Heidi May Wilson, Senior Manager, Media Relations
ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 10, 2021)—National PTA is pleased to recognize Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Congressman Donald McEachin (D-VA) with its 2021 Congressional Voice for Children Award. The award honors outstanding dedication and efforts to improve the education and well-being of America’s children. National PTA will acknowledge Senator Murkowski and Congressman McEachin during the association’s 2021 Virtual Legislative Conference, Wednesday, March 10.
“Senator Murkowski and Congressman McEachin have supported important legislation impacting the education and well-being of our children,” said Leslie Boggs, president of National PTA. “We commend them for their efforts and leadership, and we thank them for their commitment to advocating on behalf of every child. They are true voices for our nation’s children, and we are pleased to honor them with our 2021 Congressional Voice for Children Award.”
Senator Murkowski was elected to the United States Senate in 2002. A member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Senator Murkowski demonstrated her dedication to the education of children by calling for funding that would benefit students in the COVID-19 relief packages. She also worked in a bipartisan way on the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Act of 2020. Senator Murkowski is a former PTA leader and understands the critical importance of ensuring that high-quality education is available to every child and that communities are active partners in helping children grow and thrive.
“As a former PTA president, I know the positive impacts PTAs can have on families, students, teachers and schools. Whether they’re an educator, a parent, or a member of the community, PTA volunteers are helping ensure that children leave school prepared to contribute to their communities in a positive and meaningful way,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). “I am honored to receive this award and pledge to continue my efforts to be a strong voice for children and parents, working to support the education and welfare of all children throughout the pandemic and beyond this public health crisis.”
Congressman McEachin was elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2016. Congressman McEachin demonstrated his dedication to the well-being of children through his work and leadership on the Protecting Our Students in Schools Act, which would ban corporal punishment in all public schools nationwide. He also supported the Keeping All Students Safe Act, which would protect children from the dangers of restraint and seclusion. Taken together, these two pieces of legislation signify a move away from aversive discipline practices in schools and toward research-based interventions designed to support all students.
“Last year, while addressing other intersecting crises with the attention they demanded, my colleagues and I never lost sight of our ongoing responsibility to protect and build a better future for children in Virginia and across the country. Working alongside national children’s advocacy organizations, we unveiled measures to eliminate the use of corporal punishment in our nation’s schools, protect children in federally assisted housing from dangerous lead exposure and poisoning and passed legislation to ensure our children’s schools were equipped with the funding and resources they needed to keep our students safe and well during the COVID-19 crisis,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04). “Still, the work to provide safety, security and opportunities for every child is never complete. We can always do more. I am honored to be acknowledged for my service, and I look forward to continuing my work alongside strong partners like National PTA to ensure all children are treated with the dignity they deserve and provided every opportunity to thrive.”
Every year, the National PTA Legislative Conference brings together PTA leaders and advocates from across the country to take action on the association’s public policy priorities.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Legislative Conference will be virtual. During the conference—themed “PTA Takes Action Together for Every Child”—attendees will hear from speakers and participate in workshops to expand their knowledge of federal law, grow their advocacy skills and learn how to shape public policy on Capitol Hill and at home. Participants will also hear PTA advocacy success stories and explore National PTA’s public policy priorities for the 117th Congress. Additionally, they will amplify their voices by meeting virtually with their federal representatives, Wednesday, March 10.
“National PTA will work with the 117th Congress, the U.S. Department of Education and the Biden/Harris Administration to ensure that every child has access to a fair and equitable education,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, National PTA Executive Director. “The COVID-19 pandemic has shined a bright light on and exacerbated inequities in our public education system. This next phase of ‘returning to school’ is an important chance to ensure every child has every opportunity to reach their fullest potential, regardless of their zip code.”
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.