Parents in Alabama will get new insights into what their children are learning in school under legislation signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey on Thursday.

“Parents’ involvement is critical in a student’s education, and in Alabama, we know that nobody knows what is best for their children than our moms and dads,” Ivey said. “I am proud to sign this commonsense legislation … to ensure our parents know what is being taught in our schools.

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“Parent-teacher collaboration is important, and SB48 will help us take another step to support them,” she said.

The “Parents’ Right to Know” bill from Jasper Republican Sen. Greg Reed requires public preK-12 schools to post curriculums for every class to start each school year, and within a month of any additions or revisions.

Local superintendents and school boards will be responsible for verifying the information, and to responding to any complaints from parents.

The legislation, which takes effect in June, further requires every teacher to provide all instructional and supplemental materials and books to parents upon request, 1819 News reports.

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Alabama parent Rhonda Robinson told WBMA the bill’s timeline for requests – 10 days for a teacher to schedule an appointment to review materials, and 20 days to hold the meeting – will help insure parental concerns aren’t ignored.

“I’ve had a situation where I’ve emailed a teacher and I’m waiting for a response and I’ve had to go to the principal and say ‘Hey I’ve been trying to reach out to this teacher and I haven’t heard anything,” Robinson said. “You don’t want to over their head so if they can have some kind of accountability that would give them a reason to respond in a timely manner, I think that’s a good thing.”

If a teacher does not comply with the new law, parents or guardians can file a complaint with the local superintendent. If that complaint is not resolved within 10 days, parents are then permitted to file a complaint with the state superintendent.

“On or before September 1 annually, each local superintendent of education shall report the number of complaints filed with him or her during the previous school year to the State Superintendent of Education,” the bill reads.

“On or before October 1 annually, the State Superintendent of Education shall report the total number of complaints filed during the previous school year, statewide and by county, to the Chairs of the Senate Education Policy Committee and the House of Representatives Education Policy Committee.”

The legislation follows a flood of bills in statehouses across the country in recent years aimed at increasing transparency and parental involvement in education, particularly regarding transgender policies, how politically charged issues are presented in the classroom, and sexually explicit books in schools.

Many of those concerns and others stemmed from remote learning during the pandemic, when parents became more aware of the materials their children receive at school.

Similar parents’ rights legislation approved in other states prevents school officials from withholding medical information about students from parents, blocking a disturbing trend of school policies that shield gender identity changes from parents.

A total of 38% of states, or 19, now have statutes that define and protect parental rights, primarily states with Republican-controlled legislatures, according to ParentalRights.org.

In most cases, those rights were approved by Republican lawmakers over strong opposition from Democrats and state teachers unions that have prioritized protections for transgender students.