Friday, April 04, 2008

Volunteer or get a fine!

CLEVELAND -- 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.

The bill would require all parents to volunteer 13 hours each school year, either in the lunchroom, chaperoning field trips, or wherever the district needs help.

Research shows parents' involvement leads to student success, but Cleveland schools CEO Eugene Sanders said volunteerism is almost impossible to legislate.

"If there's a way to encourage it, create incentives -- that's the better way. The difficulty is what are your options to address it if it doesn't occur? Your legal options are limited in that kind of setting," Sanders said.

The bill's incentive is a $100 fine for parents who don't fulfill the requirement.

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