CHICAGO (March 15, 2010)—The National Parent Teacher Association (PTA®) agrees with the President that “a parent is a child’s first teacher,” and that a shared partnership among parents, students, and educators is essential to improve our nation’s schools.
However, we are deeply concerned that the blueprint contains no comprehensive plan for meaningful family engagement in education. The blueprint, which is aligned to the President’s FY11 budget, signals that the Administration lacks a clear vision and strategy to build capacity of states, districts, and schools to partner with parents and families. The budget proposes the elimination of the sole federal program dedicated to family engagement, and the ESEA blueprint removes essential mechanisms for engaging parents in the education of their children. The blueprint limits parent engagement to afterschool programs and programs administered by the Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools – programs that already require parent involvement under the current law. Engaging parents in decision-making and school reforms is essential to all school turnaround strategies.
The research is clear—school and community-based family engagement is critical to student success. Without parents, we cannot close the achievement gap or implement effective education reforms. National PTA will work to ensure that family engagement is a cross-cutting priority in the reauthorization of ESEA.
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 parent involvement 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.