MN PTA President Heather Starks, Vice-President Amy Nelson and Advocacy Commissioner Cathy Nathan attended the National PTA Legislative Convention in Washington DC March 10-12. On March 11, they visited offices of Minnesota’s Senators and Representatives to lobby on behalf of legislation that supports our member students, parents, teachers and schools. This post gives information about one of our Hill Asks this year: Increase funding for the Statewide Family Engagement Centers to $15 million
The Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) is a bipartisan program that provides competitive federal grants to statewide entities to promote and implement evidence-based family engagement strategies that further the academic progress of our nation’s children.
• Currently, SFECs are supporting children and families in 13 states around the country. Unfortunately, due to funding constraints, families without a center in their state have not been able to benefit from this program.
• We urge Congress to increase funding to at least $15 million in FY 2020 and put this program on a funding path to ensure that all families across the country benefit in the coming years.
• According to a Rice University study, family engagement is the most important driver of a parent’s satisfaction with their child’s school, yet school districts frequently fail to offer parents a voice in the education system. SFECs can provide critical professional development to school leaders and teachers on effective family engagement strategies.