United States Code

USC most recently checked for updates: Jun 23, 2024

§ 6318.
Parent and family engagement
(a)
Local educational agency policy
(1)
In general

A local educational agency may receive funds under this part only if such agency conducts outreach to all parents and family members and implements programs, activities, and procedures for the involvement of parents and family members in programs assisted under this part consistent with this section. Such programs, activities, and procedures shall be planned and implemented with meaningful consultation with parents of participating children.

(2)
Written policy
Each local educational agency that receives funds under this part shall develop jointly with, agree on with, and distribute to, parents and family members of participating children a written parent and family engagement policy. The policy shall be incorporated into the local educational agency’s plan developed under section 6312 of this title, establish the agency’s expectations and objectives for meaningful parent and family involvement, and describe how the agency will—
(A)
involve parents and family members in jointly developing the local educational agency plan under section 6312 of this title, and the development of support and improvement plans under paragraphs (1) and (2) of section 6311(d) of this title.
(B)
provide the coordination, technical assistance, and other support necessary to assist and build the capacity of all participating schools within the local educational agency in planning and implementing effective parent and family involvement activities to improve student academic achievement and school performance, which may include meaningful consultation with employers, business leaders, and philanthropic organizations, or individuals with expertise in effectively engaging parents and family members in education;
(C)
coordinate and integrate parent and family engagement strategies under this part with parent and family engagement strategies, to the extent feasible and appropriate, with other relevant Federal, State, and local laws and programs;
(D)
conduct, with the meaningful involvement of parents and family members, an annual evaluation of the content and effectiveness of the parent and family engagement policy in improving the academic quality of all schools served under this part, including identifying—
(i)
barriers to greater participation by parents in activities authorized by this section (with particular attention to parents who are economically disadvantaged, are disabled, have limited English proficiency, have limited literacy, or are of any racial or ethnic minority background);
(ii)
the needs of parents and family members to assist with the learning of their children, including engaging with school personnel and teachers; and
(iii)
strategies to support successful school and family interactions;
(E)
use the findings of such evaluation in subparagraph (D) to design evidence-based strategies for more effective parental involvement, and to revise, if necessary, the parent and family engagement policies described in this section; and
(F)
involve parents in the activities of the schools served under this part, which may include establishing a parent advisory board comprised of a sufficient number and representative group of parents or family members served by the local educational agency to adequately represent the needs of the population served by such agency for the purposes of developing, revising, and reviewing the parent and family engagement policy.
(3)
Reservation
(A)
In general

Each local educational agency shall reserve at least 1 percent of its allocation under subpart 2 to assist schools to carry out the activities described in this section, except that this subparagraph shall not apply if 1 percent of such agency’s allocation under subpart 2 for the fiscal year for which the determination is made is $5,000 or less. Nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed to limit local educational agencies from reserving more than 1 percent of its allocation under subpart 2 to assist schools to carry out activities described in this section.

(B)
Parent and family member input

Parents and family members of children receiving services under this part shall be involved in the decisions regarding how funds reserved under subparagraph (A) are allotted for parental involvement activities.

(C)
Distribution of funds

Not less than 90 percent of the funds reserved under subparagraph (A) shall be distributed to schools served under this part, with priority given to high-need schools.

(D)
Use of funds
Funds reserved under subparagraph (A) by a local educational agency shall be used to carry out activities and strategies consistent with the local educational agency’s parent and family engagement policy, including not less than 1 of the following:
(i)
Supporting schools and nonprofit organizations in providing professional development for local educational agency and school personnel regarding parent and family engagement strategies, which may be provided jointly to teachers, principals, other school leaders, specialized instructional support personnel, paraprofessionals, early childhood educators, and parents and family members.
(ii)
Supporting programs that reach parents and family members at home, in the community, and at school.
(iii)
Disseminating information on best practices focused on parent and family engagement, especially best practices for increasing the engagement of economically disadvantaged parents and family members.
(iv)
Collaborating, or providing subgrants to schools to enable such schools to collaborate, with community-based or other organizations or employers with a record of success in improving and increasing parent and family engagement.
(v)
Engaging in any other activities and strategies that the local educational agency determines are appropriate and consistent with such agency’s parent and family engagement policy.
(b)
School parent and family engagement policy
(1)
In general

Each school served under this part shall jointly develop with, and distribute to, parents and family members of participating children a written parent and family engagement policy, agreed on by such parents, that shall describe the means for carrying out the requirements of subsections (c) through (f). Parents shall be notified of the policy in an understandable and uniform format and, to the extent practicable, provided in a language the parents can understand. Such policy shall be made available to the local community and updated periodically to meet the changing needs of parents and the school.

(2)
Special rule

(3)
Amendment

If the local educational agency involved has a school district-level parent and family engagement policy that applies to all parents and family members in all schools served by the local educational agency, such agency may amend that policy, if necessary, to meet the requirements of this subsection.

(4)
Parental comments

If the plan under section 6312 of this title is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, the local educational agency shall submit any parent comments with such plan when such local educational agency submits the plan to the State.

