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#() com*leted a sur+ey of 1,00( ,alifornia *arents -ith children in *ublic schools bet-een .o+ember 5th and 12th, 201(.i O+erall, the sur+ey found that ,alifornia *arents are +ery in+ol+ed in school acti+ities and issues, ha+e a high o*inion of their local *ublic schools, and feel -elcome there. /o-e+er, *arents -ith different le+els of household income sho- significant differences in *arent in+ol+ement. The data also sho- that *arents rely hea+ily on their children as conduits of information from the schools. <hough school go+ernance is an area -here *arents are currently relati+ely less engaged, California parents support the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), the state’s new system for funding K-12 pu lic schools, and e!press interest in ecoming in"ol"ed in udget decisions at their child’s school# 0arents are more li"ely to cite a lac" of time, rather than a lac" of interest or a system that is unrece*ti+e to their in*ut, as an obstacle to greater *artici*ation in ad+ising and decision1ma"ing. The data suggest that schools and school boards ha+e significant *otential to increase *arent in+ol+ement around the im*lementation of the 2,!! by assuring *arents that they ha+e a meaningful +oice in the decision1ma"ing *rocess, communicating more and in different languages about the ne- funding formula, *ro+iding ad+ance notice of meetings and scheduling them on -ee"ends. &mong the "ey s*ecific findings of the sur+ey -ere the follo-ing: • $ore than three in four parents say they are in"ol"ed in their children’s schools% howe"er, parents with lower incomes report less in"ol"ement# e+enty1si3 *ercent of *arents re*ort that they are 4+ery5 or 4some-hat5 in+ol+ed, -ith close to one1third '(06) saying they are 4+ery5 in+ol+ed 'Figure 1 on the follo-ing *age). There is significant +ariation by income le+el in *arent engagement7 fully (8 *ercent of those in households -ith incomes of 9100,000 or more describe themsel+es as 4+ery in+ol+ed,5 -hereas at the other end of the s*ectrum only 2: *ercent of those in households -ith incomes of 9(0,000 or less re*ort the same le+el of in+ol+ement.
2425 Colorado Avenue, Suite 180 Santa Monica, CA 90404 Phone: (310) 828 1183 !a": (310) 453 #5#2
1999 $arri%on Street, Suite 1290 &a'land, CA 94#12 Phone: (510) 451 9521 !a": (510) 451 0384
Key Findings – California Public School Parent Survey Embargoed for Release until 12: 1 a!m! "ednesday #ecember $ Page 2
F&'()* 1 +arent &n"ol"ement in Children’s +u lic ,chools1
- lac. of time and intense wor. schedule are the most commonly cited reasons for parents to e less in"ol"ed than they would li.e in their children’s schools# 0arents cite a lac" of time 'rated as at least a 4minor obstacle5 by ;86 of those *olled) and conflicts -ith -or" schedules ';;6) as the most *roblematic 'see Figure 2). ignificant minorities of those *olled also cited childcare obligations, a lac" of trans*ortation, or a lac" of o*enness to *arent in+ol+ement on the *art of schools as reasons. F&'()* 2 / stacles to +arent +articipation
Factor .ot ha+ing enough time <or" hours ma"e it difficult to attend .ot ha+ing child care for your children The school is not interested in -hat you ha+e to offer & lac" trans*ortation or other difficulties getting to the school >ou don?t feel -elcome at the school .ot ha+ing translation ser+ices at e+ents 0 )ating *ach a $a1or2$inor / stacle ;86 ;;6 2=6 206 1=6 1;6 126
California pu lic school parents are generally pleased with the performance of local pu lic schools, though few gi"e them the highest possi le rating# &s detailed in Figure 3, more than se+en in ten '@26) offered a *ositi+e grade of either 4&5 or 4A,5 though fe-er than one1third offered the to* grade of 4&5 '(06). !e-er than one in ten offered a negati+e grade of 4D5 '56) or 4!5 '26). The highest1income *arents 'those ma"ing more than 9100,000 *er
4DBC.&5 stands for 4Don?t Bno-C.o &ns-er.5
Key Findings – California Public School Parent Survey Embargoed for Release until 12: 1 a!m! "ednesday #ecember $ Page %
year) offered the most *ositi+e e+aluations of their local schools '-ith :(6 assigning them a grade of 4&5). .umbers -ere notably lo-er among those ma"ing 950,001 to 9100,000 *er year '(:6), those ma"ing 9(0,001 to 950,000 '1@6), and those ma"ing 9(0,000 *er year or less '256). F&'()* 3 +arents’ )atings of the 4uality of Local +u lic ,chools
+arents are most li.ely to learn a out what goes on in their children’s schools through their children# <hile the maDority of *arents used a -ide range of information sources on at least an occasional basis, by far the most *re+alent source of information 'as sho-n in Figure 5) -as con+ersation -ith the students themsel+es: nearly all *arents '8@6) re*ort learning about issues at their children?s schools through con+ersations -ith their children, and nearly nine in ten from information sent home -ith students '=@6). F&'()* 5 ,ources +arents (se $ost Fre6uently to Learn - out Children’s ,chools
,ource of &nformation ,on+ersations -ith your child Enformation sent home -ith students ,on+ersations -ith your child?s teacher chool ne-sletters Recorded tele*hone calls from the school ,on+ersations -ith other *arents Enformation from a *arent1teacher association Emails from the school On1line net-or"s or e1mail ne-sgrou*s of *arents Enformation from a community grou* Te3t messages from the school (se Fre6uently2 /ccasionally 8@6 =@6 =56 @;6 ;;6 ;(6 5@6 556 506 (:6 186
