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National PTA Statement on District-Level ESEA Waivers

Media Contact

LaWanda Toney, Director of Strategic Communications
(703) 518-1237

ALEXANDRIA, VA (August 8, 2013)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Otha Thornton:

Today, the U.S. Department of Education announced a waiver flexibility package for a consortium of school districts in California.  Since the announcement nearly two years ago that President Obama’s Administration and U.S. Department of Education would invite states to apply for Elementary and Secondary Education Act–No Child Left Behind (ESEA-NCLB) flexibility packages, National PTA has been clear that our preference is comprehensive, bipartisan reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

To date, 39 states and the District of Columbia have received much-needed flexibility as Congress continues to keep families, students and educators in a holding pattern waiting for comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA-NCLB. 

“We will continue to prioritize the importance of a comprehensive reauthorization of ESEA-NCLB that will provide meaningful support for all students,” said National PTA President Otha Thornton. “In the absence of long-term solutions from Congress, states and districts have had no choice but to look elsewhere. While National PTA has not seen the California consortium’s application, we appreciate the Department’s thoughtful consideration of the school districts’ proposal. We will be observing the progress closely as the process moves forward for these schools in California.”

Adds Thornton, “In the meantime, PTA will continue to advocate for a reauthorization of ESEA that will provide all students with high-quality access to education and instruction, promote state-driven accountability systems, and ensure families are at the table when decisions are being made that impact students.”

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. Learn more at