Parents’ Legal Rights

In addition to LCFF requirements for parent involvement, parents of students in California public schools have a number of other legal rights that promote inclusion of parents in student learning at all grade levels.

To enhance student progress, parents have the legal right to be included in the educational process with open access to the system on behalf of their children and teenagers.

As outlined in the California Education Code, parents have a right to:

Connect with Learning by:

  • Visiting a school for classroom observation
  • Participating in parent-teacher conferences
  • Volunteering at school
  • Reviewing curriculum
  • Determining school selection
  • Helping to establish and review standards

Oversee Student Progress by:

  • Checking their student’s attendance records
  • Receiving student test results
  • Monitoring their student’s academic progress
  • Being informed about psychological testing
  • Accessing their student’s records

Engage in School Governance by:

  • Participating in the development of school rules
  • Taking part in councils and committees
  • Contributing to policy development
  • Ensuring safe school environments

With these rights, family engagement is identified as an effective way to help students stay on track academically and to improve our schools.

Another law, the Family-School Partnership Act, is designed to encourage parents/guardians to participate in school activities to support student success. It gives parents the right of parental leave from work to attend school activities from pre-school to high school in California.

If you work for a business with 25 or more employees at the same location, you have a legal right as a parent/guardian to request and take time off from work:

  • To participate in activities at your child’s school or licensed day care facility
  • Up to 40 hours/year as a full-time worker
  • Up to 20 hours/year as a part-time worker
  • To use existing vacation time, personal leave or compensatory time off to account for the time you use participating in your child’s school or child care facility

Any activity sponsored, supervised or approved by a school, school board, or child-care facility is acceptable. This includes volunteering in your child’s classroom, participating in parent-teacher conferences, Back-to-School Night, Open House, field trips or extracurricular sporting events and assisting in community service learning activities.

Take Action: Find parent resources and more information on the California Department of Education website:

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