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NJ aims to increase parent involvement in schools; lawmaker suggests mandate

Posted at 8:01 AM, Oct 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-09 08:01:11-04

ORADELL, N.J. — New Jersey is looking to boost parent involvement at school.

Education experts say when a parent is involved in their education, it can mean better results for the child.

But one idea proposed has parents balking — the concept of mandating or forcing parent involvement.

“It sounds radical, but sometimes you have to be radical wake up parents," Essex County State Senator Ron Rice said at a hearing in Trenton Tuesday. 

"Particularly young parents today they just don't get it.”

The hearing with legislators, educators and parents lasted over two hours.

“I don’t think they should be forced to, because from what I’ve seen, the parents involved," said parent Christine Rizas.

“I think it’s overkill to force parents," said another parent, "But they should be involved.”

A wide range of other ideas were also discussed such as incentivizing schools to bring parents more into the fold, covering the cost of attending school meetings for parents, or having school meetings at various times of the day so working moms and dads can attend.