Coalition Urges Congress to Support Family-Engagement Centers

PTA Leaders,

Today, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a bipartisan Labor, Health and Human Services and Education funding bill by a vote of 29 to 1.  Unfortunately, the bill did not include funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs), however Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) spoke during the markup about the importance of family engagement and the need to fund the program.

 

While we are disappointed that SFEC funding was not included in this bill, there are still opportunities to influence the appropriations process moving forward.  Because of your tremendous advocacy, family engagement and SFECs are receiving lots of attention in the media!  See the piece below published by K-12 Parents and the Public blog on SFECS.

 

National PTA will also be issuing a statement later today on the bill.

 

Thank you all for your efforts including all the social media you have pushed out over of the last few days!  You have generated a lot of interested and attention on family engagement and SFECs.  I look forward to continuing to work with all of you to make sure Congress invests in family engagement!

 

Please let me know if you have any questions.

 

Thank you,

Jacki

Coalition Urges Congress to Support Family-Engagement Centers

By Sarah Tully on June 9, 2016 9:35 AM | No comments

 

A group of 83 state and national organizations is urging Congress to financially support family centers that were approved as part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act.

 

The coalition sent a June 6 letter to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, asking that at least $10 million be given to fund Statewide Family Engagement Centers. The Senate Committee on Appropriations is next set to consider the bill on Thursday, June 9.

 

The bill currently does not include any funding for the centers. President Barack Obama’s fiscal 2017 budget proposal also did not include any money for the centers.

The coalition includes national groups, such as United Way International and the National Council of La Raza, as well as state Parent Teacher Associations.

 

“Our organizations believe that an investment in [the centers] is critical to ensuring that families are meaningfully supported and engaged in their child’s education so they can support our nation’s students in becoming fully prepared for higher education and careers,” the letter states.

 

Within ESSA, Congress authorized the $10 million amount annually for the centers, which would provide grants to states to support family engagement policies and programs.

The previous federal law, the No Child Left Behind Act, at first gave up to $40 million for such centers, which were then called Parent Information and Resource Centers. But after the money ran out, only three states continued with their centers with other funding sources.

 

See the Education Week story about community and parent engagement in ESSA, including the Statewide Family Engagement Centers.

 

In addition to the coalition, some members of Congress also have urged their colleagues to support the centers. See a March letter from 22 senators and a letter from 38 representatives.

 

Follow ESSA funding issues, including this blog post about a subcommittee’s June 7 meeting, in thePolitics K-12 blog.

 

Sarah Tully at stully@epe.org.

Follow @ParentAndPublic for the latest news on schools and parental involvement.

 

 

Jacki Ball | Director, Government Affairs

National PTA®

1250 N. Pitt Street
Alexandria, VA 22314

P: (703) 518-1243 | C: (703) 405-5206

jball@pta.org www.pta.org @balljacki

 

 

K-12 Parents and the Public 


URGENT National PTA, “PTA Takes Action” Action Alert

Unfortunately, the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program was NOT funded in the Senate Labor, HHS & Education (LHHS-ED) FY2017 subcommittee appropriations bill today. Call your senator to tell him/her to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) in Fiscal Year 2017. Some of you may have called your senator earlier this week but we need you to call again!

The full Senate Appropriations Committee will vote on Thursday, June 9 to fund education programs.

Before 5pm on Wednesday, June 8, call your senator and tell him/her to support funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) grant program to make sure families are equal partners in their child’s education!

President Barack Obama (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Vice President Joe Biden (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
(202) 224-6154 (Capitol)
(314) 367-1364 (District)

Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
(202) 224-5721 (Capitol)
(816) 471-7141 (District)

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-005)
(202) 225-4535 (Capitol)
(816) 842-4545 (District)

Background:
The SFEC program was included in Title IV, Part E of Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016—the new education law replacing No Child Left Behind. SFECs are designed to build capacity for states and school districts to systematically embed family engagement policies and practices in schools. The SFEC program will provide much needed professional development for educators and school leaders to strengthen school-family partnerships and parent-teacher relationships.

Talking points to use when contacting your Senator:

  • Provide your name and title/role with PTA
  • Ask your senator to ensure there is funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorized this important program at $10 million.
  • 86 national and state organizations support funding this program at its authorized level of $10 million.
  • Say “As a constituent, parent and advocate, I know the importance of family engagement in schools. Will the senator support investing in this critical program in the final bill?”

If they ask or you would like to expand upon the importance of funding SFECs, below are a few additional talking points that you could use:

  • Over 40 years of research shows that family engagement is critical for student success. Students with engaged families attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in advanced-level courses and have higher graduation rates.
  • Teachers are also more likely to remain in schools where families are involved and they can develop trusting relationships to help students and families succeed.
  • An investment in SFECs and family engagement is important to ensuring not only that families are meaningfully supported and engaged in the education of their children, but that our nation’s students are fully prepared for higher education, workforce and career opportunities in the 21st century.

Urgent Call to action! Improve Family Engagement in Your Child’s School


National PTA Action Alert June 3rd, 2016

We need your help to improve family engagement opportunities and practices at your child’s school! Call your senator to tell him/her to fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) in Fiscal Year 2017. The Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee is voting on Tuesday, June 7 to fund education programs.

Before 5pm on Monday, June 6, call your senator and tell them to support funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) grant program to make sure families are equal partners in their child’s education!

President Barack Obama (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Vice President Joe Biden (US)
(202) 456-1111 (Capitol)

Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
(202) 224-6154 (Capitol)
(314) 367-1364 (District)

Senator Roy Blunt (MO)
(202) 224-5721 (Capitol)
(816) 471-7141 (District)

Representative Emanuel Cleaver (MO-005)
(202) 225-4535 (Capitol)
(816) 842-4545 (District)

Background:
The SFEC program was included in Title IV, Part E of Every Student Succeeds Act of 2016—the new education law replacing No Child Left Behind. SFECs are designed to build capacity for states and school districts to systematically embed family engagement policies and practices in schools. The SFEC program will provide much needed professional development for educators and school leaders to strengthen school-family partnerships and parent-teacher relationships.

Talking points to use when contacting your Senator:

  • Provide your name and title/role with PTA
  • Ask your senator to ensure there is funding for Statewide Family Engagement Centers in the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill for FY 2017.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) authorized this important program at $10 million.
  • As a constituent, parent and advocate, I know the importance of family engagement in schools. Will the senator support investing in this critical program in the final bill?

If they ask or you would like to expand upon the importance of funding SFECs, below are a few additional talking points that you could use:

  • Over 40 years of research shows that family engagement is critical for student success. Students with engaged families attend school more regularly, earn better grades, enroll in advanced-level courses and have higher graduation rates.
  • Teachers are also more likely to remain in schools where families are involved and they can develop trusting relationships to help students and families succeed.
  • An investment in SFECs and family engagement is important to ensuring not only that families are meaningfully supported and engaged in the education of their children, but that our nation’s students are fully prepared for higher education, workforce and career opportunities in the 21st century.

JC/DC ACTION ALERT: Powdered Alcohol

****VOTE TODAY*** Please contact your Senators now!

HB1786 has been placed on the Senate calendar.

HB 1786 would ban the sale of powered alcohol in the state of Missouri.

Powdered Alcohol is a particular concern for PTA because underage drinking creates and environment that can be extremely dangerous to children.  Because of the potential for abuse, powdered alcohol has been banned in more than 27 states.

Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize safety with regard to our kids. We have laws that require young children be restrained in car seats.  Medicines must be sold in childproof containers.  We encourage classes on fire safety.  And our schools and communities work hard to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.  Powdered Alcohol has a high potential for abuse creating a dangerous environment for children. 

 Powdered Alcohol is not “freeze-dried alcohol” but rather ethyl alcohol encapsulated by a sugar container.  It can be easily concealed, sprinkled onto food products, taken as a pill, snorted, injected and mixed with other alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and marijuana making it even more potent and inhibiting the user’s ability to fight off alcohol poisoning. 

Help keep our children safe from such harmful products.  Please support HB 1786 by voting yes.

Sincerely,

You name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.


Carla Wiese

Vice President & Director of Legislation

carlaw@mopta.org


JC/DC ACTION ALERT:  Powdered Alcohol

HB1786 has received Do Passes from the Senate committees.  This will soon come before the body for a vote.
HB 1786 would ban the sale of powered alcohol in the state of Missouri.

Powdered Alcohol is a particular concern for PTA because underage drinking creates and environment that can be extremely dangerous to children.  Because of the potential for abuse, powdered alcohol has been banned in more than 27 states.


Dear Senator,

As a community we prioritize safety with regard to our kids. We have laws that require young children be restrained in car seats.  Medicines must be sold in childproof containers.  We encourage classes on fire safety.  And our schools and communities work hard to raise awareness of the dangers of underage drinking.  Powdered Alcohol has a high potential for abuse creating a dangerous environment for children. 

 

Powdered Alcohol is not “freeze-dried alcohol” but rather ethyl alcohol encapsulated by a sugar container.  It can be easily concealed, sprinkled onto food products, taken as a pill, snorted, injected and mixed with other alcohol and drugs such as cocaine and marijuana making it even more potent and inhibiting the user’s ability to fight off alcohol poisoning.

Help keep our children safe from such harmful products.  Please support HB 1786 by voting yes.


Sincerely,

Your name and PTA

Not sure how to contact your state legislators? Click here and insert your street address or 9-digit zip code.


Carla Wiese

Vice President & Director of Legislation

carlaw@mopta.org