National PTA Statement on President Trump’s Address to Congress

ALEXANDRIA, Va., (March 1, 2017)—Last evening, President Donald Trump delivered his first address to Congress, outlining his vision for the country. In the address, President Trump called for the passage of school choice legislation.

National PTA supports educational choices within public schools to meet the needs of all students and believes parents and families should be involved in all aspects of public school choice plans. However, there is a difference between public school choice programs and the use of taxpayer dollars for private school voucher programs.

“National PTA opposes any private school choice system—tax credits, vouchers or deductions—that would drain public school resources. Equitable, high-quality public education for all students is critical to children and the nation’s long-term success,” said Laura Bay, president of National PTA. “Our association has long advocated for high-quality public education. Taxpayer dollars for education must carry the responsibility for providing public access, governance and accountability. National PTA believes public dollars must remain invested in public schools for the benefit of all students. Public education is a vital investment in our children, families and communities that will improve our nation’s economic competitiveness.”

In addition to calling for school choice legislation in his speech, President Trump highlighted his budget blueprint, which would shift $54 billion from domestic programs.

“National PTA is concerned that the budget proposal laid out by the administration will cut critical education programs,” said Nathan R. Monell, CAE, executive director of National PTA.“Federal investment is crucial to ensuring all children receive a high-quality education that enables them to reach their full potential and make their dreams a reality. Congress must make certain the vital programs that support the education and well-being of every child are protected.”

As has long been a top priority, National PTA remains committed to advocating for investments in programs that promote educational equity and opportunity for all children. The association also continues to call for dedicated funding for family engagement in education.

Specifically, National PTA advocates to:
· Fund the Statewide Family Engagement Centers program to help all schools engage more families in their child’s education
· Ensure programs that support low-income students and students with special needs receive substantial funding
· Invest in programs that provide all students with a well-rounded education that includes access to arts, technology, vocational and advanced education opportunities

“Across the country there are great disparities between available resources as well as the quality of and access to educational opportunities,” added President Bay. “As we have throughout our history, National PTA will work closely with the administration and Congress to ensure investments are made so that all children are provided a high-quality education and every child’s potential becomes a reality.”

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.