National PTA Statement on President Obama's 2012 Budget Proposal

Association Opposes Proposed Consolidation of Parental Information and Resource Centers

ALEXANDRIA, VA--(Marketwire - February 15, 2011) - National PTA®, the nation's largest and oldest volunteer child advocacy association, issued the following statement on President Obama's 2012 budget proposal:

"PTA applauds the increased overall investment in education in President Obama's 2012 budget proposal, which includes an increased investment in Title I, early learning, and Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) funding. These increases in funding are crucial to preparing all students for college and career.

"However, National PTA has serious concerns about the consolidation of education programs including the only federal initiative dedicated to supporting family engagement in education -- Parental Information and Resource Centers (PIRCs). In its absence, schools and districts would not have the tools necessary to meaningfully partner with families to improve student success, particularly in struggling schools where family involvement is most essential.

"Family engagement raises student achievement regardless of the parents' education level, ethnicity, or socioeconomic background. President Obama recently emphasized in his State of the Union address that parents play a pivotal role in student success. Yet there is no mention at all of parent involvement in the FY '12 budget proposal.

"Research shows that investment in family engagement can raise student achievement so substantially that schools would need to increase spending by more than $1,000 per pupil to gain the same results. Research also reveals that family engagement is one of the five critical areas required in school turnaround efforts. Eliminating this critical program, that serves more than 16 million parents annually, via the proposed consolidation runs counter to the Department's goal of directing funds to cost-effective, proven approaches. In a fiscal climate such as this, the Department should maintain its commitment to engaging all families through PIRC program funding.

"PTA urges both Congress and the Administration to protect this critical program and direct funding toward research-based strategies that engage families in their children's education. States, districts, and schools rely on this program to provide leadership, training, and technical assistance to engage the most powerful drivers of student achievement and education reform -- parents."

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 parent involvement 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.

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Contact Information:

James Martinez

Cell: (571) 329-9352