Fox News Digital reported that the United States Department of Education has agreed to dissolve its National Parents and Families Engagement Council. This was in response to a lawsuit brought against it by multiple parental rights groups.
According to an now-deleted page on the department’s website, the Education Department created the controversial council in June 2022 in order to give parents and families a way to “constructively participate in their children’s education.”
The goal of the council was to have meetings to discuss “the various ways schools provide academic, mental, social, and emotional support” and how families can most constructively engage schools.
Al Sharpton’s National Action Network was represented, as well as Black Lives Matter support organizations such Mocha Moms Inc. and United Parent Leaders Action Network.
Fight for School and Parents Defending Education were two of the parent rights groups that filed a joint lawsuit against America First Legal in July. They accused the Education Department of being biased and violating various provisions of the Federal Advisory Committee Act.
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These groups claimed that council members supported Biden’s administration in adisproportionate amount and that almost 80% of their leaders donated money to Democrats.
The lawsuit stated that “To have a fair mix of viewpoints and competent discussion on students’ needs, there must also be fairly equal representation from all sides of the political spectrum.” “This is not the case as the Council is made up of groups who are already supportive of the administration.”
Monday’s court documents revealed that the Education Department had agreed to dissolve the council “immediately” and permanently. The parental rights groups also agreed to dismiss the lawsuit without prejudice.
Nicole Neily, President of Parents Defending Education, told Fox News Digital she was happy with the decision.
Neily stated that “we are pleased Secretary Cardona’s Potemkin Village ‘Parents Council” will be disbanded. Families should not be used as props to advance progressive policy.” Students can only succeed with parental engagement. Therefore, it is crucial that all voices and perspectives are included in any feedback mechanism that is operated by the Biden Administration — and that the Department of Education upholds the rule of law.”
The Education Department issued a statement following the agreement addressing the termination of the council.
The Education Department stated that the Department had announced the creation of the National Parents and Families Engagement Council on June 14. “Several organizations sued the Department, alleging that it violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act when it created the Council. The Department disagrees, but has decided not to move forward with National Parents and Families Engagement Council. The Department will continue to connect with parents and families throughout the country, including via townhalls. Parents and families will have access to a variety of resources and tools to help support their students.