Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Sept. 18, 2017)—The U.S. House of Representatives has passed a spending bill that would fund federal programs and services for Fiscal Year 2018. The bill includes $10 million in funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program.
“National PTA is an advocate for investments in the SFECs program because family engagement is proven to positively impact student achievement and school performance,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We commend Congressmen Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Glenn Thompson (R-PA) for their leadership in offering an amendment to fund the SFECs program and applaud the House of Representatives for its bipartisan commitment to family engagement.”
The SFEC program is included in the Every Student Succeeds Act—the law governing the federal role in K-12 education. The program will provide states and districts with the capacity to support effective implementation and enhancement of meaningful family engagement policies and initiatives.
Although National PTA is pleased that the SFECs program is funded in the bill, the association is concerned that the bill cuts funding for education overall by more than $2 billion.
“Funding for education has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades. Cutting funding further undermines opportunity for all children,” said Nathan Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “It is critical that Congress stop cuts to classrooms and invest more in education programs for children and the nation’s long-term success.”
With its passage, the House spending bill must now be reconciled with the U.S. Senate’s appropriations legislation. The Senate bill that would fund education programs for FY2018 does not include funding for the SFECs program and offers minimal increases in funding for education overall.
“Although the Senate bill increases funding for education, it is not enough to adequately invest in our children and the future of our nation,” added President Accomando. “Across the country, there are large disparities in available resources and access to quality education programs. It is essential that members of Congress work together to pass a spending bill for FY2018 that invests in education and family engagement to strengthen our economy and ensure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.”
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. For more information, visit PTA.org.