from a parent or guardian before a minor student may take a survey that reveals certain information, such as mental problems, sexual behaviors, or income. Anyone whose rights under the bill are violated would be able to sue.
NOTE: The Senate Amendment to Senate Bill 1099 adds a subsection stating, "Notwithstanding any other provision of law, this section shall not be deemed to invalidate any lawful duty or authority of the school district and its employees, law enforcement, or the department of health and welfare to conduct investigations relating to allegations of child abuse, abandonment, or neglect." The addition of this subsection does not change our rating or analysis.
Does the bill create more transparency or accountability in public education institutions? (+) Conversely, does the bill reduce transparency and accountability in such institutions? (-)
Federal law prevents students from being required to take surveys that would reveal information such as political affiliation, mental health problems, attitudes toward sex, illegal behavior, and more, without parental consent, if the student is a minor. Federal law also requires that parents be able to view any materials used in connection with most surveys. Senate Bill 1099 would apply similar restrictions on school districts, limiting their ability to conduct surveys that would elicit these kinds of responses. By adding these provisions to Idaho law, Senate Bill 1099 makes schools more accountable to parents.
Senate Bill 1099 would also increase accountability in public educational institutions by allowing “a person whose rights, as provided by this section, are violated by any school district” to sue. This would include minor students who are directed to complete a survey revealing certain information about themselves or their family, such as political affiliation, mental health challenges, or incomes, without prior written consent from a parent or guardian. The category of those who could sue would also include parents who are denied the ability to review any instructional materials “used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation.”
Senate Bill 1099 would promote transparency in public educational institutions by allowing parents to see and inspect “[a]ll instructional materials, including teacher’s manuals, videos, or other supplementary materials, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation.”