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National PTA Honors Representative Mark DeSaulnier and Senator Thom Tillis for Being a Voice for Children and Education

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Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 13, 2018)—National PTA is pleased to recognize Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) and Senator Thom Tillis (R-NC) with the 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award honors outstanding leadership and commitment as an advocate of change for children and education. Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis will be presented with the award during the 2018 National PTA Legislative Conference.

“Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis are dedicated to improving education and advancing issues impacting the health, well-being and long-term success of our nation’s children. They also recognize the essential role family engagement plays in these efforts,” said Jim Accomando, president of National PTA. “We commend them for being a powerful voice for change for children and schools, and we are thrilled to honor them with our 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award.”

Representative DeSaulnier is a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. He introduced the bipartisan Family Engagement in Education Act in the 114th Congress. His leadership on family engagement was also instrumental in ensuring that the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program was included in the Every Student Succeeds Act as well as offering an amendment to fund the program in the U.S. House of Representatives FY2018 appropriations bill. In addition to family engagement, Representative DeSaulnier worked in a bipartisan manner to introduce the School Food Modernization Act and is a co-sponsor of the IDEA Full Funding Act and the Rebuild America’s Schools Act.

"Learning does not start and stop in the classroom. When parents, teachers and the entire community work together to ensure all students receive a quality education, we are setting future generations up to succeed and thrive,” said Representative DeSaulnier. "I am honored to receive the Congressional Voice for Children Award from National PTA for our work on behalf of our nation’s schools and students. I look forward to continuing to work with the dedicated members of PTA in California and around the country to support teachers, improve our schools and prioritize students’ success.”

Fueled by a desire to make a difference in his local community, Senator Tillis’ involvement in public service began by serving as president of the PTA at his daughter’s high school. Since arriving in Washington, Senator Tillis has been a leader on family engagement and has been supporting the SFECs program, including advocating for funding for the program during the FY2017 and FY2018 appropriations processes. Senator Tillis has also established himself as a leading voice for bipartisan immigration reform that addresses the undocumented population. Senator Tillis currently serves on the Committee on Armed Services, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs.

“Thank you to National PTA for the 2018 Congressional Voice for Children Award. This award is extra meaningful to me because my first foray into public service was serving as PTA president for my daughter’s high school,” said Senator Tillis. “PTA plays a crucial role in bringing together parents, teachers and staff, and improving schools all across the country. I look forward to continue working with PTA as we all strive to give every student an opportunity to succeed.”

“Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis are leading the charge to prioritize and strengthen family engagement to make a difference for students and schools and make sure every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential,” added Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA executive director. “We applaud Representative DeSaulnier and Senator Tillis for their commitment to family engagement and exceptional leadership. They are true voices for education and our nation’s children.”  

Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to explore the association’s public policy priorities and education legislation and policies before Congress as well as actively advocate to address the issues affecting the education and well-being of every child.

During the 2018 conference, attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops focused on bringing their advocacy efforts and skill sets to the next level. Attendees will also meet with congressional leaders on Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 14.

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