By Shawn Hyland
Education is best left to local school boards and parents.
Textbooks have historically been approved and purchased by local school boards that are accountable to parents and community members. But now, state legislators want to remove you and your school board from the decision-making process regarding educational materials.
This new “state approved textbook database” would restrict school boards from purchasing textbooks from any vendor of their choice. They would be legally required to purchase textbooks from companies that publish LGBTQ-inclusive material. Academic excellence, accurate content and well-placed images and questions are no longer paramount.
This legislation will have the consequence of forcing publishing companies and textbook authors to elevate sexual attractions and gender identities in their publications in order to be approved by the state of NJ to sell books to your school district. Elected school board members in collaboration with parents serving in curriculum committees should decide what is best for their community, not the all-encompassing overreach of state government.
Your help is needed now to contact members of the Assembly Education Committee, urging them to oppose A3502, the “state approved textbook database”. This bill has already passed the Senate Education Committee and will soon be heard in the Assembly Education Committee. The NJ Family Policy Alliance can also provide a list of phone numbers for commitee members.
Shawn Hyland is the director of advocacy for the Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey.