JC/DC Action Alert: Family Engagement Center Funding

Family Engagement Centers – The newly enacted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) includes the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program, which provides competitive federal grants to statewide organizations to promote and implement evidenced-based family engagement strategies. If the SFEC program is funded, applications for these competitive grants can be submitted to the U.S. Department of Education by statewide organizations such as non-profits or by groups of statewide organizations that have demonstrated involvement in engaging families in their child’s education and experience working with state-level agencies, communities, organizations and schools on family engagement policies and practices. Contact your Senators and Representative today and ask them to support Statewide Family Engagement Centers the FY 2018 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (L-HHS-ED) appropriations bill. Please take a few moments to send a letter to your members of Congress. You can quickly send your letter by clicking here.


Thank you,

Carla Wiese

VP and Director of Legislation and Advocacy

National PTA Extremely Disappointed with New ESSA Guidelines

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 13, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:


“This morning, the U.S. Department of Education released a new guide for states to use in developing their education plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While ESSA requires meaningful stakeholder engagement, the new guide does not compel states to include a description of how they are engaging and consulting stakeholders in developing their plans.


“National PTA is extremely disappointed that stakeholder engagement is no longer prioritized. We have learnedfrom the implementation of other education initiatives that engaging all stakeholders—especially parents—is critical, not optional. Stakeholders, particularly parents, play an essential role in the successful implementation of ESSA and ensuring that all children receive a quality education by providing valuable input and holding states and districts accountable.


“The Department of Education must make this a priority through the ESSA plan template so states will make it a priority and truly engage all stakeholders. The expertise and firsthand knowledge of parents, educators, practitioners and others working with, and on behalf of, students every day is critical to inform state and local policies and practices to establish the best education system possible and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.


“National PTA called on the Department of Education to provide best practices for stakeholder engagement to ensure this occurs as intended in the law. The association has been committed to empowering families to be active participants in the development of state and local plans as well as supporting states, districts and schools in engaging families in the implementation of the law. It remains a top priority of National PTA to ensure all stakeholders are consulted and engaged in the development of education plans and the overall implementation of ESSA.


“We’ve made critical progress to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success through ESSA. We cannot go backward.”


About National PTA

National PTA® comprises millions of families, students, teachers, administrators, and business and community leaders devoted to the educational success of children and the promotion of family engagement in schools. PTA is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit association that prides itself on being a powerful voice for all children, a relevant resource for families and communities, and a strong advocate for public education. Membership in PTA is open to anyone who wants to be involved and make a difference for the education, health, and welfare of children and youth.


Media Contact

Heidi May Wilson, National PTA

hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242