Parental Rights

Parental Rights and Parental Engagement are at the core of the Parent and Taxpayer Coalition’s mission. We emphasize your rights first because we believe that it is only through respecting your rights that we can earn your trust, which is critical to your engagement. The United States Supreme Court said in 1923 that “the child is not the mere creature of the state”. Many of our representatives seem to have forgotten this. These are your children, and it is our job to make sure the school district is serving you.

We also see that many of our children are suffering from mental health issues. This phenomenon is not limited to children, however. It is our belief that these issues arise from a general crisis of purpose in our country, which is especially acute for the young. No public school or other state entity should be in the business of defining purpose for your child. That is something that parents must instill with the help of their chosen religious and cultural institutions, and we do implore parents to take this as a sacred task. What we can do is disallow activism that subverts your efforts as parents. We will strive to create an environment with the order, space, and sobriety in which a sense of purpose can flourish.

  • We have fought to keep controversial curricula out of our school.
  • We will safeguard our school libraries against sexually explicit or radical materials.
  • We will require transparency about what your children are learning and participating in.
  • We will defend parents’ rights to make health care decisions for their own children. We opposed the mask mandate, hybrid learning, and oppose any Covid vaccine mandate. We support improving virtual options and measures that do not infringe on personal liberty.
  • We will strive to create an orderly environment, with space in the day allocated for students to engage in private contemplation, prayer, or mindfulness activities.
Primary schools are not a “free marketplace of ideas”. They can’t be. Young minds are too impressionable for them to be informed, critical consumers of those ideas. It is incumbent upon the school district that they not allow young children to be indoctrinated in ideas that the majority of our community not only disagree with, but consider inappropriate for children.

Genuine Education

It is imperative that our children receive the training necessary to be competitive in the workplace. We want our children to have access to an excellent education in our district. To ensure this we will promote board members who will demand:

  • That the administration work to create a safe, orderly, well-disciplined environment, so that students and teachers are able to thrive in their classroom environment.
  • Transparency in curriculum so parents and community members can know what is being taught in our schools.
  • Keeping the academic letter grading system on Sapphire so that parents can be actively engaged in monitoring their child or children’s progress.
  • Objective, external measurement criteria to evaluate whether the strategies the school is pursuing are working or not.
  • Teaching true history rather than activist ideologies masquerading as history, such as CRT and the 1619 project.


Transparency is a keystone for a properly functioning school and school board. Without transparency we cannot achieve accountability. When transparency is lacking it builds mistrust between the school district and the community.

  • We have pursued a greater level of transparency by requesting that the board allocate time to respond to public comment, believing it would be appropriate for board members to either respond, or at least let their silence be noted. The current board voted against this as they did not see this as important.
  • The majority of current board members also do not respond to emails from parents or community members outside of election season. We believe this should change.
  • Most of the current board members do not discuss agenda items, and while several of the most recently elected board members do ask questions, the vast majority of votes are approved without any discussion by the majority of board members. We want to change this “rubber stamping” aspect of board culture.
  • We also believe that the current typical practice of releasing the agenda only 3 days before the meeting in which items are voted on is far too short. There is a month between board meetings. It is reasonable to request that the agenda be released no less than 1 week prior to the regular board meeting to give time for board members and engaged community members to research items of interest.
  • Finally, the district currently removes all but the last few board meetings from the YouTube site, and some meetings disappear faster than others. We believe that a longer history of meetings should be provided, whether on YouTube or as downloadable files.
  • Some school boards hold “town hall” style meetings. We would like to consider adding this format, especially for substantial changes.


Accountability is, in a sense, the entire reason we elect a school board. If the school board does not hold the administration accountable for how it runs the school, the ideas it allows to be promoted, or the way tax dollars are spent, we might as well not have one. We have not, however, seen that our present board takes this responsibility very seriously. We do.

  • We called out an unworkable health and safety plan that would have created chaos for parents.
  • We pressured an administrator to reverse an illegal policy that was restricting bathroom access for hundreds of students to one student at a time.
  • We exposed a CRT presentation given after hours at Shrewsbury Elementary to parents and students, and asked the board and administration to create a vetting process. They agreed, and never revisited the issue.
  • We discovered another controversial pair of CRT-promoting speakers the school was planning to invite, pressured to have it removed from the agenda, and demanded that they create a vetting process. It is now official policy, after a unanimous vote.
  • Current policy specifies that the superintendent, board secretary, and board president create the agenda for board meetings. It is our impression that at this time the agenda is largely formulated by the superintendent and board secretary, both of whom are unelected. We would like to see the entire board become involved in this process to increase the impact of the community’s elected representatives on the direction of our schools.
  • The current board rejected using objective metrics (even the baseline ones specified by PSBA) to evaluate the superintendent. It is our understanding that under current procedure, the superintendent writes his own review against subjective metrics and the board simply approves his self-evaluation. The superintendent is the highest administrative officer in the district and is only accountable to the board. We believe that one of the primary responsibilities of the board is to provide oversight for that office, and that a robust review process based on objective criteria is the minimum acceptable standard.

Fiscal Responsibility

The parent and taxpayer coalition is committed to holding our school board and administration fiscally accountable. The prior school board passed a 60+ million dollar building project in their last school board meeting leaving the responsibility for paying for it to the future board.

It will be imperative that in this current climate of inflation that we hold the board accountable for spending, in order to ensure that our property tax bills do not climb to a level that the taxpayers cannot afford. This will be a very challenging issue and will require a school board that can be transparent, and accountable.

  • We will demand that the administration demonstrate, quantifiably if possible, but minimally through a common-sense and logical explanation, the specific end they want to achieve through every use of tax dollars. Nothing should be approved because it “sounds like a nice idea”.
  • We will not treat federal or state dollars as “free money” to pursue new programs. Rather, we will first see if those dollars come with unacceptable strings attached, and, if they do not, see how those dollars can be used to defray current or expected operating costs before pursuing any new programs. We will also create clear sunset provisions for any non-critical program that depends on state or federal dollars.
  • In the current environment of retention and turnover challenges, we will look for opportunities to structure our programs to reduce stress on current staff.
  • We will give special attention to the impact of taxes on those with fixed incomes that are not adequately adjusting to inflation.

SYC2023 – the Platform