On June 14, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona first revealed the Department would launch a new parents engagement council, which pushed parental rights advocacy groups to jointly file a lawsuit at the D.C. U.S. District Court in early July. The America First Legal Foundation (AFL), Fight for Schools and Families (FSF), and Parents Defending Education (PDE) alleged that the Department violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act in establishing the Council.
A December 5th court document revealed that the Council was immediately and permanently disbanding and that the Plaintiffs fighting for parental rights agreed to dismiss their lawsuit,
The Department has informed Plaintiffs that it is immediately and permanently disbanding the Council and that the Council will not hold any future meetings. Based on these representations, Plaintiffs have agreed to dismiss their lawsuit without prejudice.
A significant objection to the progressive left-leaning Council was that the positions were not held by a diverse group of concerned parents but instead by partisan organizations such as Al Sharpton’s National Action Network.
Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy said, “This administration cannot call something a ‘Parents and Families Engagement Council’ when it is full of partisan organizations that do not represent the majority of parents. The disbanding of this Council is a major victory for parents.”
This administration cannot call something a “Parents and Families Engagement Council” when it is full of partisan organization that do not represent the majority of parents. The disbanding of this council is a major victory for parents. pic.twitter.com/e188hZsA9Z
— U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (@SenBillCassidy) December 5, 2022
The partisan groups who had joined Sharpton’s National Action Network on the council were the League of United Latin American Citizens, who endorsed Cardona for his position as Secretary of Education, and the National Parents Union, whose president sided with AG Garland’s DOJ memo on school boards.
Garland penned a memo in 2021 which threatened to use the DOJ to investigate parents who opposed school board members indoctrinating their children who were called “domestic terrorists” by the National School Boards Association. Garland tried to backpedal and said he was only concerned for the school board members’ safety. The National School Boards Association apologized for the combative language and rescinded its letter; Garland was unwilling to rescind his memo.
Aside from a letter from the National School Boards Association asking the Department of Justice to investigate concerned parents for "possible acts of domestic terrorism," Biden's AG Merrick Garland can't name ANY of the "news reports" that led to the DOJ's probe. pic.twitter.com/0ruzsw54oZ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) October 27, 2021
Having the council dissolved is a significant victory for parental rights. In a statement Monday, AFL’s vice-president and general counsel, Gene Hamilton, said,
“This is a significant victory for the American people,” he added that the Biden administration attempted but was unable to “paper over [its] open hostility towards parents and families.”
AFL tweeted, “MAJOR VICTORY: The Department of Education announced that it is disbanding their illegal National Parents and Families Engagement Council, following a lawsuit filed by America First Legal.”
🚨MAJOR VICTORY: The Department of Education announced that it is disbanding their illegal National Parents and Families Engagement Council, following a lawsuit filed by America First Legal, @DefendingEd, and @fightforschools https://t.co/T5tzLYBvy8
— America First Legal (@America1stLegal) December 5, 2022