Reimagining Parent Engagement in California


The promise of educational equity for all students in California is finally within reach. Having adopted the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), California now has a golden opportunity to shift from the old inequitable and irrational way of funding schools to a simpler “need-based” funding formula ensuring that all children-especially those facing the greatest barriers-will have the necessary supports and resources to succeed in school.

But the promise of LCFF- to improve student success-hinges on one critical component: Parent/Family Engagement.

If LCFF is to deliver the results that everyone hopes for, it must be implemented hand-in-hand with meaningful parent engagement. The shift of control and authority to the local level must be matched by a strong accountability framework, one that ensures that schools are using the funds efficiently and effectively on behalf of those for whom the funding is intended. While LCFF promises accountability (and specifically cites parents as an essential element of that accountability), it does not set a clear mandate for districts to invest in meaningful parent engagement, thus undermining the ability of parents to hold schools more accountable.

This document, produced by family engagement advocates across the state, offers a set of measurable family engagement indicators for the state to consider as it develops regulations and procedures on the implementation of LCFF. We believe these measures reflect the desire of thousands of Californian families to hold districts accountable for more effective, in-depth parent engagement practices, all of which align well with the Family Engagement Framework recently developed by the California Department of Education.