May 3, 2007 Update: H.B. 1345 passed the legislature with an amendment that requires schools to “provide to the parent or legal guardian of each student enrolled in the public school…with a printed copy of the report.”
Pam Benigno, director of the Independence Institute’s Education Policy Center, has brought attention to a section in House Bill 1345 that would end the current practice of distributing printed copies of school report cards–known as School Accountability Reports (SAR)–to every public school parent.
“School Accountability Reports offer parents valuable information about their children’s schools,” said Benigno. “Not to distribute a report to every child’s parent would be a backwards step for school accountability in Colorado.”
The state printed 1,032,000 copies of the SAR last year, enough for every student, teacher, and other interested members of the public. Each copy of the SAR costs the state less than 28 cents. “It’s a small price to pay to make sure parents get such important information,” Benigno said.
H.B. 1345 only requires a school to notify parents that the reports are available on the Internet and that a copy may be requested.
“Parents are busy. If the legislature makes them have to ask for a copy of the SAR, it’s the same as saying, ‘We really don’t want you to see how your school is performing,’” said Benigno.
The bill has passed the full House and the Senate Education Committee. It is scheduled to be heard by the Senate Appropriations Committee this week.