Biden Education Secretary Miguel Cardona would not say Thursday during an exchange with Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) parents are the “primary” stakeholders in their children’s education.
"Do you think parents should be in charge of their child's education as the primary stakeholder?"
— Senator Mike Braun (@SenatorBraun) September 30, 2021
During a hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, Braun asked Cardona, “Do you think parents should be in charge of their child’s education as the primary stakeholder?”
“I believe parents are important stakeholders –” Cardona began, and, after Braun reminded him he asked if they are “primary” stakeholders, continued, “but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming.”
“I think that’s going to be a little out of focus,” Braun said. “I think you’re going to find, across all elements of education, since they pay the bills, raise the kids. They probably need to be the primary spokespeople for their own kids.”
Cardona’s comments came just two days after former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) caused a firestorm on social media following his remark, “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Terry McAuliffe should learn Virginia law. #VAgov
§ 1-240.1. Rights of parents.
A parent has a fundamental right to make decisions concerning the upbringing, education, and care of the parent's child. https://t.co/0EDigYoCze pic.twitter.com/shFwGDg8Lf
— Glenn Youngkin (@GlennYoungkin) September 29, 2021
During his debate with Republican gubernatorial candidate Glenn Youngkin Tuesday, McAuliffe added, in response to Youngkin’s criticism of his past decision to veto a bill that would have allowed parents to remove controversial books from their school libraries, “I’m not going to let parents come into schools and actually take books out and make their own decisions.”
Youngkin, however, asserted, “I believe parents should be in charge of their kids’ education.”
Sean Parnell, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, tweeted in response to McAuliffe’s comment, “For a moment McAuliffe showed you what he really believes & it should frighten every parent.”
“The reality is, all radical leftists think this way,” Parnell added. “They believe they know what’s best for you & your children. They want total government control over every aspect of your life.”
For a moment McAuliffe showed you what he really believes & it should frighten every parent.
The reality is, all radical leftists think this way. They believe they know what’s best for you & your children.
They want total government control over every aspect of your life. https://t.co/UsKUS1SpM1
— Sean Parnell (@SeanParnellUSA) September 29, 2021
In a previous question during the Senate hearing, Braun raised the issue of parents expressing anger and frustration at local school board meetings over mask mandates and Critical Race Theory curriculum.
“I think that’s civic engagement,” the senator stated, adding he had been on a school board for ten years.
Braun said he was “a little disturbed” at a comment Cardona made about why parents are asserting themselves at school board meetings.
“I think it’s a proxy for being mad that their guy didn’t win,” the senator quoted Cardona, and then asked the secretary if he might like to retract that statement.
I know that across the country our school board meetings are a little bit more intense, but I’ll tell you school boards are unwavering in their support for returning students to school and providing a safe learning environment.
Braun pressed further:
What about the statement? … Would you want to take that back, to not politicize something where I think it’s an honest, sincere difference of opinion across the country, and I don’t know that I’d want to be on record with that.
Senator, I’ll tell you, the lack of civility in some of our meetings is disappointing and frustrating, especially because our superintendents and educators and board members and, you should know, you were a board member, they’ve worked tirelessly over the last 18 months to provide a safe environment.
“I’ll take it that you don’t want to retract it at this point,” Braun said.