Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (Feb. 12, 2020)—National PTA issued the following statement on President Donald Trump’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2021. The statement can be attributed to National PTA President Leslie Boggs:
“National PTA is extremely disappointed to see the administration’s FY2021 budget proposal cuts funding for crucial public education programs by $6.1 billion, while including a $5 billion annual investment in private school options.
“Our public education system provides all children access to opportunities, experiences and knowledge that improve their overall well-being—regardless of their race, religion, ability or socioeconomic status. Private school vouchers fund the education of only a few, select students; divert resources from the students and schools that need it the most; and lack accountability measures. PTA opposes any private school choice system that drains vital public school resources. Public dollars must remain in public schools.
“Robust and equitable investments in our public education system are critical to ensure all children have the opportunity to reach their full potential. Far too many children continue to be left with insufficient resources. It is essential that public education is strengthened with the support of adequate funding for the long-term success of every child and our nation.
“National PTA is particularly concerned by the administration’s proposal to combine 29 critical programs that support and advance student outcomes into one block grant. We are also concerned with the elimination of funding for Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants that provide much needed services for the safety, health and well-being of students. Consolidating funding for essential education and student well-being programs will fall woefully short in meeting the needs of all students. This proposed block grant will cut $4.7 billion from the combined funding the 29 programs previously received in FY2020.
“Our association is especially disappointed that the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program is included in the block grant proposal. This will mean federal funds authorized by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) for family engagement could be spent on other initiatives, and not family engagement. Family engagement is a proven strategy to positively impact student achievement and school performance.
“We now call on Congress to make vital investments in public education that are critical to improve our schools, make every child’s potential a reality and increase our nation’s economic competitiveness.”
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.