Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy Says Government Must Keep out of Kids’ Education, Presses for Federal ‘Parents Bill of Rights’

At a press conference to reintroduce the “Parents Bill of Rights Act,” California Republican Speaker of the House, Kevin McCarthy, said the government must be kept out of children’s education, calling it the “great equalizer.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re from Louisiana, Florida, Indiana, New York or North Carolina, or even California. It doesn’t matter the color [of] your skin, your wealth. When you have a child, that is the most important thing in your life,” said McCarthy at a press conference. “And one thing we know in this country is education is the great equalizer.”

Speaker McCarthy was joined at the press conference by several other GOP representatives, including House Republican Representative Julia Letlow of Louisiana and Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik of New York, who originally introduced the bill along with 73 other GOP co-sponsors. 

During the press conference, the Speaker of the House emphasized the “five pillars” the bill is based on, including “the right to know what’s being taught in the school”; “right to be updated on any violent activity at the school”; “the right for parents to be heard” “the right to protect your child’s privacy”; and “the right to see the school budgets.”

“We want the parents to be empowered. And that’s what we’re doing today — that you have a say in your kids’ education, not government,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy emphasizes recent attack on parents 

The Speaker of the House also mentioned the recent attacks on parents amid the growth of controversial school curricula and the addition of critical race theory. Representative McCarthy voiced concerns that “parents were attacked, called terrorists” as they sought to interact in school board meetings. 

“There is nothing more life-changing than becoming a parent,” said Stefanik, echoing McCarthy during the event. “I am the proud mom of Sam. As Kevin mentioned, Sam is 18 months, so I’m the newest mom in Congress, and we are proud to be standing up for families, for parents, and for grandparents. But most importantly for kids across this country.”

Stefanik gave birth to her first child in August 2021 and delved into her strong interest in education. She initially tried to join the Education and Workforce Committee when she was first elected to the House. 

The “Parents Bill of Rights” is preceded by numerous state bills which seek to block various concept materials from being taught and expand parental rights in the classroom.

Democrats notably attacked Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis after passing a parental rights bill in 2022 that banned educators from instructing “gender identity” and “sexual orientation” in kindergarten to third grade.