A few months ago, Congress debated bills in the House and Senate to reauthorize the outdated Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB). Like public schools across the nation, Congress is back in session, and it is time that the bills be moved forward for reconciliation and then signed into law. And it is imperative that effective, evidenced-based family engagement strategies are included in the reauthorization of the ESEA/NCLB.
A new school year means new expectations and new material to learn. It is essential that families are engaged and families and schools collaborate to support student achievement and ensure a successful year.
To strengthen family engagement in education, schools and districts need the resources and capacity to implement best practices that have been proven to positively impact student learning. This is why we need Congress to finally reauthorize the ESEA/NCLB. It is crucial that Congress finish its work and provide updates to the current law so all children receive a high-quality public education and reach their full potential.
What we need from Congress
- Convene a conference committee as soon as possible to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate bills and produce a bill that can be signed into law.
- Maintain the provisions in both ESEA/NCLB reauthorization bills that support state and local capacity building through Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFECs).
- Continue to invest in family engagement strategies for local education agencies in Title I.
Let’s get this school year of to a great start by arming schools and districts with the resources they need to provide a world-class education to every student. Congress can take the lead on this through a successful reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that includes necessary family engagement provisions.
You can stay in the loop on the ESEA/NCLB reauthorization or get action alerts from the PTA Takes Action Network. Join the network today.
Laura Bay is president of National PTA.