Forty years of research have shown that family involvement in education is one of the most powerful predictors of student success in school. Yet many high-poverty schools still have low levels of parent involvement and experience little success in their efforts to increase it. Students from high-poverty families are also less likely to spend time at home on learning-related activities that reinforce their schoolwork.
Federal Support for Parent Involvement
To address the less-than-optimal level of parent involvement, especially in high-poverty schools, federal legislation designed to support systemic and comprehensive reform efforts has included parent involvement strategies as a mechanism to increase the achievement of all students. Many states and districts have taken advantage of this support to build their parent involvement strategies. Title I schoolwide reforms include parent and community involvement as a key component of efforts to increase student achievement. The federal government’s program requires the grantee to nurture meaningful parent and community involvement.
The new regulations delineate guidelines for states, district, and schools in developing parent involvement initiatives. The legislation supports multiyear funding for school-family-community partnerships that allows flexibility and time for implementation and encourages the coherence of parent involvement programs across groups of children and helps foster parental involvement by authorizing grants nonprofit organizations to develop and implement parent centers that provide information, training, and support to parents. According to a recent survey, 85% of the states use funding to support their family involvement activities.