National PTA/Federal Policy Update and Action Alerts - PTA Takes Action: Federal Policy Update June 2011 | http://bit.ly/m4ELKy
On May 10, the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2011 (S.941/H.R.1821) was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and in the U.S. Senate by Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) and Sen. Christopher Coons (D-DE).
- Provides guidance and incentives to schools, districts, and states on how to use research-based strategies to engage families; and
- Strengthens and safeguards the sole federal parent engagement program, the Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs).
These congressional champions need our help! Ask your member of Congress to show support for family engagement in education by becoming a cosponsor of this important legislation.
The Family Engagement in Education Act of 2011 strengthens parent engagement in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), commonly referred to as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), which congressional leaders want to reauthorize this year. Please ask your senators and representative to support the Family Engagement in Education Act of 2011 (S.941/H.R.1821) by becoming a cosponsor of this important bipartisan legislation.
To take action, please visit CapWiz.
The Family Engagement in Education Act of 2011 (S.941/H.R.1821) needs our help! On Friday, June 10, 2011 at 9:55 a.m., National PTA will be hosting National PTA Family Engagement Call-in Day on-site at the National PTA Convention to encourage all PTA members to call their members of Congress to show their support for this important legislation.
Not attending convention this year? You can still show your support by calling (866) 220-0044 on Friday, June 10, 2011 at 9:55 a.m. (6:55 a.m. Pacific) and ask to be connected to your senators and representative.
On Saturday, June 11, 2011, National PTA will host a second Family Engagement in Education Act call to action at the annual convention in Orlando, Florida. Convention attendees will sign postcards addressed to their representative to urge them to cosponsor H.R.1821. The postcards will be delivered directly to Capitol Hill.
Earlier this month, Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) introduced the Setting Priorities in Education Spending Act (H.R.1891), the House Education and Workforce Committee’s first bill on the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). The bill was introduced with language to repeal 43 program authorizations for the U.S. Department of Education, including authorization for Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs), a key facet of the Family Engagement in Education Act and the ONLY federal program dedicated to family engagement in education.
The U.S. Department of Education released their final fiscal year 2011 spending plan in which department officials used executive discretion to eliminate funding for the PIRC program. Although the decision regarding this funding could not be reversed, it was vital to PTA’s efforts to prioritize family engagement in reauthorization of the ESEA. In response, Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA) offered an amendment to strike repeal of the PIRC program for consideration during the full committee markup of H.R.1891.
National PTA is proud to report that the House Education and Workforce Committee voted “yes” on the Platts amendment to save the PIRC program by a vote of 20-19! Three Republican colleagues joined Rep. Platts in supporting PIRCs: Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL/13), Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA/5), and Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA/11).
HR.1891 now moves to the U.S. House of Representative for floor consideration before the full chamber, where it is expected to pass. This was a huge victory for family engagement in education! Hopefully, it is the first of many to come as Congress works to reauthorize ESEA.
National PTA would like to thank Illinois, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and PTAs for coordinating targeted outreach to their members. National PTA would also like to thank the Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin PIRCs for coordinating targeted outreach. Lastly, thanks to our national partners, United Way Worldwide, Public Education Network, and Parents as Teachers, for mobilizing their grassroots in the target districts. Again, National PTA is eternally grateful for Rep. Platts' steadfast support of the PIRC program and family engagement in education.
For more information on the amendment passage, please view the National PTA news release.
What you can do to help! Communicate your disappointment to the Administration and Congress about the elimination of fiscal year 2011 funding by demanding that they work to fill the void in providing technical assistance to school districts on family engagement in education and reinstating program funding in fiscal year 2012.
Use the following links to take action!
- Send a message to the White House and the U.S. Department of Education.
- Send a message to your senators and representative.