Federal Investments in Education

In This Section

Notes from the Backpack Podcast

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Helping All Children Reach Their Fullest Potential

The long-term success of our nation depends on quality federal investments in our education system. National PTA has long-advocated to ensure children have access to adequately funded public schools that improve their overall well-being and allow students to reach their full potential. From a lack of student support and mental health services to crumbling school infrastructure, there have been far too many children left with insufficient resources, which is why National PTA and its members advocate to ensure schools have the proper resources needed to help children learn, grow and succeed.

Federal Investments In Education

We Advocate To

Increase funding for family engagement programs and activities, such as the Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs) program and Parent Training and Information (PTI) Centers, to help all schools engage more families in their child’s education

Ensure programs that support low-income students and students with special needs, such as Title I and IDEA, receive substantial funding

Invest in programs that provide students with a well-rounded education and a safe learning environment, including programs that support access to arts, technology, vocational, advanced education opportunities, as well as violence prevention programs and psychological support services

Provide funding for qualified school-based health and wellness practitioners, such as school counselors, school nurses, school psychologists and school social workers

The Data

Federal funding for public education programs has remained at 2% of the federal budget for decades, despite the increase in public school enrollment and the rising cost of education resources and services [1]

In 2015, 29 states were still providing less total school funding per student than they were in 2008 [2]

According to a 2018 report [3], school districts with the highest rates of poverty receive about $1,000 less per student in state and local funding than those with the lowest rates of poverty

A 20% increase in per-pupil spending for low-income children can lead to an additional year of completed education, 25% higher earnings and a 20% reduction in the incidence of poverty in adulthood [3]

[1] National PTA. (2017). Stop Cuts to Classrooms Campaign Toolkit. Alexandria, VA: National PTA
[2] Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. (2017). A Punishing Decade for School Funding. Washington, DC: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
[3] C. Kirabo Jackson, Rucker C. Johnson, and Claudia Persico, “The Effects of School Spending on Educational and Economic Outcomes: Evidence from School Finance Reforms,” Quarterly Journal of Economics, October 1, 2015.

Voice From the Field

Evie Hudak
Jeffco Council PTA

Colorado’s unique system of education funding makes it exceedingly difficult to generate revenue for public schools. When Evie Hudak saw a proposed ballot initiative to increase school funding by 20%, she knew she had to take action to get the initiative added to the ballot. Evie quickly organized her fellow Jeffco Council PTA members to educate families and community members statewide about the amendment and the serious lack of school funding that made it necessary.

As an incentive to get local PTA units involved, Evie worked with Colorado PTA to create the PTA Amendment 73 Star Award, which would to be given to PTA units that mobilized the most PTA members to register to vote and advocate on behalf of the initiative. The signatures collected far exceeded minimum requirements, and Colorado PTA’s advocacy efforts helped secure Amendment 73 on the 2018 ballot. Colorado PTA continues to advocate for increased funding in education and works with local communities to raise awareness on the issue.

Committee for Education Funding

The Committee for Education Funding (CEF) was
founded in 1969 to help achieve adequate federal
funding for our nation’s educational system. National
PTA is one of CEF’s 100+ member organizations
which provides a strong and unified voice in support
of increasing the federal investment in education.
National PTA believes that funding for education should
be a top priority of the federal government because it is
an investment in the future of this nation. Learn More.

Committee for Education Funding

Share Your Story

We want to hear from you! Tell us why advocacy for federal investments in education matters to you. You could have the chance to be featured in future blog posts, Our Children magazine articles or advocacy-related communications from National PTA!