National PTA Statement on Administration’s FY2019 Budget Proposal

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 15, 2018)—This week, the administration released its budget proposal for fiscal year 2019.

“National PTA recognizes that improvements must be made within public schools to provide an excellent education for every child. Our association supports educational choices within public schools to meet the needs of all students and believes parents and families should be involved in all aspects of public school choice plans,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “There is a difference, however, between public school choice programs and the use of taxpayer dollars for private school voucher programs. Private school vouchers fund the education of only a few, select students; divert resources from the students and schools that need it the most; and lack accountability measures. Public dollars must remain invested in public schools for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation.”

“National PTA has long advocated for high-quality public education to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our association remains steadfast in our belief that public education must be strengthened with the support of adequate funding,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “National PTA hopes the administration and Congress recognize the importance of investing in public education for children and our nation’s long-term success.”

National PTA also remains committed to advocating for investments for family engagement in education through the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program. The SFECs program would provide states and districts with the capacity to support implementation and enhancement of meaningful family engagement policies and initiatives. It would also empower parents and families with the resources they need to ensure their children are provided the best opportunities to thrive and learn.

“Family engagement is proven to positively impact student achievement and school performance,” added President Accomando. “National PTA encourages our 4 million members to reach out to their members of Congress and urge them to invest in public education and the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program to improve our schools, make every child’s potential a reality and increase our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

While the proposal decreases funding for public education overall, National PTA is pleased to see that funding is maintained for Title I grants—which aid schools with high percentages of children from low-income families—as well as for special education grants through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The proposal also dedicates $200 million to STEM education and $43 million for School Climate Transformation grants.

“Strengthening STEM education is critical to bridge the STEM gap and inspire the next generation of STEM professionals. Ensuring children have access to programs and services that provide for their health and wellness is also essential to their long-term success,” added Executive Director Monell. “All children must be provided a high-quality, well-rounded public education in an environment that meets their emotional, intellectual, physical and social needs in order to reach their full potential.”

For more information on the fiscal year 2019 budget proposal, view the U.S. Department of Education’s fact sheet and the full budget request.

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org(703) 518-1242


National PTA and Florida PTA Statement on Shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 14, 2018)The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Jim Accomando and Florida PTA President Cindy Gerhardt:

“National PTA and Florida PTA are deeply saddened to hear of the shooting today at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, families, educators and administrators impacted.

“This is the second school shooting just this month. It is urgent that families, educators, school administrators, community leaders and elected officials work together to find solutions and make meaningful changes to ensure that all students have a safe environment in which to thrive and learn.

“Any act of violence at a school or involving children and youth is intolerable. Every student deserves to learn and grow in a safe environment. And no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home for school.

“It remains a top priority of PTA to promote safety for children and youth and improve education. PTA has a strong history of supporting and advocating for policies in the areas of gun safety and violence preventionjuvenile justicemental health and students’ overall well-being.

“PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities in coping with and preventing violence. The association offers a variety of resources that can be downloaded at PTA.org/SchoolSafety.”

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.

About Florida PTA

Florida PTA is the largest statewide volunteer association working exclusively on behalf of children and youth. Founded in 1923 as a branch of the 4 million member National PTA, Florida PTA is made up of approximately 1,450 local units with more than 300,000 Florida members seeking to unite home, school and community for all children. For more information, visit FloridaPTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org(703) 518-1242


National PTA Honors Parents and Youth for Being a Voice for Change for Children and Education

Honorees to be recognized at 2018 National PTA Legislative Conference

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 1, 2018)—National PTA is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2018 Outstanding Advocacy Awards, which honor parents and youth from across the country for being a powerful voice for change for children and education. The honorees will be recognized at the 2018 National PTA Legislative ConferenceTuesday, March 13, at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

This year’s recipients are:

  • Outstanding State PTA Advocacy Award—New York State PTA

New York State PTA has dedicated its efforts over the past several years to educating the public about the dangers of e-cigarettes and advocating for legislation to make it more difficult for youth to purchase e-cigarettes as well as to end the marketing of e-cigarettes to children. During the 2017 legislative session, PTA members met with over 40 state legislators and senior gubernatorial staff to advocate to protect youth against e-cigarettes. New York State PTA also posted on social media, in multiple e-newsletters, conducted several parent workshops and worked with other advocacy organizations during its campaign. New York PTA successfully advocated to impose a tax rate of $0.10 per milliliter on e-cigarettes. PTA members also successfully advocated to expand the definition of tobacco products to include vapor products used in electronic delivery systems such as e-cigarettes, hookah pens and vape pens in the Clean Indoor Air Act and ban their use on school grounds.

