Last Updated on March 18, 2021 by Michelle Ball
By Michelle Ball, California Education Attorney for Students since 1995
California Education Code 51101 has a handy list of public school parents’ rights neatly packaged for use when push comes to shove in California schools. Some of these rights may come as a surprise to parents who are being denied a simple parent-teacher conference, can’t get their child’s records, are denied volunteer opportunities, were never given the school policies, or are having other difficulties in the public school environment.
Section 51101 affords the following rights to California public school parents (be advised this is an abbreviated list and is paraphrased):
1) To be “mutually supportive and respectful partners” with the school.
2) Within a reasonable time to observe their child’s current classroom(s) and/or future classrooms if transferring.
3) To meet with the teacher(s) or principal within a reasonable time of their request.
4) To volunteer in the school or classroom, under supervision of school employees and with approval of the teacher (if volunteering in the classroom).
5) To be notified if their child is absent on a timely basis.
6) To receive the results of standardized and statewide tests.
7) To request a particular school and receive a response.
8) To have a safe environment supportive of learning.
9) To examine curriculum materials of their child’s classes.
10) To be informed of their child’s progress and whom the parent should contact if there are problems.
11) To access their child’s school records (see also Education Code 49069 which requires provision within 5 business days).
12) To be provided with data regarding skills and standards their child is to meet.
13) To be informed in advance of school rules, including discipline rules and procedures, attendance policies, dress codes, and procedures for visiting the school.
14) To be informed regarding any psychological testing the school does and to refuse the testing.
15) To participate in parent advisory committees, schoolsite councils, or site-based management leadership teams.
16) To question anything in their child’s records with which they disagree.
Now, parents, did you know you had all these rights???? Now go out and use them.
Education Attorney for Students
LAW OFFICE OF MICHELLE BALL
717 K Street, Suite 228
Sacramento, CA 95814
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Please see my disclaimer. This is legal information, not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed by this posting. This blog may not be reproduced without permission from the author and proper attribution of authorship. This blog may not reflect the current state of the law.