National Parents Union

2024 National Agenda



Every child deserves to be prepared for the future.

Parents know that the future our children face is one that will require our kids to be critical thinkers, adaptive innovators and able to participate in a highly-skilled workforce.

The future ahead presents challenges and opportunities; our children will need to adapt and respond to climate change, artificial intelligence and shifts in the economy.

At the National Parents Union, families from across the country have joined forces to call leaders to take action.

The future of our country depends on how we support the children of today.

The National Parents Union
2024 National Agenda

1. REIMAGINING AMERICA’S PUBLIC SCHOOLS: Every child in America deserves to thrive in a student centered education system that honors the unique experiences and needs of all our kids. Every student deserves a detailed, individualized learning plan that sets them up to compete globally, be prepared for the economy of the future and lead our nation. Education systems that serve our kids must be accountable for meaningful, measurable results and those results should be regularly communicated with families in an accessible way that allows families to be true partners in our kids’ education. Our kids deserve qualified educators that reflect the diversity of our country and who are empowered to continuously improve their practice.

2. INCREASING ACCESS TO GREAT EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Parents deserve access to a variety of accountable school options to ensure that each unique learner has an environment they can thrive in. States and districts must embrace public school choice as a tool of equity and empowerment — this means eliminating antiquated neighborhood boundaries, building systems of open enrollment, providing adequate transportation options for families, and embracing innovative approaches like personalized learning and microschools. No student in America in 2023 should be forced to attend a failing school because of the neighborhood they live in — and no parent should be criminalized for using school choice to find better opportunities for their kids.

3. GUARANTEEING THE RIGHT TO READ AND DO MATH ON GRADE LEVEL: Our kids are facing an education crisis that we must address with urgency- the majority of children in the U.S. are behind grade level in reading and math. We must rely on research based interventions and bold policy change to ensure that students are receiving the learning acceleration they need. This includes supporting additional professional development for teachers on the science of teaching reading and math, identifying effective curriculums and assessment, and providing our highest needs schools with the most support. In addition to supporting the work happening in our classrooms, it is critical that we continue to monitor the outcomes. Parents overwhelmingly support common assessment and the release of disaggregated data to ensure equitable and excellent outcomes for all our children. Additionally, we know that in order to catch kids up- they need more learning time. Investing in high impact tutoring, extended learning opportunities and examining the need for an additional school year are all ways we can ensure that students are prepared for college and career.

4. BUILDING PATHWAYS TOWARD THE FUTURE: Reimagining our kids’ high school experience is essential as we prepare them for a future where they are prepared to use artificial intelligence and enter a changing workforce. Schools and districts should be empowered to support dual enrollment opportunities, certification programs and college readiness programs. This includes efforts to make college equitable, accessible and affordable for every student in America. All kids should have the opportunity to realize their full potential in high school and be connected to a high wage, high skill and high demand employment.

5. ENSURING EVERY CHILD HAS THE ABILITY TO EXPRESS, LEARN ABOUT AND CELEBRATE THEIR IDENTITY IN SCHOOL: Every child should feel like they belong in their school and in their communities. The National Parents Union will continue to oppose efforts to ban books, ban history and exclude students. We will continue to support initiatives that promote diversity, equity, and inclusion, ensuring that all families, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, language, citizenship status or sexual orientation, have equal rights and opportunities.

6. BUILDING STRONGER AMERICAN FAMILIES BY PROVIDING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY: Every family in America should have the right to economic certainty. The National Parents Union will continue to support policies to reduce childhood poverty and support mechanisms for economic mobility. This includes addressing rising costs of everyday items, housing and high quality childcare and early childhood education. Additionally we will continue to fight for paid family leave policies that allow parents the flexibility and stability that they need as they raise the next generation of leaders in our country.

7. SUPPORTING STUDENT WELLNESS AND MENTAL HEALTH: Students deserve to be safe, healthy and feel supported at school. We believe that supporting public/private partnerships with mental health providers, adopting strong social emotional learning curriculum and training staff on trauma informed crisis intervention is key to building the adequate support systems around our kids to help them improve their mental health. We also know that hungry kids can’t learn- National Parents Union will continue to support efforts to ensure that every child has access to a free, healthy school breakfast and lunch.

8. ADVOCATING FOR SAFER SCHOOLS AND SAFER COMMUNITIES: The number one cause of death for kids and adolescents in our country is gun violence. The National Parents Union will advocate for common sense gun control measures including safe storage policies, background checks and a ban on semi-automatic weapons. We will also advocate for community buyback programs and violence reduction efforts at a local level to reduce community violence. The National Parents Union continues to support anti-bullying work, including research and development of policies related to cyber bullying. The National Parents Union also recognizes the need for additional investment in substance abuse programming given the rising fentanyl crisis in our country.

9. COMMITTING TO PROTECTING OUR ENVIRONMENT AND RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE: We must recognize the urgency of climate change and support sustainable practices, clean energy solutions, and environmental conservation efforts to safeguard the planet for future generations. And we must prioritize environmental protection and sustainability to secure a healthier and more stable future.

10. ENHANCING CIVIC ENGAGEMENT AND VOTING RIGHTS: Promoting civic engagement and protecting voting rights to ensure families have a voice in shaping their communities and the nation must be a priority.

The future of our country depends on how we support the children of today.