California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) of 2013 paved the way for families to engage in their schools in transformative new ways. Families, educators, and equity advocates across the state celebrated the adoption of LCFF. This new shift in policy directs more money to school districts with greater needs, and it required districts to use those funds to advance a number of priorities including parent engagement.

Educators and researchers have long acknowledged the important role families play in school: When parents are engaged in their children’s education, those young people do better in school and families thrive. There’s ample research to show that parent and family engagement improves academic performance, reduces absenteeism, and improves behavior and social skills.

Family engagement is particularly important in California, where 55 percent of students are Latinx and more than 40 percent come from families that speak a language other than English at home. Schools play an important role in helping these families feel welcome and empowering them to be lifelong teachers for their children. The recent rise in hate speech and anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric has heightened fear among families and made school-family partnerships even more important.

But, are districts living up to the promise of parent engagement under LCFF? Six years into this new law, the jury is still out.

In this new brief, Measuring Parent Engagement: Early Lessons Learned from the California School Dashboard, Families In Schools identifies key findings, lessons learned from the first two years of California’s effort to measure parent engagement, and recommendations for what it will take to measure progress more effectively and meaningfully moving forward.

Share this brief using our social media toolkit and help us strengthen school-family partnerships in every district across California.

Links to research and reports on the importance of family engagement:

Download Measuring Parent Engagement: Early Lessons Learned from the California Dashboard here