Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

Children and Youth Services Review






This study sheds light upon mothers' perceptions of educational justice in a context of austerity-based educational reforms. Focus group participants (n = 64) described local schools as lacking resources, a shortcoming that contributed to overcrowded classrooms, inadequate transportation, and safety concerns. They were skeptical of elected and appointed state and district officials, who were viewed as misrepresenting the degree of financial strain in the district in order to prioritize financial profit above education services for children. Additionally, respondents struggled to identify opportunities for parent involvement in educational policy making at a state, district, or school level. The shortage of resources, skepticism, and lack of opportunity culminated in what were often described as contentious relationships between parents and school officials. Our results suggest that mothers recognize that they have been disenfranchised as a result of educational reforms. They are more likely to enroll their children and participate in schools when they perceive that there are adequate resources, that children's needs are prioritized above fiscal austerity, and that their opinions are valued.


Author Posting. © Elsevier Ltd. 2018. This article is posted here by permission of Elsevier for personal use, not for redistribution. The article was published in the Children and Youth Services Review, 2018,

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.