SERC joined policy makers, leaders, and advocates from across Connecticut at the State Capitol on Wednesday, March 17, 2015, in support of the Parent Trust Fund Grant. The purpose of the grant is to train parents, grandparents, foster parents, and others to become skilled advocates and strong voices for children at the local, state, or national level. The proposed state budget cuts would eliminate funding of the Parent Trust Fund for the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 fiscal years.
The Connecticut General Assembly authorizes appropriations for the Parent Trust Fund to the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). SERC and the CT Parent Information and Resource Center (CT PIRC), which is housed at SERC, administer the grant. The William Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund also provides funding.
The Parent Trust Fund uses specific, evidence-based parent leadership training curriculum models such as The Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI), Parents Supporting Educational Excellence (Parents SEE) and People Empowering People (PEP). In the 2014-15 school year, the stated goals of the grant are:
- To promote diversity of leadership in communities throughout Connecticut so that it is more representative of the population
- To increase awareness of the issues that matter to families and the important role they can play as advocates of change agents
- To encourage communities to expand the range of parent leadership training opportunities in their continuum of services
- To expand the number of communities offering parent leadership training
- To enhance collaboration and linkages among parent leadership training sponsors to create an integrated system of sustainable civic involvement within communities and across the state.