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OPS Title I Director:

Ms. Tina L. Forté

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Section 1116

A Parental Involvement Primer:
Section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act

Parental involvement has always been a key component of the Title I program. However, since passage of ESSA in 2015, it has a specific statutory definition. Now more than ever, parents need to familiarize themselves with the current law's impact and what it requires of them and their children's school. The following is taken from guidelines issued by the Department of Education in 2015:

The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, and represents good news for our nation’s schools. This bipartisan measure reauthorizes the 50-year-old Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), the nation’s national education law and longstanding commitment to equal opportunity for all students.

The new law builds on key areas of progress in recent years, made possible by the efforts of educators, communities, parents, and students across the country.

For example, today, high school graduation rates are at all-time highs. Dropout rates are at historic lows. And more students are going to college than ever before. These achievements provide a firm foundation for further work to expand educational opportunity and improve student outcomes under ESSA.

The previous version of the law, the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, was enacted in 2002. NCLB represented a significant step forward for our nation’s children in many respects, particularly as it shined a light on where students were making progress and where they needed additional support, regardless of race, income, zip code, disability, home language, or background. The law was scheduled for revision in 2007, and, over time, NCLB’s prescriptive requirements became increasingly unworkable for schools and educators. Recognizing this fact, in 2010, the Obama administration joined a call from educators and families to create a better law that focused on the clear goal of fully preparing all students for success in college and careers.

Congress has now responded to that call.

The Every Student Succeeds Act reflects many of the priorities of this administration.

What is parent involvement?

Parental involvement is the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities." This will include ensuring that "parents play an integral role in assisting their child's learning, be actively involved in their child's education at school, and become full partners in their child's education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child."

Who is a parent for the purposes of Title I Part A?

"The term parent includes the addition to a natural parent, a legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis (such as a grandparent or stepparent with whom the child lives, or a person who is legally responsible for the child's welfare)."

Why is parental involvement important?

A synthesis of the research concluded "the evidence is consistent, postive, and convincing: families have a major influence on their children's achievement in school and through life. When schools, families, and community groups works together to suport learning, childeren tend to do better in school, stay in school longer, and like school more."

What does the research show about how family involvement in children's education affects student achievement?

Studies have found that students with involved parents, no matter what their income or background, are more likely to -
•Earn high grades and test scores, and enroll in higher-level programs;
•Pass thier classes, earn credits, and be promoted;
•Attend school regularly;
•Graduate and go on to postsecondary education.5
4 Henderson, Anne T. and Mapp, Karen L., A New Wave of Evidence:The Impact of School, Family, and Community Connections on Student Achievement, 2002, p.7
5 Ibid

What are the parental involvement provisions in section 1116 of the Every Student Succeeds Act?

Title I, Part A provides for substantive parental involvement at every level of the program, such as in the development and implementation of the State and local plan, and in carrying out the local educational agency (LEA) and school improvement provisions. Section 1116 contains the primary Title I, Part A requirements for state educational agencies (SEA), LEA's and schools related to involving parents in their children's education. It is this section that identifies critical points in the process of improving teaching and learning where parents and the community can assist in school improvement. Although section 1116 is extensive in scope and has many requirements for LEA's and schools, the intent is not to be burdensome. These provisions reflect good practice in engaging families in helping to educate their children, because students do better when parents are actively involved in the education process, both at home and at school.