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National PTA Honors Senator Susan Collins and Congressman Bobby Scott with Voice for Children Award

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Congressional leaders to be recognized during 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 8, 2017)—National PTA is pleased to recognize Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Congressman Bobby Scott (D-VA) with its 2017 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award honors outstanding leadership and commitment to improving education and advancing issues impacting children’s health and well-being. Senator Collins and Congressman Scott will be presented with the award at the 2017 National PTA Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 8 during an evening program at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va.

“Through their passion, tenacity and leadership, Senator Collins and Congressman Scott have made a difference in education and for the lives and futures of all children,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “We commend Senator Collins and Congressman Scott for their commitment to being champions of change for our nation’s youth. We are thrilled to honor them with our 2017 Congressional Voice for Children Award.”

Senator Collins is a staunch advocate for public education and works to help states and communities to strengthen public schools. She has introduced a number of bills to improve education, including being the lead sponsor of the School Food Modernization Act, a bipartisan and bicameral bill that would provide grants for improvements to school lunch facilities. In addition, Senator Collins voted against school voucher provisions during the consideration of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), thus effectively keeping public funds from going to private institutions.

“I have visited more than 200 schools throughout my home state of Maine, and I have seen firsthand an inspiring commitment to excellence,” said Senator Collins. “For 120 years, the PTA has strengthened this commitment by bringing educators and parents together in the great cause of ensuring opportunity for all American children.”

Congressman Scott is the ranking member on the House Education and the Workforce Committee. In the 114th Congress, he was a leader on the enactment of ESSA and the inclusion of family engagement provisions. A strong supporter of public education, he also worked to defeat voucher proposals during the consideration of the law. In addition to ESSA, Congressman Scott continued his long-standing efforts to improve juvenile justice policies by cosponsoring the Supporting Youth Opportunity and Preventing Delinquency Act, a bill to reauthorize the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act. He also advocated to maintain current school nutrition standards and led the opposition in the House of Representatives against the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act reauthorization bill that would roll back these standards.

“I am honored to receive the Congressional Voice for Children Award from National PTA. PTA members in Virginia and across the nation work every day to ensure that every child has access to a safe learning environment and a great public school,” said Congressman Scott. “I look forward to our continued partnership to ensure that Congress hears the voices of parents and communities in support of public education.”

“Senator Collins and Congressman Scott are leading the charge to strengthen public education, ensure children have a healthy environment in which to thrive and learn, and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We applaud Senator Collins and Congressman Scott for their exceptional work in education and child advocacy. They are true voices for our nation’s children.”   

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to explore the association’s public policy priorities and actively advocate to make every child’s potential a reality.

During the 2017 conference—themed, “Celebrating 120 Years of Changing Children’s Lives”—attendees will celebrate milestones and honor PTA members and policymakers whose efforts have made a difference for the education, health and well-being of every child. Attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops on key education issues facing the new Congress. They will also amplify their voices by meeting with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Thursday, March 9.

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.