Wrap-Up of the 2017 Advocacy Conference
Last week, NASSP hosted its 2017 Advocacy Conference, attended by more than 130 principals from across the country. During the conference, attendees engaged with panels focusing on school choice and higher education, heard and provided feedback on key policy issues directly to ED officials, and received in-depth training on how to advocate elected officials at all levels of government. The conference concluded with participants visiting their federal representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of career and technical education programs, Title II funding, and a variety of other issues. For more information on the conference, visit Twitter and search for #PrincipalsAdvocate.
Register for the National Principals Conference!
Do you want to be part of the largest gathering of elementary and secondary school principals in the nation? Then join us for the first-ever joint National Principals Conference, hosted by NASSP and NAESP on July 9–11 in Philadelphia.
The conference will offer a variety of ways in which school leaders can further their professional development and find solutions for problems facing their schools. There will be opportunities to network with peers from across the nation, sit in on sessions that highlight problems facing today’s students and educators, and attend exhibitions that examine new ways principals can serve their schools and students. Don’t miss this opportunity, register now!
Inside the Beltway
What’s Happening in Washington?
Budget talks have taken over Congress as they attempt to avoid any potential government shutdown. The original budget for FY 2017 was set to expire on April 28, but Congress averted a shutdown by passing a one week continuing resolution (CR) to give them more time to hash out a longer agreement. A bipartisan agreement was eventually reached, which will fund the federal government through the end of September. Congress is set to vote and pass the bill later this week.
Why Should Principals Care?
While the new budget agreement features cuts to many education programs, these cuts are far less severe than proposed in President Trump’s original “skinny budget” for FY 2018. Total spending for K–12 programs administered by the U.S. Department of Education (ED) would fall by $60 million from FY 2016. Unfortunately, Title II of ESSA would also be cut—by $294 million—although this is not nearly as large a cut as previously proposed by Trump, who originally requested the program be cut in half for FY 2017 and completely eliminated by FY 2018.
Another key program to highlight is the Student Support for Academic Enrichment Grant program, or Title IV, Part A of ESSA. This new program would actually receive $400 million in the agreement, but would now be a competitive grant program rather than a block grant program as originally authorized. For a more thorough overview of the budget agreement, you can visit here or here.
In the Press
Examining Teacher Shortages in the United States, The Hamilton Project
A new study from The Hamilton Project examines different causes of teacher shortages and offers potential solutions to recruiting and retaining teachers. The report specifically highlights the quality of a principal’s leadership as a high indicator of teacher satisfaction and retention.
Study Finds the D.C. Voucher Program Has a Negative Impact, National Center for Educational Evaluation and Regional Assistance
A new study of Washington, D.C.’s federally funded voucher program found that vouchers had a negative impact on the reading and math scores of elementary students. The study also found that students in grades 6–12 did not see any statistical improvement in their test scores compared to their peers in public schools. Despite this recent information, the new budget agreement being voted on by Congress this week would actually reauthorize this program through 2019.