National PTA Honors Senator Lamar Alexander and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro with Congressional Voice for Children Award

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 11, 2020)—National PTA is pleased to recognize Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) with its 2020 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award honors outstanding leadership and commitment to taking action on issues that affect the education, health, safety, well-being and long-term success of America’s children. Senator Alexander and Congresswoman DeLauro will be presented with the award during the association’s 2020 Legislative Conference.

“Senator Alexander and Congresswoman DeLauro have advanced and supported important legislation that makes a difference for the education and long-term success of every child,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “We thank them for their leadership and commitment to taking action for our nation’s children. We are pleased to honor them with our 2020 Congressional Voice for Children Award during our legislative conference.”

Senator Alexander was elected to the United States Senate in 2002. He currently serves as chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and also serves on the Senate Appropriations, Energy and Natural Resources, and Rules and Administration Committees. Senator Alexander has had a long and distinguished career in education, which includes playing an integral role in the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which contains several laudable family engagement provisions such as the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program. Prior to his tenure in the Senate, Senator Alexander served as secretary of education under President George H.W. Bush.

“Over the last 120 years, PTA has made a lasting, positive impact on our children and their schools. Here’s just one example—PTA was a great partner when Congress worked to pass ESSA, which fixed No Child Left Behind and helped put parents and teachers back in the driver’s seat to help determine their children’s educational experience,” said Senator Alexander. “When President Barack Obama signed ESSA into law on Dec. 10, 2015, he called it a ‘Christmas miracle.’ So, I’m grateful to be recognized by this association that has made such an important impact on our children, and I know will continue to for generations to come.”

Congresswoman DeLauro was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 1991. She currently serves as chair of the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, overseeing our nation’s investments in education and child well-being programs. Congresswoman DeLauro has been a constant advocate for children and families and played an integral role in securing $15 million for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program in the FY20 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations bill passed by the House of Representatives. She has also led efforts and secured increases for elementary and secondary education, demonstrating her commitment to ensuring every child is able to reach their full potential.

“Day in and day out, National PTA supports families, public education and the well-being of children across the country,” said Congresswoman DeLauro. “Your commitment and dedication cannot be questioned, and our thanks can never repay you for preparing our kids for the road ahead of them. As Chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee that funds the Department of Education, I was proud to secure funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program in last year’s appropriations bill. The SFEC program helps bring kids’ families into the fold to benefit our youngsters’ development and education, as well as provide professional development in that same vein—and I am proud to support it. Thank you for your recognition, which I take not just as appreciation for past efforts, but as a call to keep working. And I will—you have my word.”

“Senator Alexander and Congresswoman DeLauro have worked diligently to ensure family engagement in education is prioritized, recognizing that this is just as important to children’s success as having a great principal and teachers, a strong curriculum and a positive school climate,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We commend them for their efforts, leadership and commitment. They are true voices for our nation’s children and families.”

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to take united action on the association’s advocacy priorities.

During the 2020 conference—themed “PTA Takes Action for Kids”—attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops to expand their knowledge of federal law and grow their advocacy skills. Attendees will also amplify their voices by meeting with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 11.


PTAs Nationwide to Encourage Family Engagement in Education During Take Your Family to School Week

PTAs across the country will host a variety of events and activities Feb. 16-23 to bring families into schools as part of National PTA’s Take Your Family to School Week.

“For over 120 years, PTA has been encouraging families to get more involved in their child’s education as family engagement is proven to positively impact student achievement and school performance,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “Take Your Family to School Week is designed to provide families with an opportunity to visit their child’s school, explore what and how their child is learning, and strengthen their partnerships with teachers and administrators.”

 As part of Take Your Family to School Week, 15 local PTAs were awarded a $1,000 grant to host family engagement events in National PTA program areas including health and safety, literacy, digital learning and STEM. The grants were made possible by support from PTA Proud National Sponsor Office Depot.

Throughout the week, National PTA will share resources to help parents support their child’s success and PTA leaders make their family engagement work more inclusive, individualized, integrated and impactful. Among the resources, National PTA will share episodes of its Notes from the Backpack podcast, which features conversations with real parents, experts and educators who offer advice, ideas and strategies parents can use to help their child succeed in and out of school.

The timing of Take Your Family to School Week honors the day PTA was founded, Feb. 17, 1897. This year, it also marks the start of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the merging of the association’s two founding parent groups—the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers.

“In 1970, the National Congress of Parents and Teachers and the National Congress of Colored Parents and Teachers signed a Declaration of Unification and officially became one association,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “The Declaration of Unification is an important part of PTA’s history, legacy and continued efforts to make a difference for the education, health, safety and well-being of every child.”

Listen to a video message from President Boggs on the 50th anniversary of the unification of the two congresses on National PTA’s Facebook page.

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.


President Trump’s Cuts to Public Education Harmful for Children

National PTA issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021. The statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs:

“National PTA is extremely disappointed to see the administration’s FY2021 budget proposal cuts funding for crucial public education programs by $6.1 billion, while including a $5 billion annual investment in private school options.

“Our public education system provides all children access to opportunities, experiences and knowledge that improve their overall well-being—regardless of their race, religion, ability or socioeconomic status. 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. PTA opposes any private school choice system that drains vital public school resources. Public dollars must remain in public schools.

“Robust and equitable investments in our public education system are critical to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Far too many children continue to be left with insufficient resources. It is essential that public education is strengthened with the support of adequate funding for the long-term success of every child and our nation.

“National PTA is particularly concerned by the administration’s proposal to combine 29 critical programs that support and advance student outcomes into one block grant. We are also concerned with the elimination of funding for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants that provide much needed services for the safety, health and well-being of students. Consolidating funding for essential education and student well-being programs will fall woefully short in meeting the needs of all students. This proposed block grant will cut $4.7 billion from the combined funding the 29 programs previously received in FY2020.

“Our association is especially disappointed that the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program is included in the block grant proposal. This will mean federal funds authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for family engagement could be spent on other initiatives, and not family engagement. Family engagement is a proven strategy to positively impact student achievement and school performance.

“We now call on Congress to make vital investments in public education that are critical to improve our schools, make every child’s potential a reality and increase our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

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.