National PTA Vice President to Testify on Underfunding of Public Education at House Committee on Education and Labor Hearing

Call for robust and equitable investments in public education to ensure all schools have the resources to help every child learn, grow and succeed

 ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 11, 2019)—Tomorrow, National PTA Vice President of Membership Anna King will bring the voice of families and child advocates to Capitol Hill, testifying before the House Committee on Education and Labor at a hearing titled, Underpaid Teachers and Crumbling Schools: How Underfunding Public Education Shortchanges America’s Students. In her testimony, King will underscore the critical need for Congress to invest in public education to make every child’s potential a reality.

“Decades of federal underinvestment in public education has created unsustainable situations in so many of our nation’s schools, shortchanging students,” says King. “We must do better. We have to do better. Our children’s and our nation’s future depend on it.”

“It is our nation’s public schools that will provide the educated, innovative and creative workforce of tomorrow—the entrepreneurs, engineers, scientists, artists and political leaders who will ensure our nation will flourish in an increasingly competitive global economy. All schools must be equitably funded and have the resources needed to help every child learn, grow and succeed,” King adds.

National PTA has long advocated to ensure all children have access to equitably funded public schools that improve their overall well-being and help them achieve academic and long-term success. As outlined in King’s testimony, the association urges Congress to: 1) Raise discretionary spending caps, 2) Better fund critical programs in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), 3) Increase investments in family engagement through the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program, and 4) Ensure public schools are included in any infrastructure package.

“Federal funding for public education programs has remained at approximately 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services,” King says. “It’s time Congress does its part and prioritizes investments in public schools and our children to ensure they have the opportunity to reach their fullest potential and to grow our economy and improve our competitiveness.”

National PTA and its constituents remain committed to advocating at the federal, state and local levels for robust and equitable investments in public schools.

To read King’s testimony and to watch a livestream of the hearing beginning at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 12, visit https://edlabor.house.gov/hearings/underpaid-teachers-and-crumbling-schools-how-underfunding-public-education-shortchanges-americas-students-.

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 Devastating for America’s Children

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (May 24, 2017)— President Donald Trump released his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018. The proposal cuts funding for public education programs by $9.2 billion.

“Equitable, high-quality public education for all students is essential to children and the nation’s long-term success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “Federal funding for education has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades. Cutting funding for public education programs by an astounding $9.2 billion would further undermine opportunity for all children. Greater investments in public education are critical to ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential and to improve our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

In addition to cutting vital funding for public education programs overall, President Trump’s budget proposal does not include funding for educator professional development or for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, which help ensure students receive well-rounded educational opportunities, learn in healthy and safe school environments and have opportunities to use technology in the classroom. Funding for Title I—which aids 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) remains at the current level in the proposal. The proposal also does not include investments for family engagement in education through the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program.

“Now more than ever, it is imperative to invest in family engagement programs as well as special education and Title I to ensure all children are provided the best opportunities to thrive and learn,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “Across the country there are great disparities in available resources as well as the quality of and access to educational opportunities. National PTA remains steadfast in our belief that robust federal investments must be made in public education programs that promote equity and opportunity for all children.”

While making significant cuts to public education funding, President Trump’s budget proposal includes a new $250 million competitive grant program that would allow public dollars to be used for private and religious school tuition. Additionally, the proposal allocates $1 billion in Title I for the creation of a new grant program that would allow those funds to “follow” a child to any public school.

“National PTA has strong concerns about any proposal that would significantly affect the distribution of funds across and within Title I districts and create division and separation within communities. Our association also opposes any private school choice system—tax credits, vouchers or deductions—that drains critical public school resources,” added President Bay. “Public dollars must remain invested in public schools and not be diverted for the benefit of all students and the future of our nation.”

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.


