Lt. Gov. Matt Denn was on hand March 25 as legislators in the state House of Representatives introduced a bill designed to increased parental involvement in their children's education.

Lt. Gov. Matt Denn joined lawmakers in introducing a bill March 25 that aims to increase parental involvement in public schools.

“I visit schools in Delaware every week. The one thing I hear from teachers is having more parent involvement would have a huge impact,” Denn said. “The challenge is how to actually get it done.”

House Bill 350, sponsored by Rep. Teresa Schooley and Sen. David Sokola, both D-Newark, would require each school system to draft a Parents’ Declaration of Responsibilities and ask parents to sign the document at the beginning of each school year.

Denn said in other states such declarations ask parents to commit to helping their children with homework for 15 minutes each evening, or resolve to spend a few hours each year volunteering in their children’s schools.

Parents who don’t sign, or who don’t hold up their end of the agreement, won’t be penalized, nor will their students, Denn said.

The bill also would require schools to list how many parents sign the declaration in their yearly Delaware Education Profile, which contains information on enrollment, staff and class size, among other data.

Representatives from the state Parent Teacher association as well as local PTAs offered their support of the bill.

State PTA president Bill Mullin called the legislation “long overdue” and said it will be up to parents to carry the spirit of the bill.

“Parents must take the responsibility,” he said. “This act is an important first step for that to happen.”

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