National PTA Statement on Shooting at Great Mills High School

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 20, 2018)The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Jim Accomando:

“Enough is enough. We have all watched in horror as our country has experienced far too many gun-related tragedies. We need immediate change.

“It is urgent that we work together to enact bipartisan policy solutions and make meaningful changes to keep our children safe. 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 urges Congress to adopt legislation requiring universal background checks and a license to purchase a firearm, banning military-style assault weapons, and lifting any ban on research that studies the causes and effects of gun violence. National PTA also urges policymakers to prioritize mental health education, early intervention, prevention and access to school and community-based mental health personnel and services.

“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


National PTA Honors Representative Mark DeSaulnier and Senator Thom Tillis for Being a Voice for Children and Education

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 13, 2018)—National PTA is pleased to recognize Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) with the 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award honors outstanding leadership and commitment as an advocate of change for children and education. Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis will be presented with the award during the 2018 National PTA Legislative Conference.

“Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis are dedicated to improving education and advancing issues impacting the health, well-being and long-term success of our nation’s children. They also recognize the essential role family engagement plays in these efforts,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We commend them for being a powerful voice for change for children and schools, and we are thrilled to honor them with our 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award.”

Representative DeSaulnier is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He introduced the bipartisan Family Engagement in Education Act in the 114th Congress. His leadership on family engagement was also instrumental in ensuring that the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act as well as offering an amendment to fund the program in the U.S. House of Representatives FY2018 appropriations bill. In addition to family engagement, Representative DeSaulnier worked in a bipartisan manner to introduce the School Food Modernization Act and is a co-sponsor of the IDEA Full Funding Act and the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.

“Learning does not start and stop in the classroom. When parents, teachers and the entire community work together to ensure all students receive a quality education, we are setting future generations up to succeed and thrive,” saidRepresentative DeSaulnier. “I am honored to receive the Congressional Voice for Children Award from National PTA for our work on behalf of our nation’s schools and students. I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated members of PTA in California and around the country to support teachers, improve our schools and prioritize students’ success.”

Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Senator Tillis’ involvement in public service began by serving as president of the PTA at his daughter’s high school. Since arriving in Washington, Senator Tillis has been a leader on family engagement and has been supporting the SFECs program, including advocating for funding for the program during the FY2017 and FY2018 appropriations processes. Senator Tillis has also established himself as a leading voice for bipartisan immigration reform that addresses the undocumented population. Senator Tillis currently serves on the Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

“Thank you to National PTA for the 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award. This award is extra meaningful to me because my first foray into public service was serving as PTA president for my daughter’s high school,” said Senator Tillis. “PTA plays a crucial role in bringing together parents, teachers and staff, and improving schools all across the country. I look forward to continue working with PTA as we all strive to give every student an opportunity to succeed.”

“Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis are leading the charge to prioritize and strengthen family engagement to make a difference for students and schools and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We applaud Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis for their commitment to family engagement and exceptional leadership. They are true voices for education and our nation’s children.”

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 address the issues affecting the education and well-being of every child.

During the 2018 conference, attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops focused on bringing their advocacy efforts and skill sets to the next level. Attendees will also meet with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 14.

 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


School Health Grants Available for Local PTAs

Hello!

I’m pleased to inform you that Action for Healthy Kids’ “Parents for Healthy Kids grants” are now open for applications from PTAs in AL, AR, CA, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VA, VT, WI, WV!  Parents and parent groups in these states may apply for a school grant to create a healthier learning environment through nutrition and physical activity initiatives. Here are more details:

–        Grants up to $1,000 are available for K-12 schools

–        Schools with greater than 50% of students eligible for free/reduced-priced meals may receive priority, but all schools are encouraged to apply

–        The application deadline is Friday, April 6th.

–        More details and the application can be found at: https://parentsforhealthykids.org/grants.

Here are a Facebook post and tweet you may use to promote this opportunity:

–        Calling all parents and families: Do you want to make your child’s school a healthier learning environment? Apply now for a Parents for Healthy Kids grant through @Action for Healthy Kids to bring nutrition and physical activity programs to your child’s school. Applications are due by April 6. Get more information at www.ParentsforHealthyKids.org/grants.

–        Parents & families: Want to make your child’s school a healthier learning environment? Apply for a Parents for Healthy Kids grant through @Act4HlthyKids to bring nutrition & physical activity programs to their school. Learn more & apply by April 6 at http://bit.ly/2BMOhQS

Questions?  Contact SchoolGrants@ActionforHealthyKids.org.

Thank you,

Heather

Heather Parker, MS, CHES
Senior Manager, Health and Safety
National PTA
(703) 518-1258  | (800) 307-4782
hparker@pta.org | www.pta.org

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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