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Draft Parent Bill of Rights

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


The purpose of the Parent Bill of Rights is to provide a framework of the core principles of effective parent/school partnerships and to share with parents and guardians (and in some cases students if over the age of 18) the expectations, practices, and information families should expect to receive from schools, LEAs, and state-level education agencies to help support their child’s academic success.

It is difficult to list all of the rights of parents and guardians. Therefore, the following list shall not be construed to deny or limit other rights retained by students and parents under the law. Pursuant to D.C. Official Code § 38-2652, the District of Columbia State Board of Education (State Board) is authorized to advise the State Superintendent of Education on educational matters including state standards, policies and objectives in addition to approving state policies for parental involvement.  Under this authority the State Board has drafted a list of rights, that while not a legally binding document, instead, serve as advisory guidance on what parents and guardians should expect from their child’s traditional public or public charter school and District of Columbia government education agencies.  The State Board embraces the concept that there is a shared responsibility with families, parents, educators, administrators, and government officials to prepare every child for college and/or career success.

In order to secure a better future, we, the District of Columbia State Board of Education, expect an education for our students that demands excellence for all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, socioeconomic status, language proficiency, or disability by recognizing the following:


  • A welcoming and safe environment that values families as partners in students’ education;
  • Be treated with courtesy and respect by all school personnel, and accorded all rights regardless of race, religion, nationality, gender, ethnicity, alienage/citizenship status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic circumstances, or disability;
  • A transparent, effective, and engaged administration that enforces school policies impartially and considers the input of parent/teacher/student organizations and other school-based parent leadership groups (e.g., Local School Advisory Teams);
  • For their child to have teachers that are qualified, effective, engaged and committed to educational excellence;
  • Know the school’s academic and behavioral expectations, educational programs, policies and procedures;
  • Know their child’s academic progress and performance and how to access support when needed;
  • In accordance with Family Education Rights Privacy Act (FERPA), parents have the right to inspect and review the complete contents of their child's education record;
  • Have access to the accurate data and information about schools such as student test scores, discipline data, graduation rates or the school Report Card to evaluate the quality of their child’s school and assist in making an informed decision about their child’s education;
  • Be provided with learning opportunities to empower them to support education at home and at school;
  • Receive assistance with school enrollment and be informed of the school choice options in the District;
  • Receive information about the resources and services offered by the District of Columbia Public Schools, Public School Charter Board, and other relevant District agencies that will enhance their child’s educational experience;
  • Participate in leadership roles at their school (including parent/teacher/student organizations and other school-based parent leadership opportunities) and in the development of parental involvement policies and school improvement plans;
  • Be an advocate for their child’s education to ensure they are treated fairly and afforded every opportunity to succeed; and
  • File a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education.