Sign this online letter and it will be sent to California Board of Education. The letter details how parents should be included in making and reviewing the rules and policies that guide education at the local and state level.

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Dear President Kirst and Members of the California Board of Education:

I am writing to express my strong support for parent engagement. Thanks to California’s new funding system—the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF)—the state’s school districts will have greater control in deciding how best to support the educational needs of kids. I am a strong believer that in order for this plan to work, parental support is critical. While much attention has been focused upon what happens inside the classroom to help students succeed, far less attention and fewer resources have been provided to help schools effectively engage parents in the learning process outside the classroom.

We know that parents should be engaged in the process. You now have the opportunity to ensure that every school in California knows how to engage parents in the process.

I urge you to stand up for every parent with a child in public school by ensuring the LCFF has a clear, measurable, and consistent methodology for schools to track their parent engagement efforts. Families In Schools, in collaboration with dozens of organizations and individuals across the state of California, has developed a set of indicators for you to consider for adoption.

Here’s what we’d like to see.

1 - Parents would be welcome to visit the school and valued as part of the learning process: staff training in how to work with parents would be helpful

2 - Communication with parents would be focused and friendly: schools would provide multilingual information specific to academic progress through social networks, phone calls, text-messages, or email

3 - Schools would provide regularly scheduled campus-based training for families on topics related to learning, the educational process, and community resources

4 - Parents would be educated in the programmatic and budgetary processes, making them more effective when providing input on such issues

5 - A proactive approach to resolving parents’ concerns and complaints in a timely manner would be implemented

6 - Parent engagement would be made an essential part of the school’s budget

As parents and community members, we want to work with teachers and principals to help our children excel. Working together, we can close the achievement gap in California. But to do so, schools must be authentic, strategic, and comprehensive in their parent engagement practices.

This is a great opportunity to re-imagine parent engagement in our schools. I hope you will join me in saying, “Yes! Parents matter, now.”

I invite you to visit http://www.parentsmatternow.org/supporter to reference a list of parent engagement indicators developed by Families In Schools and dozens of community organizations throughout California. Please reference these indicators as you develop key guidelines on how to implement LCFF and make authentic parent engagement a reality across California.

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