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National PTA Applauds Administration's Commitment to Early Childhood Education in State of the Union

Media Contact:
Heidi May
Media Relations Manager
703-518-1242
hmay@pta.org

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (Jan. 28, 2014) — In the 2014 State of the Union, an annual address delivered by the President of the United States before members of Congress, President Barack Obama expressed a renewed commitment to ensure that every child has access to high-quality early education.

“For decades, National PTA has called for the prioritization of early education, as research shows that providing effective, targeted supports and interventions to children and parents starting at birth will better prepare them for academic and career success,” said Otha Thornton, National PTA President. “National PTA applauds the Administration’s renewed commitment to early education and the increased dedication of resources to expand access to high-quality programs for all children from birth to kindergarten.”

As the President conveyed in his remarks, one of the best investments our nation can make in a child’s life is high-quality early education. National PTA agrees with the Administration in that we need to increase funding for pre-K programs, make high-quality pre-K available to every four-year-old, and invest in new partnerships with states and communities across the country to support our nation’s youngest children. The association applauds the Administration’s plan to pull together a coalition of elected officials, business leaders and philanthropists to help more children access the high-quality pre-K education they need.

National PTA has supported early childhood education since its inception. Through advocacy, as well as family and community education, National PTA has established programs and called for legislation that improves access to high-quality early learning for all children.

National PTA supports both federal and state incentives for high-quality childcare and preschool programs for children from birth to age five. These programs should be affordable and accessible; developmentally appropriate; coordinated at all levels (federal, state and local); and characterized by high standards for teaching, training, health and safety. National PTA also encourages the inclusion of a strong family engagement component in all early childhood programs.

We echo the President’s vocal support of early education, and National PTA urges the Administration to continue to call for comprehensive reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind in 2014, including strong family engagement provisions as outlined in Family Engagement in Education Act of 2013. Families have waited for more than seven years for this reauthorization, and National PTA believes bipartisan legislative action is critical to provide support and resources to states and schools to improve family engagement, student achievement and school performance.

National PTA is committed to continue working with the Administration and Congress in 2014 to strengthen and advance programs that further the success of all of our nation’s children.

 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.