“Parents are not engaging in their children's education, they weren’t participating in the PTA, they weren't helping their kids with homework,” he said. “They feel the school is responsible for the care and rising of their child.”
“That's overwhelming to teachers, we're asking them to be social workers,” said Sen. Osmond.
His solution? Make get rid of the state’s compulsory law. If parents are allowed to choose to give their kids an education he said, chances are they'll be more compelled to be involved in it.
“Human behavior is ‘if I'm forced to do something, I’m going to resist it,” said Osmond.
But at least one Utah school district believes parents already have choices in their kids' education and that making school optional is not linked to their involvement.
“We already have a number of options that parents have in terms of choice, whether that be through the public education system or they can enroll their child in a charter school or they can look into homeschooling the student,” said Jeffrey Christensen, Canyons School District Police Director. “I don't think it's the compulsory law that is responsible for that success I think ultimately parents voluntarily want to see their kids in school.”
Christensen also says the state's truancy laws serve a bigger purpose when it comes to issues like tracking abuse in the home.
“Typically the students that have issues with truancy may have other issues at home,” he said. “A truancy program will target those students.”
Osmond plans to introduce legislation this upcoming session.