School Safety Bill Gives Parents Transparency
On Thursday, the Senate Committee on Education held a Public Hearing on Senate Bill 470 which I authored to give parents information about the safety of the schools in our state.
When a parent is choosing a school, and a school environment for their child, it is important that they have as much information as possible. They want to know the academic success of the school, the graduation rate, the school's success in closing the achievement gaps, and how the schools' students perform on standardized tests.
All of this information is available on the school report card, but one item that many parents feel is most important is missing from the equation - school safety. It is common sense that feeling safe in school is a key element of learning. If a child feels unsafe, he or she may have a difficult time concentrating and processing information. For that reason, parents should know about the safety of the environment that their child is learning in.
To ensure parents have access to this information, I authored Senate Bill 470. The bill requires schools to provide a report of law enforcement calls for a variety of different crimes to their school board. These calls will then be displayed on the school report cards, along with measures of academic success.
Adding safety information to school report cards just makes sense. Parents deserve to have all the facts when they are making the important decision of where to send their children to school, and safety is an important factor in this decision.