Given a list of concerns that might impede parent involvement in schools, schools indicated to what extent they perceived that each was a barrier. Among the parent-centered barriers, the highest percentage of schools perceived lack of time on the part of parents as a barrier to a great or moderate extent (87 percent) (Figure 12). This was followed by lack of parent education to help with school work (38 percent).
Cultural or socioeconomic differences and parent attitudes about the school were perceived to be barriers in 23 percent of schools. Language differences between parents and staff was perceived as a barrier by 12 percent of schools.
Of the barriers considered to be centered at the school, more than half of schools (56 percent) perceived that lack of time on the part of school staff created a barrier to parent involvement to a great or moderate extent. About half (48 percent) perceived that lack of staff training in working with parents was also a barrier to parent programs. Staff attitudes towards parents was perceived as a barrier by 18 percent of schools. Concerns about safety in the area after school hours was reported as a barrier in 9 percent of all schools.
The findings reported above look quite different when school views on these barriers are examined by poverty concentration and minority enrollment in the school (Table 13). Specifically, more schools with poverty concentrations and minority enrollments of 50 percent or more perceived the following issues to be barriers than schools low on these characteristics:
More city schools also reported that concerns about safety in the area after school hours was a barrier to a great or moderate extent than schools in all the other metropolitan areas (21 versus 8 percent or less) (not shown in table).