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Fse of these different sources of information +aries some-hat among subgrou*s of the *o*ulation. !or e3am*le, u**er1income *arents are much more li"ely to turn to other *arents and to online sources as -ays of finding out -hat is going on at their children?s schools. • 7hile parents are "ery in"ol"ed in many aspects of their .ids’ schools, they are least li.ely to attend school site council or committee meetings# &s sho-n in Figure 8, Dust one1 Guarter of *arents '2:6) say they ha+e *artici*ated in school site councils or other school1 related committees. F&'()* 8 +arent +articipation in 9arious ,chool -cti"ities
-cti"ity &ttending *arent teacher conferences &ttending school assemblies, or s*orting or *erforming arts e+ents Holunteering at school e+ents &ttending fundraising e+ents, li"e -al"athons or silent auctions &ccom*anying your child?s class on a field tri* Holunteering in your childIs class 0artici*ating in a *arent grou* such as the 0T& &ttending school board meetings 0artici*ating in a school site council or other school or district committees 0 +articipated =@6 @;6 ;06 5;6 5;6 5(6 516 (06 2:6
- si:a le minority of parents elie"es that only a small group of parents are gi"en the opportunity to participate in decision-ma.ing at their school# .early one1third of *arents '(16) agree that 4only a small grou* of *arents are offered the o**ortunity to *artici*ate in school decision1ma"ing, -hile most are e3cluded.5 .early t-o in fi+e *arents -ith income of 9(0,000 or less say that only a small grou* of *arents ha+e the o**ortunity to engage in decision1ma"ing '(86), -hile among u**er1income households 'those -ith a household income of more than 9100,000) the *ro*ortion is much lo-er '186). ;hough most are unaware of the policy, after hearing a rief introduction, more than three-6uarters of parents support the LCFF# Enitially, fe-er than one in ten *arents say they ha+e heard 4a great deal5 about the 2,!!. &fter hearing a summary of the *olicy, more than three Guarters of *arents '@;6) say that they su**ort the idea J -ith close to half ':56) saying that they 4strongly5 su**ort it 'as detailed in Figure <). The *olicy has the su**ort of at least se+en in ten *arents across lines of gender, ethnicity, language, and income.
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F&'()* < ,upport for the LCFF
Close to three in four parents say they would e willing to spend more time guiding school decision-ma.ing# /a+ing been made a-are of the 2,!!, *arents -ere as"ed -hether they -ould be -illing to s*end more time hel*ing to guide their children?s schools? funding decisions, and if so, ho- much time they could commit. ,lose to three1Guarters of *arents '@26) say that they -ould be -illing to get more in+ol+ed, -ith a maDority ';16) saying they could commit bet-een one and three hours *er -ee" 'as sho-n in Figure =). F&'()* = 7illingness to ,pend ;ime >elping 'uide ,chool ?ecision-$a.ing
;here are se"eral steps schools could ta.e to increase parent in"ol"ement# &s sho-n in Figure @, *arents say a number of actions by their child?s school -ould increase their li"elihood of getting in+ol+ed J *articularly being gi+en *lenty of ad+ance notice and being assured of a meaningful +oice in the *rocess. &mong the other items *arents +alue to
Key Findings – California Public School Parent Survey Embargoed for Release until 12: 1 a!m! "ednesday #ecember $ Page '
encourage their *artici*ation are logistical su**ort, such as childcare, communications in other languages, and trans*ortation to meetings. F&'()* @ &mpact of ,chool -ctions on +arent &n"ol"ement
,tep ;a.en y ,chool Ki+ing lots of ad+ance notice of -hen meetings -ill be held #a"ing it clear that *arents -ill ha+e a meaningful +oice in the decision1ma"ing *rocess #ore freGuently communicating -ith *arents about the nefunding formula /olding meetings in the e+enings or on -ee"ends 0ro+iding classes or training for *arents on ho- they can *artici*ate 0ro+iding child care at meetings Offering more communications in languages other than English 0ro+iding trans*ortation to meetings 0 $ore Li.ely to 'et &n"ol"ed =(6 =06 @;6 @:6 ;:6 :56 ((6 2@6
Ta"en together, these sur+ey results suggest that parents are eager to e more in"ol"ed in guiding funding decisions for their children’s schools and that the LCFF presents an opportunity to tap that enthusiasm. Ef they "ne- that their in*ut -ould ma"e a difference, most *arents -ould be -illing to engage more dee*ly. Other factors that -ill su**ort their in+ol+ement include meetings scheduled at con+enient times and lots of ad+ance notice. The data suggest that by ta"ing these and other ste*s, ,alifornia *ublic schools could use the o**ortunity *resented by 2,!! to meaningfully increase *arent engagement.
$ethodologyA !rom .o+ember 5112, 201(, !#( com*leted 1,00( tele*hone inter+ie-s 'on landlines and cell *hones) -ith ,alifornia *arents of children under the age of 1= attending *ublic schools. The margin of sam*ling error is LC1:.:6 at the 856 confidence le+el7 margins of error for *o*ulation subgrou*s -ithin each sam*le -ill be higher. The sam*le included inter+ie-s -ith a random sam*le of ;01 *arents, *aired -ith o+ersam*les of 202 *arents -ith household incomes under 9(0,000 and 200 *arents of children in E 2 'English as a second language) classes. &ll data ha+e been -eighted to reflect the true distribution of ,alifornia *ublic school *arents by household income and E 2 status. Due to rounding, not all totals -ill sum to 1006. The sur+ey -as conducted for Ed ource -ith funding from the ,alifornia Endo-ment.
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