National PTA Applauds Biden Administration’s Action on Ghost Guns

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced a new regulation meant to address the proliferation of “ghost guns”—homemade or improvised firearms that lack commercial serial numbers and are unregulated and untraceable. National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement on the new regulation:

“For years, National PTA and PTA members nationwide have advocated for sensible gun safety and violence prevention policies that will help keep children safe, including banning the sale of ghost guns. The use of ghost guns has increased ten-fold from 2016, including in school shootings. Our association applauds the Biden Administration for taking action with a policy that will save lives. This regulation is an important step in addressing the gun violence epidemic our country has endured for far too long.

“In addition to banning the sale of ghost guns, National PTA supports federal restrictions on firearms that would:

  • Require knowledge of appropriate firearms use and safety practices, including safe gun and ammunition storage.
  • Require a waiting period and comprehensive background check for all individuals prior to purchasing a firearm to screen out illegal firearm purchasers.
  • Restrict internet gun sales, including kits that can be used to make and modify guns.
  • Tighten enforcement of laws on straw purchases of weapons, and institute some limits on how many guns can be purchased in a month.
  • Institute a background check for ammunition purchases.
  • Ban bump stocks, military-style semi-automatic assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines.

“Our association also believes policies and legislation must include but not be limited to:

  • Fund research on the causes and effects of gun violence on youth and communities, as well as evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence.
  • Establish education programs to teach students, parents and community members about gun safety and violence prevention.
  • Fund research of ‘Smart guns’ that fire only after a fingerprint or a PIN is entered, or if used near a particular bracelet.

“While the regulation on ghost guns is a step in the right direction, common-sense legislation must be enacted immediately to help protect our nation’s families. Just on Tuesday, at least 10 people were injured by gunfire in the subway in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“This crisis is destroying our communities, and National PTA and PTAs nationwide remain committed to calling on Congress to implement policies that will prevent more tragedies from occurring. It is a top priority of our association to prevent and eliminate gun violence, promote the safety and well-being of all children, and ensure every child has every opportunity to reach their full potential.”

National PTA Applauds President Biden’s Fiscal Year 2023 Budget Proposal

National PTA is pleased to see the Administration’s FY23 budget proposal addresses long-standing educational inequities that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic as well as supports whole child learning and development. The proposal includes more than double the funding for Title I, which assists schools serving low-income families, and increases funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—the largest funding increases in two decades. It also includes $1 billion in funding for school-based mental health supports and services in addition to increased investments in full-service community schools, which play a critical role in providing comprehensive wraparound services to students and their families.

Our association has continuously advocated for improved mental health programs and services for children and families, including access to school and community-based mental health personnel and services. During final FY22 budget negotiations, we mobilized in support of the $1 billion request. We are grateful for President Biden’s inclusion of this crucial ask in his FY23 budget proposal as an urge to Congress and a signal to advocates nationwide that we must come together as a nation to address the mental health crisis facing our youth. Robust and equitable investments in our public education system as well as solutions to ensure the needs of the whole child are met are essential to make sure all children can begin to recover from this pandemic and reach their fullest potential.

Our association also appreciates the continued investments included in the proposal for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program, which provides much-needed technical assistance and partnership development to states and school districts to foster meaningful family engagement. We will continue to advocate for greater investments in the program to ensure all families nationwide have access to the program.

The long-term success of our nation depends on all children having access to a fair, equitable, high-quality education and having their social, emotional and mental health needs met. We stand ready to work with the Administration and Congress to make sure the vital investments included in the budget proposal become a reality. We urge everyone to join us in our efforts—and particularly for our upcoming Hill Day Experience as part of our 125th Anniversary Convention—as we are louder and stronger together.

National PTA’s 125th Anniversary Convention Hill Day Experience

Thank you for urging your member of Congress to prioritize youth suicide prevention and vote for the Suicide Training and Awareness Nationally Delivered for Universal Prevention Act of 2021 (STANDUP Act)! The bipartisan bill has officially been signed into law!

The STANDUP Act is the first federal legislation to provide uniform research-based suicide prevention and awareness standards in schools to address the mental health needs of all students. Signing this bill into law was crucial since our country is currently witnessing soaring rates of mental health challenges amongst our children and youth, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was only possible because of your participation!

