Parent Charged $74K By School For Request To Review School Curriculum?

Parent Nicole Solas alleges that she was charged $74K by her child's district for requesting copies of what her kid was being taught.

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner | Published

Pediatricians Say Children With Head Lice Should Remain In School

Nicole solas

Nicole Solas is a concerned Rhode Island mother who wished to know what exactly was being taught in her child’s school. She had questions about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and other controversial ideologies potentially being taught in the classroom. When agreeing to provide the materials asked for, the school first offered a low cost estimate, then raised the price, and has yet to offer updated documents regarding current curriculum standards. So was she charged $74,000 for the information requested? 

Curriculum transparency and parental rights are major issues that have caused problems between parents and teachers for some time now. While most families still prefer that their children are taught core classes like Math, Science, English, and History, how they are taught has changed. Identity politics have entered lessons due to new federal government efforts to pressure local districts into complying with The Biden Administration’s educational changes. Parents like Nicole Solas are concerned that teaching children that what they look like is more important than their work or their character and asking for curriculum transparency in record rates. 

Despite the fact that public schools are funded by the taxpayers, parents have been ignored, demeaned, and even arrested for arguing with school board members. Parental rights have been challenged in states across the nation. Now, even asking for public records is costing parents thousands of dollars despite the fact that they are the ones already footing the bill. Nicole Solas is fed up with secretive school practices and even challenged this process in court. 

Last year, Nicole Solas and her husband made hundreds of requests to receive curriculum documents. They wished to know about current lesson plans and past curriculum requirements in an effort to be better involved in their child’s educational process. The National Education Association of Rhode Island, the largest teachers union in the state, challenged this move and worked to have the case dismissed

Nicole Solas and other parents are confused as to why teachers’ unions, school boards, and school staff are so adamant about keeping curriculum materials closed to the public. Due to the fact that public schools are taxpayer-funded, they must offer some transparency, and so must uphold record request laws. Despite this, Solas claims that she was charged “exorbative prices” in an effort to deter her from knowing what is being taught in school. 

When initially quoting the cost of receiving curriculum records the school in question gave Nicole Solas an estimated price of $80. Within a few weeks, the cost skyrocketed to $2,600. Many families are struggling with financial uncertainty as inflation skyrockets. Many cannot afford such costly fees. 

Nicole Solas

It has also been reported that a Maryland parent seeking curriculum records from the Frederick County Public Schools was asked to pay $5,000 to know what her child was learning. This deterred her from gaining the materials because she would not pay such a high amount. It is cases like these which have led Nicole Solas and countless parents to question the intentions of public school districts. 

Many states have had to pass parental rights bills that force public schools to make their curriculum materials accessible to the public for free. Neither Maryland, nor Rhode Island has such laws, and neither Nicole Solas or the Maryland mother have received the documents requested. Whether these states will remedy the situation is unknown, but neither parents in these cases have confirmed that they were charged as much as $74,000 for curriculum documents. Although they have been charged large amounts, nothing that expensive has been asked. For now, parents in these areas are either forced to pay the price, remain uninformed, or seek alternative schooling options.