California and Texas: Leaders in Parent Involvement with Hispanic Parents

California and Texas: Leaders in Parent Involvement with Hispanic Parents

California is home to nearly 13 million Latinos or about 36% of the state’s population while Texas can claim nearly 8 million Latinos or about 35 percent of its population.

These two states also have the highest number of English language learners (ELLs) who speak Spanish in school: approximately 1.3 million are enrolled in California public schools and nearly 700,000 are in Texas schools.

Research shows that two effective ways of helping ELL’s succeed in school is to have strong parent involvement programs.

Below are the Federal Policies for Parent Involvement:


This statute defines parental involvement as the participation of parents in regular, two-way, and meaningful communication involving student academic learning and other school activities. It ensures:

• that parents play an integral role in assisting their child’s learning;

• that parents are encouraged to be actively involved in their child’s education at school;

• that parents are full partners in their child’s education and are included, as appropriate, in decision-making and on advisory committees to assist in the education of their child.


Parental involvement is a centerpiece of Title 1. Its provisions stress:

• shared accountability between schools and parents for high student achievement, including expanded public school choice and supplemental educational services for eligible children in low performing schools;

• local development of parental involvement plans with sufficient flexibility to address local needs;

• building parents’ capacity for using effective practices to improve their own children’s academic achievement.

California leads the nation in its support of parent involvement programs. The state’s Department of Education has a policy on parent involvement in schools that explicitly says:

“The extent of parent involvement in a child’s education is more important to student success than family income or education.”
In addition, the state is a leader in supporting programs that help close the gap between ELLS and native English speakers.

The Texas Education Agency has a Parent Involvement Initiative (coupled with a dropout initiative), which encourages parent involvement in Texas’ public schools. In addition, parent involvement is a key goal of the No Child Left Behind federal legislation. Read more about Texas State Parent Involvement Policy.

The Latino Family Literacy Project™ bases its workshops on the synthesis of the dual language approach for parents so that Spanish speaking parents can read with their children, while their children, who are reading more in English, can read in English. This fosters opportunity for greater parent involvement in the schools. The end result is:

1) effective English language development including enhanced English vocabulary and grammar;

2) a regular family reading routine;

3) the opportunity to talk about literature and shared experiences.

View our program video online at

Katherine Del MonteCalifornia and Texas: Leaders in Parent Involvement with Hispanic Parents