House Bill 519 Will Make Parents Volunteer at School or Face Fine

It's no secret that schools need volunteers in order to do more for students, but one proposed law in Indiana would make it a requirement for parents to volunteer at their children's school.

Parent Darlene Boyd has been volunteering at her grandchildren's school for six years. If the state legislature passes House Bill 519, she'll have a lot of company, Cleveland station WEWS reports.

To require parents of students enrolled in school districts to perform volunteer service for the district, to grant state employees paid leave to participate in a child's educational activities, to allow a nonrefundable credit against the corporate franchise or commercial activity tax for employer-paid leave enabling employees to participate in school-related activities, and to require school districts to establish mentoring programs for students.

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Sadly, there are some parents who really shouldn't be volunteering in the schools.

I've been volunteering in my kids school for 8 years. Volunteering is rewarding. :)

but you can't legislate morality.

I don't have much hope for the success of this idea.
(oops, there's my negative observations again)

Before I went back to work I put in several times to volunteer at my son's school. In the last two years I've been called to help out exactally twice.
They seem to have their set of "regulars" already picked because I've seen a couple of volunteers who are there practically like full time employees and I guess they are happy with them or something.
When I was home all the time I remember telling the principal himself when he was talking about needing volunteers in the office and I'd put my name in several times and that I was available five days a week (at that time).
So when I hear teachers and admins talk about how badly they need/want volunteers I have to wonder how truthful they are actually being.

since we already concluded that volunteers do not get background checks, then it would make me a little uneasy to know ALL parents must volunteer. as sarah stated some shouldn't volunteer, and i agree. what about the creepy parents and sex offenders? creepy meaning the ones that technically have not been caught doing anything, but you feel uneasy around. i have had many occasions where i have had that feeling about people, and would never want my kids around them. i guess that's the positive side of being abused, you can pick them out easier.

I had to have a background check, be fingerprinted and take a class.

This was not for a public school, though.


This was not for a public school, though.

Therin lies the difference.

I took the time to look up the word volunteer in the dictionary before responding to this. It states that a volunteer is, "one who renders a service or takes part in a transaction while having no legal concern or interest". I would therefore ask, if you are force by law to perform this service, is it still volunteering?

Do you create commitment by legislating it? Will these "volunteers" contribute or distract based upon their motivation to be there? When a parent is not contributing and is asked to "stay away", are they then breaking a law and subject to the penalties of the law? Which raises the issue of how you enforce such a law. A $100 fine - now who is going to check off the parents and turn them in.

See that Eugene Sanders and I agree on one thing - legislating parent involvement.

Agree with you Tim - this is not volunteering. It is a forced contribution and therefore a non-monetary form of taxation.

I wonder how this will sit with teacher and support unions when these parents begin to do work of employees that could have been hired or those that retire or are laid off?

Increasing parental involvement is a good idea. I support it. I have real concerns that this is the way to proceed.

Littlered - when was it concluded that volunteers don't get background checks? What school districts do not do background checks?

it was talked about in the first post about the washer at pickett. i'll go back over that later, but i believe it was stated that volunteers do not get background checks when volunteering for tps.

I know that some TPS schools do require background checks. However, I wonder if this is a standard district policy or if we once again see some schools applying different standards.

Very interesting. I'll do some more checking.

a post from the pickette washer thread........ this is where i got they do not do background checks on volunteers................

TPS has no policy or procedure on background checks
Submitted by gotoledogo on Mon, 2008-03-10 15:43.

They are not done for volunteers at all, not coaches or PTO board members, or any volunteers that spend a large amount of time in the school. We found this out at our (former) school when we realized we had a sex offender coaching t-ball. There is one part of TPS that does do a background check- it's the organized tutoring through administration that puts volunteers (parents and community members) in the schools to volunteer.

Also girl scout leaders are background checked, I am sure boyscout leaders are as well, although I cannot verify.

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