Friday, June 10, 2011

Parents as Major Decision Makers in their Children's Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Parents as Major Decision Makers in their Children’s Education by Mrs. Dorothy Barron

Two issues caught my attention as information crossed my desk this past week. One involved a Parent who was concerned as to whether upon return after summer vacation she would find that a decision had been made, which entailed the closure of her child’s school. The second issue involved Parents who had been asked to absorb school costs and pay fees.

Parents, in response to the above and other school concerns you encounter, you must become involved and major decision makers in your children’s education. Many Parents allow frustration and a sense of defeat to overwhelm and many become reactionary instead of proactive. Such is often the result of lack of knowledge of the educational process. Once you become well-informed, involved and educated in and about your child’s education and school (see Parents Taking Charge in Education Series #1 How to Hold a School Conference and Series #2 coming announcement soon- How Do I Get Involved in My Child‘s Education & School), as well as the educational process, your knowledge will build as will your confidence and you can begin to take a more active role and thus, able to become a major decision maker in your child’s education.

As for the first issue above, Parents, you do not have to sit throughout the summer wondering about the fate of your child’s school; the way to stay abreast of what is occurring with you school as well as the school system as a whole is to make it a point to regularly attend school board meetings. This is the body created and designated by law to make decisions about your children’s education and their schools. If your school principal or PTA/PTO President does not have the meeting dates and times at hand, they should be able to provide you with the school board office number (see Parents Taking Charge in Education Series #1 Parental Guide-Book - Chain of Command: Who is in Charge). These meetings generally take place in the evenings and throughout the year.

As for educational fees, you should ascertain exactly what the fees are and why Parents are being asked to pay them? First, the general public has been led to believe that public education is free at elementary and secondary levels. Actually, such is not true; the alleged “free” education is paid from collected taxes and who pays taxes? Employers and employees pay taxes, many of which are Parents. Second, many Parents have always paid fees or made purchases associated with outside or extracurricular classroom activities for their children; very often Parents have organized fundraisers for such purposes.

Parents, IF, you are being asked to pay fees for your children’s public education and such raises concerns, questions and opposition, may I suggest that you take your concerns to the school board for answers. Also request a copy of the school system’s plan (and possibly your own child’s school’s plan in order to view its budget, items funded, state and federal contributions and other important information within. If your school(s) cannot fund the basic and/or necessities of which to educate your children, you have serious problems and serious decisions to make. Most PTAs in the past have been instrumental in assisting schools with funding projects and/or purchasing needed equipment for their schools, but what appears to be occurring is that some schools/school systems are asking Parents to pay fees associated with or for their children’s regular public school education.
Parents, the entire Education landscape is changing, don’t you think it’s about time you became a major decision maker in your child’s education and the education process; afterall, your child belongs to you and you, ultimately, are liable and responsible for your child.

Note: The announcement link for Parents Taking Charge in Education Series #1 Parental Mini-Guide Booklets is here: . The Announcement of Series #2 is coming later this month.

Mrs. Dorothy Barron, Author & Founder

Parents Taking Charge in Education

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