Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Survey reveals trends in parents’ school participation

By Jill Tucker
Wealthy parents are more likely to make cookies for bake sales, volunteer in classrooms and be otherwise involved in their children’s schools than lower-income mothers and fathers. That’s the conclusion of a survey of California public school parents released Thursday.

Yet even parents with greater financial resources are reluctant to spend hours at meetings or on school committees — even though that’s where the money decisions are made. Just one in four parents said they had ever participated in school committees, according to the survey of 1,003 parents.

But with the state putting more budgeting power in the hands of local districts and schools, education leaders have an obligation and an opportunity to bring more parents to the table, said Louis Freedberg, executive director of EdSource, an Oakland nonprofit education research organization, which sponsored the survey.

The new education funding system is based on student enrollment and gives more money to schools with higher numbers of English learners and low-income students.

The law, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in July, requires schools to include parents — and specifically low-income and English-learner parents — in the budgeting process.

“There had been no other poll, really, that drilled down to give us a baseline to see how involved parents are, what the attitudes are to their schools,” Freedberg said. “We asked parents what it would take to get more involved.”

The answer: Parents want to participate more, but schools need to make it easier, Freedberg said of the results.

“Parents are more likely to cite a lack of time, rather than a lack of interest or a system that is unreceptive to their input, as an obstacle to greater participation in advising and decision-making,” the survey concludes.

Parents want translators, advance notice of meetings, weekend options and perhaps most importantly, they want to know their input matters, the poll found.

San Francisco school officials have already been working on that, offering community meetings in various languages to explain the new funding system to parents and encourage involvement. The district already uses a budgeting process that incorporates parent input at each school.

“They know their kids the best,” said Myong Leigh, San Francisco Unified deputy superintendent. “That knowledge comes to bear in the school planning discussions. It really helps complement the work the teachers and administrators are doing.”

Yet getting parents involved in the new funding process at all schools is a top priority for the California PTA, said state President Colleen You.

“PTA really feels it’s absolutely essential that parents are comfortable, engaged and informed,” she said. “Every parent has something to offer based on their expertise in being a parent.”

Local PTA parent academies are part of the organization’s efforts to increase participation, as well as statewide outreach efforts.

“Parents don’t automatically become advocates,” she said. “But 30 years of research really proves student success improves when parents are involved and engaged.”

The survey was taken between Nov. 5 and 12. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percent.

Parent participation
A poll of 1,003 public schools parents found:

* 76 percent of parents overall say they are somewhat or very involved in their children’s schools

* 39 percent of parents with incomes greater than $100,000 said they were very involved in their children’s schools compared with 24 percent of parents making less than $30,000.

* 57 percent of parents said they knew nothing at all about the new state funding formula for schools

* Two-thirds of parents said time and work schedules were obstacles in participating at their children’s schools.

Source: EdSource

— Reach Jill Tucker at jtucker@sfchronicle.com

San Francisco Chronicle

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

 
‘Eco-Heroes’ help get us from here to there

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1, 2 Comments | Gallery

 
Alleged serial killings highlight GPS limits

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
CHP seeks owner of lost cash

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Home building up in March after frigid winter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
Davis elder-abuse case wraps up

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Family fiction in miniature showcased at bookstore event

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Local professor subdues unruly man on flight

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A3, 1 Comment

Yolo Crisis Nursery is in crisis; please help

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Seniors can get tips for getting around town

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
School has garden plots for rent

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sugar overload, on ‘Davisville’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Rotarians, students, teachers, parents collaborate on planter boxes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Garden doctor: Veggie gardening available year-round

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

 
Animal expert explains dogs’ thinking

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Check out the night sky

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Hop to it: Easter Bunny meets Davis history tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
Central Park Gardens to host Volunteer Orientation Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

 
.

Forum

Still supporting this guy

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Urban forest under siege

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6, 5 Comments

 
Drought care for our trees

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

.

Sports

 
UCD staff allows 19 hits in Causeway rout

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
DHS softball struggles in nonleague outing

By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Devils open Boras Classic by splitting games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
JV/frosh roundup: DHS sweeps a trio of baseball games

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Baseball roundup: River Cats get by Grizzlies at Raley

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

 
Giants beat L.A. in 12

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

Sports briefs: Stanford sends Aggies home with a lacrosse loss

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

 
.

Features

 
.

Arts

Craft Center exhibit explores ‘Possibilities’

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

 
RootStock to host wine themed plein aire exhibit

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

The California Honeydrops to bring danceable groove to The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
See Flower Power exhibit at Gallery 625

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

Red Union Blue inks record deal

By Landon Christensen | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Wednesday, April 16, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6