Major state and federal education reform efforts emphasize the importance of family and community involvement to increase student achievement and strengthen public schools. State law requires parental involvement programs for schools that receive Title I funds (EC Section 11503 ) and parental involvement policies for non-Title I schools (EC Section 11504 ).
The federal Elementary and Secondary Education (ESEA) Act of 2001, Section 1118, requires the adoption of (1) district- and school-level Title I parental involvement policies to support students in attaining high academic standards and (2) school-parent compacts that express the shared responsibilities of schools and parents as partners in students’ success. Samples of family–school compacts are available on the CDE Web page Parent/Family. The compacts are intended to assist school districts and schools in developing a closer working partnership between home and school.
The Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires a variety of parental notifications that cover topics such as the professional qualifications of the child’s teacher; services provided by and qualifications of paraprofessional staff; notification when the child has been taught for four or more weeks by a teacher who is not highly qualified; the level of achievement of the child in required state academic assessments; English learner program requirements; the parental involvement policy; and Program Improvement status and related options, such as choice and supplemental educational services. The brochure Parental Involvement in Title I Schools is available in multiple languages on the CDE Web page Title I, Part A Parent/Family Involvement. A series of “parents’ rights” are defined in Education Code (EC 51100–51102 ).
An e-mail distribution list, the California Family Engagement (CAFE) listserv, is maintained to disseminate information to interested parties who sign up on the CDE Web page Parent/Family and resources for parental/family involvement are available on the CDE Web page Resources.
The CDE continues to strengthen its leadership of school, family, and community partnerships to help districts and schools develop effective programs to prepare for college and careers. The CDE has developed and released the Family Engagement Framework: A Tool for California School Districts, to guide local educational agencies (LEAs) in planning, implementing and evaluating family engagement programs that meet or exceed state and federal parental involvement requirements. The framework is available for downloading from the CDE Web page Parent/Family.
Additional information is available on the CDE Web page Title I, Part A Parent/Family Involvement.