  • Outstanding Local PTA Advocacy Award—Huntsville Council of PTAs (Alabama)

Huntsville Council of PTAs conducted an advocacy campaign to educate voters about ad valorem tax proposals, which would have devastating consequences for school districts in Alabama if they were not renewed. Huntsville Council of PTAs partnered with other local non-profits and advocacy associations to secure the 200 signatures needed to request that the renewals be added to the ballot for a special election held in December. Once added to the ballot, PTA leaders sent information about tax renewal meetings to their neighborhood associations. Huntsville Council of PTAs and two other organizations also provided financing to purchase yard signs for families at each school as well as other community members. The PTA also promoted the importance of the tax renewal at meetings and leadership trainings as well as on social media, the radio and TV prior to the election. Voters overwhelmingly supported the renewal of the taxes Dec. 12, securing funding for schools in the area for another 30 years.

  • Shirley Igo Advocate of the Year Award—Angie Gallo (Orlando, Florida) 

Among her many advocacy efforts, Angie Gallo worked alongside the advocacy organization “Recess Moms” to urge the passage of a bill to require 20 minutes of daily recess for all elementary students in Florida. She met with many Florida legislators on both sides of the aisle to gain support for this important piece of legislation, including the speaker of the house. The recess mandate become law in the summer of 2017, and Florida become the first state in the country to meet physical activity recommendations for its elementary school students. Gallo has served as legislative chair for Florida PTA for the past three years, working tirelessly to build relationships with legislators as well as with lobbyists and advocacy allies. Her efforts have changed the way many policymakers view Florida PTA, garnering new respect for the association’s voice and a seat for the association at many tables.

  • Outstanding Youth Advocate of the Year Award—Eleanor Schoenbrun (El Paso, Texas)

Eleanor Schoenbrun dedicated her efforts to improving the courtyard at Franklin High School to make it a safe and welcoming space for students to gather and eat lunch. She began her advocacy campaign by writing and securing grants from Disney and generationOn. She also successfully advocated for Franklin High School PTSA to donate funds to purchase shaded tables for the courtyard. Through Schoenbrun’s efforts and leadership, the courtyard is now fit to hold school pep rallies and student bands performances and is a welcoming environment for students during lunch. Schoenburn plans to continue her efforts by meeting with administration and food services personnel to create a menu that attracts more students to stay at school and eat lunch in the courtyard.

“Advocacy is critical to make a difference for education and the health, safety and well-being of our nation’s children,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “New York State PTA, Huntsville Council of PTAs, Angie Gallo and Eleanor Schoenbrun exemplify what it means to take action and be a voice for change for all children and schools. We are thrilled to recognize them with the 2018 Outstanding Advocacy Awards.”

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to explore the association’s public policy priorities and education legislation and policies before Congress as well as actively advocate to make every child’s potential a reality.

During the 2018 conference—themed “Get in the Game”—attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops focused on bringing their advocacy efforts and skill sets to the next level. Additionally, attendees will amplify their voices by meeting with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 14.

“After 120 years, at its core, PTA is still about speaking for every child with one voice,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “Whether it is organizing a school meeting to discuss ways to keep students safe from gun violence or calling a member of Congress to talk about the federal budget and funding for public education, PTA members are making a difference for children and schools in their communities and across the country.”

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org(703) 518-1242


National PTA Statement on Shooting at Salvador Castro Middle School

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 1, 2018)The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Jim Accomando:

“National PTA is deeply saddened to hear of the shooting today at Salvador Castro Middle School in Los Angeles, Calif. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, families, educators and administrators impacted.

“This is the third school shooting in the past two weeks. It is urgent that families, educators, school administrators, community leaders and elected officials work together to prevent gun violence in schools and ensure that all students have a safe environment in which to thrive and learn.

“Any act of violence at a school or involving children and youth is intolerable. Every student deserves to learn and grow in a safe environment. And no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home for school.

“It remains a top priority of National PTA to promote safety for children and youth and improve education. National PTA has a strong history of supporting and advocating for policies in the areas of gun safety and violence prevention, juvenile justice, mental health and students’ overall well-being.

“National PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities in coping with and preventing violence. The association offers a variety of resources that can be downloaded at PTA.org/SchoolSafety.”

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.


National PTA Statement on State of the Union Address

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Jan. 31, 2018)—Last evening, President Donald Trump delivered his first State of the Union address, outlining his priority areas for 2018, including immigration and national security, infrastructure, jobs and the economy and trade. President Trump also called for bipartisan unity to move the country forward in the areas of importance to all Americans.

