Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Education launched the National Parents and Families Engagement Council (the Council) to facilitate strong and effective relationships between schools and parents, families and caregivers, helping families’ voices play a critical role in how the nation’s children are recovering from the pandemic. Fathers Incorporated, an Atlanta base not for profit is one of fourteen organizations appointed to serve.
“Parents are a child’s first teachers, and there’s no one better equipped to work with schools and educators to identify what students need to recover,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The National Parents and Families Engagement Council will serve as an important link between families and caregivers, education advocates, and their school communities. The Council will help foster a collaborative environment where we can work together to serve the best interest of students and ensure they have the academic and mental health support they need to recover from the pandemic and thrive in the future.”
The Council consists of parent, family, or caregiver representatives from national organizations that will work with the Department to identify constructive ways to help families engage at the local level. Organization representatives will reflect the diversity of the education system, including, but not limited to, families of students in public schools, charters, private schools, and homeschool. The Council will be a channel for parents and families to constructively participate in their children’s education by helping them understand the rights they have, and create a feedback loop with schools to shape how American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds are deployed to meet students’ needs and identify summer learning and enrichment opportunities for children in their communities.
“We are honored to play a part in this critical work. It is also incredible that Fathers Incorporated will play a role in ensuring that the voices of dads are a relevant and necessary part of the conversation when talking about our children’s education,” said Kenneth Braswell, CEO of Fathers Incorporated. There are so many issues in need of solutions, and while this council won’t represent “The” solution, is a great start to creating something that has the potential to be one of many great solutions to ensuring that the roles of parents are strengthened both locally and nationally.
In the coming weeks, Fathers Incorporated will identify individuals within the Fathers Incorporated ecosystem to represent the voices of dads and their families.
At launch, Council members include:
The Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC)
National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement (NAFSCE)
National Action Network
National Military Family Association (NMFA)
National Parent Teacher Association (PTA)
National Parents Union (NPU)
The National Center for Parent Leadership, Advocacy, and Community Empowerment (PLACE)
United Parent Leaders Action Network (UPLAN)
Shortly the Council will meet to discuss how their children are recovering; the different ways schools are providing academic, mental health, and social and emotional support; and how they can best constructively engage with schools. In the coming months, the Department and the Council will hold local listening sessions with parents, families, principals, educators, and school community members to better understand the needs of students as they start the 2022-23 school year.
In addition, our Moynihan Institute of Fatherhood Policy and Research will be releasing our third brief on fatherhood engagement and youth education outcomes. Visit https://fathersincorporated.com/free-resources/ to view the first two briefs.