Today is momentous for our nation’s students, families, educators, PTAs and schools as President Obama signed the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) into law. This landmark legislation reauthorizes the long overdue Elementary and Secondary Education Act/No Child Left Behind (ESEA/NCLB).
This new law brings much needed improvements to K-12 education, provides greater flexibility to states to meet the needs of all students and acknowledges the essential role of family engagement in student achievement.
We would like to take this time to thank National PTA’s officers, board of directors, past national presidents, state presidents, legislation committee members and federal legislative chairs for their tremendous leadership and advocacy efforts to get us to this historic day.
We also applaud the National PTA Government Affairs staff—Elizabeth Rorick, Jacki Ball, Joshua Westfall and Lindsay Kubatzky—for keeping our membership informed and engaged so we could advocate at critical points throughout this process.
The bipartisan, bicameral passage of this bill and its enactment into law was a long-time coming—and it was essential that PTA get it right. And we have, thanks to all of you.
None of this would have been possible without our past governance and every single member who sent emails, made phone calls, posted on social media and conducted in-person meetings over the last eight years urging a comprehensive, bipartisan reauthorization of ESEA/NCLB with robust family engagement provisions.
We have demonstrated our influence together and the power of our collective voice. This is a success for students, families and PTA. You should be proud of the contributions you made to get this bill signed into law. This is a recognition of our value as stakeholders and key advocates.
The responsibility for implementation and accountability now lies with state and local education authorities. We will continue to call on you to make sure implementation is successful at the state and local levels for our nation’s children. During this next phase, we will be even more reliant on the clear, collective, and most importantly, unique parent voice.
As consumers of our public education system we cannot afford to be complacent in this next step of educational advancement and innovation. We must keep in sharp focus that our primary motivation is to make a difference and speak with a unified voice for every child. Every Child. One Voice.
There are moments when we need to stop and celebrate and this is one of them. Congratulations and thank you for all your advocacy efforts!
We look forward to working with all of you as we continue to use our collective voice and maximize our impact in service to our nation’s students and families.
|Nathan R. Monell, CAE