ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 13, 2017)—The following statement can be attributed to National PTA President Laura Bay:
“This morning, the U.S. Department of Education released a new guide for states to use in developing their education plans under the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). While ESSA requires meaningful stakeholder engagement, the new guide does not compel states to include a description of how they are engaging and consulting stakeholders in developing their plans.
“National PTA is extremely disappointed that stakeholder engagement is no longer prioritized. We have learned from the implementation of other education initiatives that engaging all stakeholders— especially parents—is critical, not optional. Stakeholders, particularly parents, play an essential role in the successful implementation of ESSA and ensuring that all children receive a quality education by providing valuable input and holding states and districts accountable.
“The Department of Education must make this a priority through the ESSA plan template so states will make it a priority and truly engage all stakeholders. The expertise and firsthand knowledge of parents, educators, practitioners and others working with, and on behalf of, students every day is critical to inform state and local policies and practices to establish the best education system possible and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
“National PTA called on the Department of Education to provide best practices for stakeholder engagement to ensure this occurs as intended in the law. The association has been committed to empowering families to be active participants in the development of state and local plans as well as supporting states, districts and schools in engaging families in the implementation of the law. It remains a top priority of National PTA to ensure all stakeholders are consulted and engaged in the development of education plans and the overall implementation of ESSA.
“We’ve made critical progress to improve education, provide educational equity for all children and make sure every child is prepared for long-term success through ESSA. We cannot go backward.”
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.