“National PTA agrees with the administration in the significance of Congress coming together to address the issues important to our country, and particularly, to our association,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “National PTA looks forward to continued dialogue with the administration and Congress to advance policies that make a difference for the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of all of our nation’s children.”

National PTA also echoes President Trump’s call for funding to improve the country’s infrastructure and advocates that the administration and Congress include school facilities in this.

“National PTA believes investments must be made in public school facilities for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA. “Schools are a critical part of our nation’s infrastructure and it is essential that investments are made to repair, renovate and modernize school facilities to ensure they are safe, healthy and well-equipped to advance student achievement, grow our economy and improve our competitiveness.”

Additionally, like the administration, National PTA urges Congress to pass legislation that provides the young immigrants who have received protection under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program the ability to reach their fullest potential.

“Policymakers have a momentous opportunity to work together to address immigration in a fair, appropriate and equitable way and provide real solutions that benefit our nation’s diverse and talented youth and their families,” added President Accomando. “Ensuring that all children have the opportunity to succeed and become productive members of society is essential and in the best interest of our nation.”

As throughout the association’s history, National PTA remains committed to working closely with the administration and Congress to promote educational equity and opportunity for all children so that every child’s potential becomes a reality and for the future of the country.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@PTA.org, (703) 518-1242

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.


National PTA Statement on Shooting at Marshall County High School

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Jan. 23, 2017)The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Jim Accomando:

“National PTA is deeply saddened to hear of the shooting this morning at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the students, families, educators and administrators impacted.

“Any act of violence at a school or involving children and youth is intolerable. Every student deserves to learn and grow in an environment that is safe. And no parent should fear for the safety of their child every time they leave home. Sadly, the threat of gun violence for children has increased and our country has experienced far too many gun-related tragedies. This is the fourth shooting at or near a school this school year.

“It is urgent that families, educators, school administrators, community leaders and elected officials work together to prevent gun violence in schools and ensure that all students have a safe environment in which to thrive and learn.

“It remains a top priority of National PTA to promote safety for children and youth and improve education. National PTA has a strong history of supporting and advocating for policies in the areas of gun safety and violence prevention, juvenile justice, mental health and students’ overall well-being.

“National PTA is committed to supporting students, families, schools and communities in coping with and preventing violence. The association offers a variety of resources that can be downloaded at PTA.org/SchoolSafety.”

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. For more information, visit PTA.org.

Media Contact
Heidi May Wilson, National PTA
hmay@pta.org(703) 518-1242


Jan Harp Domene (JHD) Award – Application Process Opens Monday, January 22

As of Monday January 22, PTAs will have the opportunity to showcase their dedicated efforts and commitment to diversity and inclusion by applying for the Jan Harp Domene Diversity and Inclusion Award.

National PTA was founded in the spirit of diversity and inclusion. Our association’s cofounder Alice McLellan Birney expressed that our mission was to make every child’s potential a reality, “irrespective of creed, color or condition.”

Jan Harp Domene served as National PTA President from 2007-2009 and was a true champion for diversity and inclusion, ensuring that families of all backgrounds felt welcomed into the PTA family.

National PTA established the Jan Harp Domene Award in 2012 to recognize outstanding PTAs across the country who have succeeded and continue to make diversity and inclusion a priority.

The Jan Harp Domene Award will be presented to a PTA at each level: local, district/council/region and state. The application process will go live in English and Spanish on Monday, January 22 onwww.pta.org/DiversityAward and close on March 31, 2018 at 8PM EST/5PM PST.

PTAs who have made progress and plan to continue their exemplary efforts in the area diversity and inclusion are highly encouraged to apply. Attached is a social media toolkit to help you promote this award within your state.

Applications will be reviewed and selected by the Diversity and Inclusion Committee and will be recognized at the National PTA Convention and Expo on June 21 – 24, 2018 in New Orleans. Winning PTAs will receive $1,000 to support their ongoing efforts, as well as a plaque to memorialize the achievement.

Please visit www.pta.org/DiversityAward to review the application and the full list of items winners will receive. We look forward to receiving your application and applications from your state.

 

Jim Accomando                                                                                Frank Kwan

National PTA President                                                                  National PTA Diversity Committee Chair

Suzan JS Yungner | Director, Field Services and Member Outreach

T (800) 307-4782 | 703-518-1211

F (703) 836-0942

syungner@pta.org | www.pta.org

Connect with National PTA® on: Twitter | Facebook | YouTube