Niagara Gazette

Opinion

January 27, 2014

CONFER: State bill would mandate parenting classes

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Mind you, teaching colleges do not offer degrees on parenting. New York’s current certification system does not afford accreditation in the matter and the very subject itself does not fit at all with the core competencies of our schools – that is, educating youth (not adults) about science, math, language and arts.

New York education would have to be remodeled to meet the new standards and it would come with significant hardship. There are just over 2.1 million families in New York State with children age infant to 11 years old, so there would be (absentee fathers notwithstanding) some 4.2 million adults who would need to be educated.

To put that into perspective, there are approximately 3 million public school students in the state and spending on education is already 73 percent higher here than it is nationally. Where would the money come from? New York’s property owners, who shoulder the greatest burden of school taxes, can give only so much. And, if they are going to spend more, it should be spent on the kids directly.

On top of those fiscal matters, there are financial ones, too: Under Diaz’s bill, employers would be required to provide one paid day of leave per year so that those parents can attend training.

There are thousands of bills put before the Legislature every year and most of them are never passed. Let’s hope that this bill is one of them.

But, you can never be too pessimistic about that. In recent years we’ve seen how government has taken it upon itself, through the schools, to act as a parent, dictating to children what they can/cannot eat, how to view the world, how to treat others and what constitutes good character – all facets of physical, mental and emotional health more rightly managed by parents.

Even without this bill, parental rights are slipping away one bit at a time.

Bob Confer is a Gasport resident and vice president of Confer Plastics Inc. in North Tonawanda. Email him at bobconfer@juno.com.

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