ALEXANDRIA, Va., (April 8, 2015) — The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Otha Thornton:
“Yesterday, the Every Child Achieves Act was introduced in the Senate as a means to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB). ESEA/NCLB is the primary law governing the federal role in education.
“Since 2007, families, students and educators have called on Congress to act on comprehensive reauthorization of the ESEA/NCLB. National PTA applauds Senators Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Patty Murray (D-WA) for their bipartisan leadership and for introducing the Every Child Achieves Act. The legislation is an important step in the right direction to reauthorize the ESEA/NCLB and ensure that every child is prepared for long-term success.
“While National PTA believes the bill’s release is a step forward, the association is disappointed that improvements were not made that prioritize family engagement and recognize the important role families play in their children’s academic learning and growth. National PTA looks forward to working with the Senate to strengthen the bill by including provisions from the Family Engagement in Education Act, which was recently reintroduced in both the House and the Senate.
“More than 40 years of research shows that family engagement is essential to student success and school improvement. National PTA has been advocating for resources to be targeted for state capacity building as well as for an increase in the funds available for local school districts to implement family engagement strategies that are proven to make a difference for students and schools.
“Although the association has concerns about the lack of family engagement provisions, National PTA is pleased to see that the bill would not permit Title I dollars to follow a student to another public school. We oppose Title I portability and believe that it is in direct conflict with the original intent of Title I, which is to provide assistance to schools with high percentages of children from low-income families.
“Additionally, the association praises provisions in the Every Child Achieves Act including that states would be allowed to use ESEA funds for early education, states would be required to establish challenging academic standards for all students, and states would be responsible for creating statewide accountability systems to ensure all students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.”
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.