(c)
Policy involvement
Each school served under this part shall—
(1)
convene an annual meeting, at a convenient time, to which all parents of participating children shall be invited and encouraged to attend, to inform parents of their school’s participation under this part and to explain the requirements of this part, and the right of the parents to be involved;
(2)
offer a flexible number of meetings, such as meetings in the morning or evening, and may provide, with funds provided under this part, transportation, child care, or home visits, as such services relate to parental involvement;
(3)
involve parents, in an organized, ongoing, and timely way, in the planning, review, and improvement of programs under this part, including the planning, review, and improvement of the school parent and family engagement policy and the joint development of the schoolwide program plan under section 6314(b) of this title, except that if a school has in place a process for involving parents in the joint planning and design of the school’s programs, the school may use that process, if such process includes an adequate representation of parents of participating children;
(4)
provide parents of participating children—
(A)
timely information about programs under this part;
(B)
a description and explanation of the curriculum in use at the school, the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress, and the achievement levels of the challenging State academic standards; and
(C)
if requested by parents, opportunities for regular meetings to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children, and respond to any such suggestions as soon as practicably possible; and
(5)
if the schoolwide program plan under section 6314(b) of this title is not satisfactory to the parents of participating children, submit any parent comments on the plan when the school makes the plan available to the local educational agency.
(d)
Shared responsibilities for high student academic achievement
As a component of the school-level parent and family engagement policy developed under subsection (b), each school served under this part shall jointly develop with parents for all children served under this part a school-parent compact that outlines how parents, the entire school staff, and students will share the responsibility for improved student academic achievement and the means by which the school and parents will build and develop a partnership to help children achieve the State’s high standards. Such compact shall—
(1)
describe the school’s responsibility to provide high-quality curriculum and instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment that enables the children served under this part to meet the challenging State academic standards, and the ways in which each parent will be responsible for supporting their children’s learning; volunteering in their child’s classroom; and participating, as appropriate, in decisions relating to the education of their children and positive use of extracurricular time; and
(2)
address the importance of communication between teachers and parents on an ongoing basis through, at a minimum—
(A)
parent-teacher conferences in elementary schools, at least annually, during which the compact shall be discussed as the compact relates to the individual child’s achievement;
(B)
frequent reports to parents on their children’s progress;
(C)
reasonable access to staff, opportunities to volunteer and participate in their child’s class, and observation of classroom activities; and
(D)
ensuring regular two-way, meaningful communication between family members and school staff, and, to the extent practicable, in a language that family members can understand.
(e)
Building capacity for involvement
To ensure effective involvement of parents and to support a partnership among the school involved, parents, and the community to improve student academic achievement, each school and local educational agency assisted under this part—
(1)
shall provide assistance to parents of children served by the school or local educational agency, as appropriate, in understanding such topics as the challenging State academic standards, State and local academic assessments, the requirements of this part, and how to monitor a child’s progress and work with educators to improve the achievement of their children;
(2)
shall provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement, such as literacy training and using technology (including education about the harms of copyright piracy), as appropriate, to foster parental involvement;
(3)
shall educate teachers, specialized instructional support personnel, principals, and other school leaders, and other staff, with the assistance of parents, in the value and utility of contributions of parents, and in how to reach out to, communicate with, and work with parents as equal partners, implement and coordinate parent programs, and build ties between parents and the school;
(4)
shall, to the extent feasible and appropriate, coordinate and integrate parent involvement programs and activities with other Federal, State, and local programs, including public preschool programs, and conduct other activities, such as parent resource centers, that encourage and support parents in more fully participating in the education of their children;
(5)
shall ensure that information related to school and parent programs, meetings, and other activities is sent to the parents of participating children in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language the parents can understand;
(6)
may involve parents in the development of training for teachers, principals, and other educators to improve the effectiveness of such training;
(7)
may provide necessary literacy training from funds received under this part if the local educational agency has exhausted all other reasonably available sources of funding for such training;
(8)
may pay reasonable and necessary expenses associated with local parental involvement activities, including transportation and child care costs, to enable parents to participate in school-related meetings and training sessions;
(9)
may train parents to enhance the involvement of other parents;
(10)
may arrange school meetings at a variety of times, or conduct in-home conferences between teachers or other educators, who work directly with participating children, with parents who are unable to attend such conferences at school, in order to maximize parental involvement and participation;
(11)
may adopt and implement model approaches to improving parental involvement;
(12)
may establish a districtwide parent advisory council to provide advice on all matters related to parental involvement in programs supported under this section;
(13)
may develop appropriate roles for community-based organizations and businesses in parent involvement activities; and
(14)
shall provide such other reasonable support for parental involvement activities under this section as parents may request.
(f)
Accessibility

In carrying out the parent and family engagement requirements of this part, local educational agencies and schools, to the extent practicable, shall provide opportunities for the informed participation of parents and family members (including parents and family members who have limited English proficiency, parents and family members with disabilities, and parents and family members of migratory children), including providing information and school reports required under section 6311 of this title in a format and, to the extent practicable, in a language such parents understand.

(g)
Family engagement in education programs

In a State operating a program under part E of subchapter IV, each local educational agency or school that receives assistance under this part shall inform parents and organizations of the existence of the program.

(h)
Review

The State educational agency shall review the local educational agency’s parent and family engagement policies and practices to determine if the policies and practices meet the requirements of this section.

(Pub. L. 89–10, title I, § 1116, formerly § 1118, as added Pub. L. 107–110, title I, § 101, Jan. 8, 2002, 115 Stat. 1501; renumbered § 1116 and amended Pub. L. 114–95, title I, §§ 1000(2), 1010, Dec. 10, 2015, 129 Stat. 1814, 1868.)
cite as: 20 USC 6318