LaWanda Toney, Director of Strategic Communications
ALEXANDRIA, VA (July 19, 2013)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA® President Otha Thornton:
Today, the House of Representatives passed the Student Success Act of 2013 (H.R. 5), legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), aimed at improving areas of No Child Left Behind.
Since 2007, families, students and educators have been calling on Congress to act on comprehensive reauthorization of the primary law guiding education at the federal level. PTA members nationwide have been hopeful about the 113th Congress presenting the opportunity for thoughtful, bipartisan action to address needed changes for our families and students.
While PTA is grateful that the House has made an important step in furthering ESEA reauthorization this year—we remain concerned about the absence of protections and support for students and schools. The Student Success Act fails to provide protections for continued adequate funding for education at the federal, state and local level, lacks codification of the cap on alternate assessment for students with disabilities, and does not go far enough in providing universal access to high quality instruction.
PTA was pleased to see the inclusion of some family engagement provisions, modeled—in part—from the Family Engagement in Education Act, legislation introduced this Congress in the House by Representative Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Representative Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY). Still, more can be done to empower families and schools to work together to increase student achievement. “We cannot underscore enough the importance of a strong partnership between families, schools and communities as Congress works to improve the education we provide all students. Decades of research has shown us that—regardless of income level—when families are engaged, students are more likely to score higher on tests, earn higher grades, graduate from high school on time, and pursue postsecondary education. As reauthorization moves forward, we call on Congress to work together to provide much-needed solution for our nation’s school. Our kids deserve no less.”
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 PTA.org.