Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Testimony - Family Involvement

To: Senate Early Learning and K-12
PRO, SB 5117 - Regarding family involvement coordinators in public schools.
Good afternoon Chairman Litzow and senators,

Thank you for considering this bill. Guess what? This is my favorite bill, and I’ve just been waiting and waiting for you to hear it.

I know you are concerned about evidence-based practices. Well guess what? Family engagement is one of the most cost-effective practices you can fund.

Meaningful family engagement can raise student achievement so substantially that schools would need to increase spending by more than $1,000 per child, per year to make up the difference.

Family engagement is an essential component of school turnaround, A longitudinal study out of Chicago showed schools with strong parent involvement were ten times more likely to improve math -- and sustain it -- and four times more likely to improve reading than schools weak in this measure.

Family engagement also helps with teacher retention.

It’s a great thing. Thank you so much, sponsors. You can call it involvement or engagement, use family or parent; it’s all good. Promoting meaningful family engagement is one of the easiest things we can do to implement these reforms.

-- Ramona Hattendorf, WSPTA government relations coordinator
(For sourcing of studies referred to in testimony, see our position and policy paper, Great Family Engagement in Every School.)

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