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Legislators Calling For More Parental Involvement In Schools

Legislation unanimously approved by a House committee Tuesday aims to increase parental involvement in education.

Students getting off a bus

Photo: Bil Shaw/WTIU News

Legislators want the Department of Education to develop 'family friendly schools' designations.

State lawmakers want to help parents find out whether their child’s school is family friendly. Legislation unanimously approved by a House committee Tuesday aims to increase parental involvement in education.

Legislation authored by Gary Democratic Senator Earline Rogers would direct the Department of Education to develop the family friendly school designation. It would allow schools to apply to the state agency for the title that signals a strong level of family and parental involvement in student education.

The Department of Education would develop the exact guidelines for what makes a school family friendly. Rogers says that could include teachers who help parents understand the best ways to help their children with homework.

“A lot of times parents just say, ‘Turn off the TV and read.’ But there would be an effort there to teach parents in terms of how the teacher is teaching reading,” she says.

John Barnes is the legislative affairs director for the Department of Education. He says the goal of the family friendly school designation pairs well with some of Superintendent Glenda Ritz’s efforts.

“She’s concerned about advancing a literacy initiative which would also be focused not just on children reading but families reading and creating a climate and an attitude and an atmosphere where literacy is so important,” he says.

Rogers says she hopes that as schools begin receiving the family friendly designation it will encourage other schools to develop programs that will earn them the label.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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