The U.S. Department of Education on Monday announced its decision to drop a new parent advisory council. The decision came in response to a lawsuit from parent groups, citing partisanship and a lack of political diversity in representation. In addition, five U.S. Senators, including Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, wrote to Secretary Cardona on December 2 to express concerns about the council’s make-up. Lawmakers identified a lack of representation from local education officials, among other things.
Here is a portion of the Department’s statement:
On June 14, the Department announced the creation of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council. Several organizations subsequently sued, alleging that the Department violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) when it established the Council. The Department disagrees but has decided to not move forward with the National Parents and Families Engagement Council. The Department will continue connecting with individual parents and families across the country, including through townhalls, and providing parents and families with a wide array of tools and resources to use to support our students.
Following yesterday’s announcement, the parent groups dropped the lawsuit. See the joint notice of dismissal.
Background on the Ed. Department’s parent council
The Department’s goal for the council, according to its June announcement, was to provide a conduit for parent input about learning recovery following the pandemic. Council members included representatives from 14 national organizations. Read a Coalition blog post about the council here. Parent groups filed the lawsuit challenging the parent council in July.
Read more about the Department’s decision from The 74.