The Senate passed legislation yesterday, to help kids excel in public schools by more effectively engaging their parents.
“We know that kids excel in school when parents and families are a key part of the learning process. Teachers obviously play a role, but parents are the instrumental force in the overall success of students. This legislation expands on the efforts of groups that engage parents at the school, district, and state level. As a parent who was involved in the PTA for several years, I will continue to support programs that I know work,” said Sen. Evie Hudak, a former teacher and the bill sponsor.
“As a teacher, I know that a key ingredient to a student’s success is parental involvement, but as a working parent with two jobs, I know time is hard to come by. This legislation explores realistic ways to keep parents involved,” said Sen. Andy Kerr, a co-sponsor.
The legislation enhances the duties of district and school accountability committees, as well as the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education (SACPIE). The Colorado Department of Education will have a new Director of Parent Engagement to coordinate parent engagement requirements of state and federal laws and work with SACPIE and districts on these requirements.
Specifically, it expands the charge of the school and district accountability committees to do the following:
- Solicit parents of all student population to serve on the accountability committees.
- Assist the district in implementing its parent involvement policy.
- Assist schools in working with parents, as required by law, for programs such as reading improvement, academic planning, and truancy intervention.
- Taking parent and public input on strategies for priority improvement or turnaround plans if required by accountability law.
And, it expands the charge of the State Advisory Council for Parent Involvement in Education to include:
- Work with district and school accountability committees to get more parents involved in public schools.
- Work with the Colorado Department of Education to provide regional training programs for parent engagement.
- Share research and best practices on parent involvement in public schools and colleges/universities.
- Report to the State Board of Education, Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and the Legislature about its parent involvement work by December 31, 2013.
SB 13-193 must now go to the House of Representatives for consideration.