Advocacy Update

Registration Is Filling Up Fast…

So don’t miss your chance to join us April 24–26, 2017 for the NASSP Advocacy Conference. This event  brings together state leaders to advocate on behalf of the nation’s school principals and offers a unique insight into the world of policy and politics. The program consists of panel discussions with representatives from other national education associations, congressional staff, and officials from ED; a briefing on the latest news in Congress and NASSP’s legislative agenda; and a day on Capitol Hill attending meetings with principals’ members of Congress and their staff.

This is your opportunity to let your congressional representatives know how important effective school leaders are to improving student success. There is no registration fee to attend the conference, but travel and lodging expenses may be required. Please contact Zachary Scott with any questions.

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

On February 7, the Senate voted to confirm Betsy DeVos as the new secretary of education. The historic vote ended in a 50-50 tie in the Senate, as Republicans Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Susan Collins (R-ME) broke party lines and voted against DeVos’ confirmation. Vice President Pence was brought in to break the tie, the first time ever for a vice president. DeVos later gave her first statement as secretary, in which she vowed to work on improving education for all students.

In the House, resolutions were passed to overturn two different education regulations issued by the Obama administration. The resolutions, passed under the Congressional Review Act, seek to eliminate the teacher prep regulations and the ESSA accountability regulations. These resolutions now head to the Senate where only a simple majority will be required to pass them, thus eliminating both regulations.

Why Should Principals Care?

Despite months of debate and opposition from educators and organizations across the country, DeVos was still confirmed as secretary and will now serve as the head of the U.S. Department of Education (ED). She will be responsible for driving the Trump administration’s education goals, including the possible implementation of a $20 billion voucher program that President Trump promised during his campaign. DeVos’ support of school choice and voucher programs is well known, and a wide scale voucher program could be one of her first goals as secretary.

Upon taking office, President Trump halted the ESSA accountability regulations, and now the first step to eliminating them altogether has been completed after the House vote. The elimination of these regulations will leave state boards of education left wondering what will be required of them by the federal government as they continue the drafting and implementation of their ESSA plans.

 

In the Press

Glossary of School Choice Terms, Education Commission of the States

President Trump and Secretary DeVos recently elicited further concern from educators over school choice policies. While school choice is generally a particularly contentious issue, there are a number of different types of school choice policies that may come to fruition. A new report defines and examines a number of these policies for purposes of understanding and differentiating between them.

Examining Each Governor’s Education Goals, Education Commission of the States

Each year, during their state of the state addresses, governors offer a glimpse into what policies they will attempt to enact in the coming year. Curious what your governor plans on doing regarding education policy? The Education Commission of the States has collected and updated education policies discussed in state of the state addresses for a majority of states from 2011-2017, highlighting and examining some of the changes in policy over time.

How Can ESSA Help Promote Equity?, Chiefs for Change

ESSA is providing states and districts new opportunities to fix some of education’s most lasting problems. One of these is equity in education. Chiefs for Change just released part one of its series on how ESSA can help promote this equity. This section examines how important financial transparency can be in promoting equity and how essential it is to spend dollars on programs and initiatives that prove to be effective resources for schools.

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