Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) is circulating a letter (below) to House offices asking representatives to join him in seeking no less than $30 million for the Parent Training and Information (PTI) program. AJE is proud to be the PTI for the District of Columbia.
The PTI program has been level funded (or slightly reduced through budget sequestration) for many years. The current level of funding (which has been the same amount for many years) is $27.411 million. There would be language included with the appropriations to clarify that all Parent Centers should benefit from the funding increase. Both Rep. DeSaulnier’s letter to his colleagues is below, as is his letter to Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole.
Please join me in sending the attached letter to the Labor, HHS and Education Appropriations Subcommittee requesting no less than $30 million for the Parent Information Centers program at the U.S. Department of Education.
The Parent Center program has been helping families and schools with the education of children with disabilities for over three decades. Research proves that family participation is critical to improve outcomes for all students, especially those with disabilities. I hope you will join me in this effort to support families, schools and students with disabilities. To sign on or ask any questions please contact Margo Tercek in my office at email@example.com by March 26th.
Member of Congress
Dear Chairwoman DeLauro and Ranking Member Cole,
As you develop the Fiscal Year 2020 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we respectfully request that you provide $30 million to the Parent Information Centers program at the U.S. Department of Education. This program provides crucial assistance to families of infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth to 26, helping parents and youth to navigate the early intervention and special education process and improving academic, social, and postsecondary outcomes. This request is a slight increase over FY2019 to support improved services to parents.
We know that each child is unique, learns in different ways, and has the potential to succeed. For children with disabilities, the ability to learn and grow academically is enshrined in the right to a free appropriate public education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). For children with disabilities, parents are an integral part of ensuring that they receive FAPE, including the supports and services they need to succeed academically and later in postsecondary education and the workforce. The critical importance of meaningful parent engagement is enshrined in IDEA. That participation is enhanced by the information and support provided by the Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) and Community Parent Resource Centers
The Parent Center program has been helping families and schools with the education of children with disabilities for over three decades. Under this program, each state has at least one PTI, with 70 centers nationwide, and there are an additional 23 CPRCs in various states targeting underserved populations. Parent Centers funded under this program provide critical information and training to parents of children with disabilities, helping them navigate the special education process from early interventions to transitioning out of high school and into postsecondary education and competitive, integrated employment. In addition to this work, centers funded under this program make valuable contributions at the state and local level to help schools improve services and outcomes for students with disabilities.
Over the past decade in particular, the resources for Parent Centers have been stretched by the increasing populations of children and an expanded requirement to serve students with disabilities in juvenile justice, child welfare/foster care, and other systems. In addition, Parent Centers operate in states with increasing linguistic and cultural diversity where they must hire staff who are able to effectively partner with families. Ensuring that the Parent Center program receives $30 million will enable them to maintain services for families, provide professional development, and partner with organizations.
Thank you for your attention to our request and for supporting the commitment to ensuring that all children with disabilities have access to high-quality early interventions, special education, and transition to adult life services and the opportunity to reach their full potential and make a meaningful contribution to their communities.