|ALEXANDRIA, VA. (March 11, 2013)—National PTA® today announced the recipients of its 2013 Congressional Voice for Children Award which recognizes outstanding leadership related to child and education advocacy. This year, National PTA is honoring Senator Chris Coons (D-DE) and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-CA) for their continued commitment to advancing issues impacting children and youth.
A champion of family engagement in education, Senator Chris Coons was pivotal in introducing the Family Engagement in Education Act in 2011 and is lending his expertise to ensure that this critical piece of legislation is again introduced in the 113th Congress. Senator Coons is also a passionate advocate for increased investments in quality early childhood education and STEM education, as well as comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. One of the first bills the Senator cosponsored was the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act, which extended investments for STEM education. Last year, the Senator introduced the American Dream Accounts Act of 2012 to encourage partnerships that support low-income students in saving and preparing for a college education.
Congressman Duncan Hunter is a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee and served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Early Education, Subcommittee on Early Childhood, Elementary, and Secondary Education during the 112th Congress, during which time, he remained committed to comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Congressman Hunter is the first Marine combat veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan elected to Congress, and continues to serve as a Marine reservist. He has shown an unwavering commitment to military families. Since taking office in 2009, Congressman Hunter has championed the Troops to Teachers program, which provides federal funding to recruit, prepare, and support former members of the military services as teachers in high-poverty schools.
“When parents and teachers work together to ensure that children are able to explore their full potential, anything is possible,” Senator Coons said. “We owe it to our kids to give them the best possible chance of success in life, and that starts with an open line of communication about children’s development in the classroom and at home. I've seen firsthand how powerful that partnership can be, which is why I've been proud to work with the PTA on legislation that encourages this open dialogue by helping low-income families save for their children's college education and steer them to a fruitful career. I'm humbled to be honored by the Parent Teacher Association today, and grateful for all its members do to make sure our kids succeed.”
“Keeping America competitive requires that we have a first-rate education system,” said Congressman Hunter. “The PTA is a leader in ensuring that children and families have a strong voice in matters on the national stage. Because of the PTA’s commitment to a better future, this is a special award for me both as a father and a Member of Congress. I’m honored to receive this recognition from such a meaningful organization.”
“The National PTA is pleased to present this award to two incredibly committed advocates for children and youth today. Senator Coons and Congressman Hunter have each been key in supporting and advancing legislation that will keep our children healthy and safe and our families engaged. We applaud them for using their voices to be instruments of change that will positively impact our children, families and schools,” said National PTA President Betsy Landers.
The recipients will be recognized during the National PTA® Legislative Conference (March 12-14) in Washington, DC, where hundreds of parent leaders from across the country gather for an in-depth look at the latest National PTA Federal Public Policy Agenda, hone their advocacy skills and visit with Congressional leaders to advocate on behalf our nation’s children.
National PTA’s 2013 public policy agenda features four key areas: education; child health and nutrition; juvenile justice and delinquency prevention; and school safety. The 2013 National PTA Federal Public Policy Agenda can be viewed at PTA.org/advocacy.
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.