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.”
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.