Of course the candidates for mayor of D.C. are pledging support for education {"Questions for the Candidates," op-ed, June 28}. They have to. But it isn't soley the responsibility of government to support schools. Industry -- and by that I mean all employers -- needs to invest in the well-being of students and their families.

As a teacher, I cannot understand how citizens can profess to support schools when it is almost impossible to get a working parent inside the school for a conference or school event. We decry the demise of the family and bemoan the state of education, but what is being done to enable a family to support the children's schooling?

If I were king of the world, I'd make a law that required every employer to grant every working parent time off once a month to attend school functions. Parents would come to school for conferences, performances and to observe their children in the classroom. Being better informed, they could work with the school to encourage and support students. If education is a national priority, parents have to work with teachers by being available to meet with them.

How much time would my plan take out of the working day? Two to three hours is my guess. In the long run, it is true, it might take longer for a contract to be readied, a sale to be made, a letter to be answered. But also in the long run, we might save some families and discourage some drop-outs. JANE MANRING Silver Spring