Readers React

Should charter school parents be required to volunteer?

To the editor: When a parent is involved in a child's education, the child is more likely to thrive. That's why many charter public schools and traditional district schools have strongly encouraged parental involvement. ("Charter schools' volunteer demands may discourage needy students," Editorial, Jan. 7)

But, as the membership and advocacy organization representing most of California's charter schools, we wholeheartedly agree with The Times, which points out that requiring parents to volunteer at their child's charter school might have unintended consequences.

Since last year, we have been working with Public Advocates and state education officials to clarify the law, so charter schools can encourage parental involvement while ensuring families that might have a hard time meeting their schools' expectations for voluntarism are not dissuaded from enrolling.

Active parental participation has helped fuel the charter school movement, and every family in California should feel welcome at their neighborhood charter school.

Jason Mandell, Los Angeles

The writer is director of advocacy communications at the California Charter Schools Assn.


To the editor: Charter schools make every possible accommodation for children whose families or agencies are committed to the school. Parents who cannot or will not contract to volunteer at their children's charter school can opt out.

They can do this by sending their children to their traditional district school and doing nothing.

Judith Bronowski, Pacific Palisades

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