Legislature(2023 - 2024)
2023-03-08 House JournalFull Journal pdf
2023-03-08 House Journal Page 0347 HB 105 HOUSE BILL NO. 105 by the House Rules Committee by request of the Governor, entitled: "An Act relating to parental rights in a child's education; relating to access to school records; relating to sex education, human reproduction education, and human sexuality education; relating to school disciplinary and safety programs; and providing for an effective date." 2023-03-08 House Journal Page 0348 was read the first time and referred to the Education and Judiciary Committees. The following fiscal note(s) apply: 1. Fiscal, Dept. of Education & Early Development The Governor's transmittal letter dated March 7 follows: "Dear Speaker Tilton: Under the authority of Article III, Section 18, of the Alaska Constitution, I am transmitting a bill amending Alaska's education statutes to increase opportunities for parental involvement in their children's education by creating meaningful notice and consent requirements. The bill requires school districts to allow parental access to school records and to develop policies requiring written consent prior to providing instruction related to human reproduction and sexual matters. Parental involvement initiatives in public education have been increasing nationwide. In Alaska, parents are becoming more actively involved in the content and quality of instruction provided in public schools. This involvement has resulted in an increased focus on the presentation of content and materials that may not be age-appropriate for all children. This bill addresses these concerns by placing matters of personal identification and sexual education directly in the hands of parents at the local level. Under the terms of the bill, school districts must adopt rules that provide for notice and affirmative written consent prior to any activity, class, or program that includes sensitive and personal content involving gender identity, human reproduction, or sexual matters, and a class involving sex education may not be attended by a child enrolled in a grade below fourth grade. In addition, the bill recognizes the rights of parents to designate the official name used by schools when addressing or referring to enrolled students. The bill authorizes the enforcement of these policies through the use of civil litigation by parents against school districts that knowingly or recklessly refuse to comply with the statute. 2023-03-08 House Journal Page 0349 A parent's right to information about a student's physical, medical, and mental health is absolutely critical to ensure the safety and privacy of their children. Given the complex and dynamic nature of the modern school environment, it is counterproductive to create situations where a child's various caregivers are not all operating on the same page. To that end, this bill also prevents school districts from refusing to release sensitive and personal student records to the child's legal parent or guardian. Finally, the bill recognizes every child's right to privacy by requiring school districts to adopt procedures addressing the physical safety and privacy of students in locker rooms and restrooms in public schools. I urge your prompt and favorable action on this measure. Sincerely, /s/ Mike Dunleavy Governor"