Some parents are a little concerned about opting out their kids from state testing in Kansas. The Kansans Against Common Core website did obtain a letter back in 2013 from then Kansas Education Commissioner Diane DeBacker. It is posted on our Kansans Against Common Core website under the “Opt Out” tab. As far as we know, that statement she made is all still accurate. In other words, just because we have a new commissioner does NOT mean that parental rights in Kansas have changed. We site the Kansas Constitution below, as this is the base for the 2013 DeBacker letter.
If you want to opt out your kids from state testing and administration at your school refuses your request, simply ask that person to show you the law that says you cannot opt out your kid. Guess what…there is NO LAW in Kansas that says that! Also, remind the person that you are the parent and that this is the decision you have made for your child and that you are exercising your rights under the Kansas Constitution (see below).
Honestly, normally principals are pretty good about this. I deal with three different principals. When I presented opt out forms at the beginning of the year to two of them, they signed the form on the spot, no questions asked. The third wanted to check with the superintendent, and that resulted in a letter directly from the superintendent that states that my child is opted out until I say otherwise. Translation: I don’t have to do all of that again next year because his opt out is permanent unless I choose to change it. So, it was a win-win. Most principals are good people, but sometimes, you have to stand your ground. Just remember that this is YOUR kid. YOU are responsible for your child, so don’t back down if this is something you believe in.
Parental Rights in Kansas
STATE LAW – Protected
Kansas law explicitly protects parental rights.
Kan. Stat. Ann. § 38-141
(b) It shall be the public policy of this state that parents shall retain the fundamental right to exercise primary control over the care and upbringing of their children in their charge. It is further the public policy of this state that children shall have the right to protection from abuse and neglect. (See also Kan. Stat. Ann. § 620.010
Finally, it’s NOT TOO LATE TO OPT OUT! State testing will begin VERY soon, so time is important. You must not delay any longer. Get this done right now! Then, next year, remember to take care of it in the fall when school begins. The best time is at a back to school night or at an enrollment event. You are protecting your child. This is what good parents do. If there was a Siberian tiger in the room with your kid, you’d do something about that, right? Well, even though state tests will not literally maim your kid, they are nonetheless dangerous. I’ll save all those reasons for another post! OPT OUT NOW! 🙂