Make sure to join us for National PTA’s 125th Anniversary Convention Hill Day Experience to celebrate advocacy, legacy and impact! This milestone event is a time to connect with PTA leaders, educators and parents to ignite your outreach and impact in your school’s community to make a difference for every child. Don’t miss the chance to expand your knowledge of the ins and outs of federal law, grow your advocacy skills, and explore PTA’s legislative priorities for PTA. To register today click here.

National PTA Statement on FY2022 Omnibus Appropriations Bill

Last week Congress passed and now President Biden has signed into law the final spending package that funds federal programs and services through September 2022. National PTA President Anna King issued the following statement on the bill:

“National PTA is pleased that the omnibus includes an increase of $2.3 billion in funding for U.S. Department of Education programs and an increase of $11.3 billion for Health and Human Services programs. Among the Department of Education programs, the bill includes an increase of $1 billion for Title I to assist schools serving low-income families and an increase of $406 million for the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The bill also includes an increase of $2.5 million over the fiscal year 2021 level for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program which provides much-needed technical assistance and partnership development to states and school districts to foster meaningful engagement. Additionally, the bill includes an increase of $60 million for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants (Title IV-A) and $111 million for programs designed to increase the availability of mental health services in schools, including by expanding training programs to prepare new school counselors, social workers and psychologists. These increases are important steps to addressing the mental health crisis facing our children and families, supporting students most in need, and helping ensure children learn in healthy and safe environments and receive a well-rounded education.

“In addition to the increases for education programs, National PTA supports the inclusion of $50 million for a Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative through the U.S. Department of Justice and applauds the inclusion of $1 million that may be used for the National Institute of Justice to continue to develop a model and best practices for comprehensive school safety, including identifying the root causes of violence in schools. However, we are disappointed the bill does not include an investment in public health approaches to reducing community violence and trauma by funding Community Violence Intervention research and data through the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) specifically. Community-driven, evidence-based interventions are critical to addressing the gun and school safety epidemic we continue to face as a country, and we will continue to advocate for the vital role CDC can and should play in this work.

“We are also disappointed that the bill does not include an extension of authority to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to continue critical school meal administrative waivers that have been in place throughout the pandemic, allowing schools for the first time to serve free meals to all students regardless of income. The flexibility has allowed an additional 10 million students to eat free meals at school each day. We know that students cannot learn without adequate nutrition, and no child should have to go hungry.

“National PTA commends Congress and the Administration for coming together and reaching a bipartisan agreement that increases federal funding for education and health and human services programs. While the increases are positive, federal funding for education programs in FY22 will still be almost $6 billion below the 2011 level. National PTA remains committed to advocating to make sure every child has the opportunities and supports they need to thrive in school and reach their fullest potential. We urge everyone to join us in our efforts—and particularly for our upcoming Hill Day Experience as part of our 125th Anniversary Convention—as we are louder and stronger together.”

National PTA and Iowa PTA Stand with Families, Students and Teachers in Iowa

On Monday afternoon, a shooting occurred outside a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, leaving one student dead and two students in critical condition. This past weekend, several tornadoes also touched down near Des Moines, killing seven people—including two children—and impacting dozens of homes and families.

Both events were unexpected and extremely tragic, and we cannot imagine how horrifying they were for everyone involved. Our association stands with those impacted and is committed to supporting their well-being as they recover.

According to a CNN tally, the incident yesterday afternoon is at least the 13th shooting at a campus with K-12 students in 2022. As we have said so many times, school should be a safe place, and we are well beyond enough is enough. While we cannot prevent tornadoes, there are gun safety and violence prevention policies that will make our schools and communities safer for everyone and save lives. Our association also remains committed to urging Congress to address the gun and school safety epidemic we continue to face as a country. Action must be taken immediately to protect our students, families, educators and staff, and we must work together to support all children and help them resolve problems in a positive and productive manner.

For 125 years, PTA has empowered families with knowledge, tools and resources and helped families, schools and communities navigate challenges. For those in need of mental health support during this time, free resources are available at

-National PTA President Anna King and Iowa PTA President Janel McGovern