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Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $11 Million to Expand and Support Parent Education and Family Engagement Efforts

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Today, the Biden-Harris Administration is announcing $11.4 million in grants to 12 organizations in states and school districts across the country to improve and strengthen family engagement programs. This investment builds on the U.S. Department of Education’s (Department) “Raising the Bar for Parent Partnership in Our Schools efforts to engage parents, family members, caregivers, or advocates. To date, the current program has awarded nearly $83 million to expand and support parent and family engagement.

“As a parent, teacher, and former principal, I’ve seen firsthand how strong and productive relationships between educators and families are the foundation of thriving school communities,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “The importance of parent partnerships in our schools is backed by years of research demonstrating how students benefit academically, socially, and emotionally from robust family engagement. The grants announced by the Biden-Harris Administration today will help schools across the country Raise the Bar for how they engage parents, families, and caregivers, and ultimately, how they drive student success.” 

The Statewide Family Engagement Centers (SFEC) program provides financial support to statewide organizations to carry out parent education and family engagement programs. In addition, the program provides technical assistance and support to state educational agencies (SEAs) and local educational agencies (LEAs) in the implementation and enhancement of systemic and effective family engagement policies, programs, and activities that lead to improvements in student development and academic achievement.

Services offered through SFEC are designed to assist parents in participating in their children’s education, including by giving parents more confidence and empowering them to engage with teachers and school leaders. The SFEC program, housed within the Department’s Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, has supported funding efforts to: 

  • Provide direct services to families on how to effectively work with their child’s school and teachers to improve their child’s academic outcomes and overall well-being.
  • Serve as critical centralized information hubs during and after the pandemic.
  • Launch strategic surveys and publish key research findings to inform educators, practitioners, and families about the latest educational barriers and opportunities.
  • Provide parents and caregivers with easy-to-understand, applicable information to solve present-day problems.

During the Department’s recent “Back to School Bus Tour 2023: Raise the Bar,” Secretary Cardona and senior officials listened to parents’ input across the country and discussed how engagement in their children’s education can strongly enhance academic outcomes and contribute to better social-emotional outcomes. For example, during the Kansas City, Missouri stop, the Secretary met with parents to share the Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts around parental engagement and to discuss the importance of and value in bringing their voices to the table in schools—regardless of their ethnic background or socio-economic status. 

Also, this summer, the Department completed a six-part Family Engagement Learning Series and hosted a series of Parent Empowerment Pop-Ups. On National Parents Day, the Department published a parent-written blog titled “Standing Shoulder-to-Shoulder, and Secretary Cardona participated in a cookout in Chicago with parents. The Department has also hosted the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments’ webinar on Strategies for Engaging Families to Support Students’ Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Academic Well-Being and Success, as well as an Engage Every Student webinar on Parent and Family Engagement with out-of-school time practitioners. You can also view the Department’s publication of sample questions for parents and families to help build strong partnerships with schools here. 

A complete list of the 12 SFEC grant awards follows:

CALIFORNIA 
Parent Institute for Quality Education, $943,493

COLORADO 
The Keystone Center, $873,508

CONNECTICUT 
Capitol Region Education Council, $962,290

INDIANA 
Indiana Resource Center for Families with Special Needs, Inc., $986,024

KENTUCKY 
National Center for Families Learning, $748,072 
National Center for Families Learning, $997,699 

LOUISIANA 
Louisiana Children’s Research Center for Development and Learning, $859,044 

MARYLAND 
Mid-Atlantic Equity Consortium Inc., $983,574 

NEW JERSEY 
Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, $999,389 

OHIO 
The Ohio State University, $643,526 

SOUTH CAROLINA 
University of South Carolina, $1,000,000 

WEST VIRGINIA 
The EdVenture Group, Inc., $727,458 

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