To the Editor:
Your recent reporting raises important questions about the agendas of a few organizations that receive federal funds for Parent Information and Resource Centers (“U.S.-Funded Parent Information Centers Questioned on Their Agendas, Efficacy,” June 8, 2005.) However, during these critical times in school reform, the education community should focus on why the only source of federal funding intended solely to help schools and communities meet the No Child Left Behind Act’s requirements of parent involvement has been proposed for elimination.
Parent involvement is a pillar the No Child Left Behind law. The Bush administration regularly cites parent involvement as essential to meeting the law’s goals. In fact, parents are mentioned more than 650 times in the law, which is an acknowledgment that parents are the most influential people in a child’s education and deserve the nation’s continued support. While problems may exist, they can be solved. The elimination of funding for these centers, known as PIRCs, would be devastating to the communities, parents, and children they serve—most, if not all, PIRCs would be forced to cease operations.
Maintaining funding for PIRCs is essential. As states continue to implement the provisions of the No Child Left Behind law, schools across the nation are working hard to improve academic results for all children. Inclusion of parents and families in implementing these reforms is crucial to the law’s success. Parents who are able to be involved meaningfully and appropriately in these reform efforts will help ensure that the law’s goals are achieved.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The National PTA has its headquarters in Chicago and maintains an office in Washington.