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U.S.LIFE > People > Family Life & Children > Family and Community Involvement

Family and Community Involvement

Americans view the family as the primary formative influence on children, and U.S. law and policy at all levels tends to reinforce the principle that parents should have an active role in making decisions and choices concerning the education of their children. Schools are also considered community services and to have a responsibility to the broader local polity in terms of their operations and methods. Local school board members are often parents or former parents, a fact that reinforces the concept of the school as servant to the community. This relationship can create great diversity across local communities in respect to how their schools function, the values they espouse, and what resources they possess.

Parental Involvement in Education

The National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) is a nationwide coalition of organized parent groups in local communities that have developed formal arrangements with individual schools. The PTA provides information on current issues of concern to member chapters and extensive resources.

The National Parent Information Network (NPIN) is a project of the National Library of Education's ERIC program to provide online education information services tailored for parents.

The ED Family Involvement Program provides information on the initiatives being taken at the federal level to strengthen parental involvement and make resources available.

Community Relationships

Civic organizations, businesses, religious congregations, charities, and social service organizations all participate alongside, and with, the schools in the education of children and adults. These activities range from informal relations to highly structured partnerships and contracts. The number and variety is far too large for USNEI to provide resources on each, but there are some general Web sites that can provide information on the scope and nature of school and community activities.

Alliance for National Renewal provides information on the community development activities of 150 local civic associations across the United States, including in the area of education and training.

National Alliance of Business (NAB) provides information and resource links regarding all aspects of the business community's involvement in educational reform, including local partnerships.


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Information on this section is not intended to constitute advice nor is it to be used as a substitute for specific counsel from a licensed professional. You should not act (or refrain from acting) based upon information in this section without independently verifying the original source information and, as necessary, obtaining professional advice regarding your particular facts and circumstances.