National PTA, GLSEN, Education Organizations Submit Joint Amicus Brief to Supreme Court in Support of Gavin Grimm and Transgender Students

Media Contact:

Cathy Renna

press@glsen.org

917-757-6123

 

March 2, 2017—Seven leading education organizations representing millions of students, families, and educators submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Gavin Grimm in the case of G.G. v. Gloucester County School Board. Several of the organizations issued this joint statement regarding the brief:

 

GLSEN: “This case brings to the nation’s highest court an issue GLSEN has advocated for decades: providing basic rights for transgender students in schools. All students have a right to a safe, supportive and respectful learning environment, including transgender students. Gavin Grimm’s story is one of countless transgender youth who suffer discrimination in schools and GLSEN is confident that the law is on our side. We have seen a tremendous increase in visibility of and public education about the trans community of late and this historic case will mark a milestone in American civil rights history,” said Dr. Eliza Byard, Executive Director of GLSEN, the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

 

National PTA: “Every child deserves to receive a great education in a safe, supportive, positive and inclusive environment. However, like Gavin, the vast majority of LGBTQ

students are bullied, physically assaulted and feel unsafe in school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA, the nation’s oldest and largest child advocacy association. “There is a need for explicit protection of LGBTQ youth as it is critical to their overall health and well-being and long-term success. National PTA is pleased to team up with GLSEN and other education organizations on the amici curiae brief in support of Gavin and all LGBTQ students and to ensure every child is treated fairly and equally under the law.”

 

American School Counselor Association: “Childhood and adolescence is a time of tremendous intellectual, emotional and physical growth for students as well as crucial

periods of exploration and discovery about themselves and their identity. Schools and educators should provide all the support they can to help students navigate these times of change and should not be constrained by policies that marginalize or discriminate against certain students,” said Richard Wong, Ed.D., executive director of the American School Counselor Association. “ASCA is proud to support this important effort to ensure safe and positive learning environments for all students.”

 

National Association of School Psychologists: “The National Association of School Psychologists strongly supports clear federal guidance protecting all students civil rights

under Title IX,” states NASP President Melissa Reeves. “Schools nationwide are increasingly supporting and affirming these rights for transgender students; however,

federal guidance that more explicitly clarifies this protection is needed in order to ensure the protection of students’ civil rights in every school in the country. These basic rights are essential to students learning and well-being and should not be dependent on where they live.”

 

The following organizations signed on to the amicus brief:

GLSEN – www.glsen.org

National PTA – www.pta.org

American School Counselor Association – www.schoolcounselor.org

National Association of School Psychologists – www.nasponline.org

National Association of Independent Schools – www.nais.org

Colorado Association of School Executives – www.co-case.org

Massachusetts Association of School Committees – www.masc.org

 

About GLSEN

GLSEN champions safe and affirming schools for all students. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach tens of thousands of K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of chapters brings GLSEN’s expertise to their local communities. GLSEN’s progress and impact have won support for our work at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN’s policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research and educator training programs, please visit glsen.org.

 

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.


Non-Defense Discretionary Press Release

NDD (Non-Defense Discretionary) United is an alliance of thousands of national, state, and local organizations working to protect investments in core government functions that benefit all Americans. National PTA is a  member of this alliance. NDDU released the following press statement in response to President Trump’s first joint session of congress address.


PTA Take Your Family to School Week Brings Families into Classrooms Nationwide

PTAs and schools across the country host family-focused events Feb. 13-17

 

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 15, 2017)—National PTA has designated Feb. 13-17 PTA Take Your Family to School Week to encourage families to visit their child’s school and strengthen partnerships between parents, teachers and administrators. PTAs and schools nationwide are hosting a variety of events and activities to promote family engagement in education. The timing of the week honors the day PTA was founded, Feb. 17, 1897.

 

“For 120 years, National PTA has encouraged families to get more involved in their child’s education, as it is proven to have a positive impact on student success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “PTA Take Your Family to School Week shines a light on the significance of family engagement and provides families with an opportunity to visit their child’s school, meet school staff and inspire them to stay involved in their child’s education.”

 

Studies demonstrate that students with involved families attend school more often, earn higher grades, have higher graduation rates, have better social skills and show improved behavior. Family engagement also helps children navigate the challenges of growing up, such as bullying and online safety and responsibility.

 

This year, PTA Take Your Family to School Week incorporates the theme, “Celebrating the Changing Faces of Families” to honor the diversity of families and students across the country.

 

“Our nation’s children and families have many different talents, backgrounds, opportunities and challenges. It is critical that we recognize and celebrate the diversity of our school communities and ensure all families feel welcomed and supported,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “PTA is committed to helping school communities embrace diversity and inclusion, making sure the perspectives and needs of all families and students are represented, and empowering all families to support their children’s success.”

 

For more information on PTA Take Your Family to School Week, visit PTA.org/TYFTSW.

 

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.

 

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