Thursday, September 1, 2011

Parents Rights in Public Schools- Sixteen Rights (And Counting) Which Parents May Not Know They Have

By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995

California Education Code 51101 has a handy list of public school parents' rights neatly packaged for use when push comes to shove in California schools.  Some of these rights may come as a surprise to parents who are being denied a simple parent-teacher conference, can't get their child's records, are denied volunteer opportunities, were never given the school policies, or are having other difficulties in the public school environment.

Section 51101 affords the following rights to California public school parents (be advised this is an abbreviated list and is paraphrased):

1)  To be "mutually supportive and respectful partners" with the school.
2)  Within a reasonable time to observe their child's current classroom(s) and/or future classrooms if transferring.
3)  To meet with the teacher(s) or principal within a reasonable time of their request.
4)  To volunteer in the school or classroom, under supervision of school employees and with approval of the teacher (if volunteering in the classroom).
5)  To be notified if their child is absent on a timely basis.
6)  To receive the results of standardized and statewide tests.
7)  To request a particular school and receive a response.
8)  To have a safe environment supportive of learning.
9)  To examine curriculum materials of their child's classes.
10)  To be informed of their child's progress and whom the parent should contact if there are problems.
11)  To access their child's school records (see also Education Code 49069 which requires provision within 5 business days).
12)  To be provided with data regarding skills and standards their child is to meet.
13)  To be informed in advance of school rules, including discipline rules and procedures, attendance policies, dress codes, and procedures for visiting the school.
14)  To be informed regarding any psychological testing the school does and to refuse the testing.
15)  To participate in parent advisory committees, schoolsite councils, or site-based management leadership teams.
16)  To question anything in their child's records with which they disagree.

Now, parents, did you know you had all these rights????  Now go out and use them.

Best,
Michelle Ball
Education Law Attorney
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-444-9064
Fax: 916-444-1209
Website: http://www.edlaw4students.com/

Please see my disclaimer on the bottom of my blog page [http://edlaw4students.blogspot.com/]. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting, etc. etc.!  This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship.


2 comments:

  1. Hi Michelle! I happened upon your blog today. Here's my dilemma, and I really hope that you can help.

    My children are assigned to a school in our district. The school does not have enough room for my children even though they are assigned to this school. So, the district is trying to find space at 3 other schools in the district which they are claiming are also full because they have too many students attending that live outside the district. Their words, not mine. I am o.k. with this, but the school will not guarantee that both of my children can attend the same school. They are claiming that they both (1st and 3rd grade) may have to attend at different schools. This is my only request. I feel powerless, and because the schools are dismissed at the same time, this would put a hardship on me to be able to pick them up or drop them off on time. Please help!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Does the school have the right to completely switch a students schedule around and change three of his teachers without even consulting with the parents first and then never notify them at all? Wouldnt that go against the parents right to be involved?

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