Advocacy Update

Learn How to Influence Your State’s ESSA Plan at the National Principals Conference!

As states near the final stages of drafting their ESSA plans, they are required to engage different stakeholders to gain insight as to what should be included in their plan. The stakeholder engagement requirements afford principals a unique opportunity to influence the direction of local implementation. The “Opportunity to Influence: Principals’ Advocacy on the Every Student Succeeds Act” session at the National Principals Conference will provide you valuable insight into how to shape these plans. At this session, principals will engage with a panel of speakers who will share insight on and experience with state and local ESSA plans and stakeholder engagement. The NAESP and NASSP advocacy teams will follow up with training and tips on how principals can put effective advocacy strategies into action.

Don’t miss out on your opportunity to hear how you can make a difference for your state and school. Register for the conference now!

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

On May 23, President Trump released his full budget for FY 2018. Trump’s budget pushes for large increases in defense spending, which results in deep cuts for nondefense areas like education. ED’s breakdown of the budget reveals that the department would be funded at $59 billion in FY 2018, a $9 billion or 13 percent reduction from the 2017 continuing resolution level.

Also, on May 24, the House Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies, held a hearing with Secretary DeVos to provide her the opportunity to elaborate on the President’s budget and to justify the cuts that were proposed.

Why Should Principals Care?

The cuts ED would suffer under Trump’s budget come from a number of programs that aid principals, the most obvious being the complete elimination of Title IIA. Title IIA funds help drive professional development for educators as they can be used to recruit, retain, and train principals and teachers. The complete elimination of the $2.1 billion program would severely limit the ability for states to help educators grow in order to better drive student development. The importance of Title IIA was stressed by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) during the hearing with DeVos; DeVos replied that other funding streams, like Title I, could be used to fund this development. However, Title I saw no increase in funds and was actually cut in the budget, leading DeLauro to state that Trump and DeVos were asking the nation’s educators to do “less with less.”

Another program that would be eliminated is Title IV, or the Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grant program. This flexible program can be used by districts to support a well-rounded education, encourage safe and healthy schools, or promote the use of technology in the classroom. Lastly, the budget would allocate new funds that would promote school choice. $250 million would be provided for a study on school choice and the impacts it could have, while also providing an additional $1 billion for Title I awards that allow federal, state, and local funds to follow students to the public school of their choice. The funding levels for some of NASSP’s other key programs in the president’s budget are listed below:

  • Title I: Level funding at $14.9 billion. However, with $1 billion of these funds being allocated towards promoting school choice, the program actually sees a cut of about 4 percent.
  • IDEA State Grants: $11.89 billion. A 1 percent cut from the 2017 omnibus.
  • CTE State Grants: $977 million. A 13 percent cut from the 2017 omnibus.
  • Comprehensive Literacy Development Grants/Striving Readers: The budget would eliminate all funding for this program. It was funded at $189.6 million in the 2017 omnibus.
  • School Leader Recruitment and Support Program: The budget would eliminate all funding for this program. It was funded at $15 million in the 2017 omnibus.

 

In the Press

New Poll of First-Generation College Students (FGCS) Produces Interesting Results, Students for Education Reform (SFER)

A new poll from SFER examines how FGCS students feel about their K–12 education. Some interesting findings show that 75 percent of FGCS favor school choice. Also, 25 percent of FGCS did not feel safe in their previous school and almost 1 in 3 reported that they did not feel school was an emotionally safe or inclusive place.

New Texas Bill Threatens Rights of Transgender Students, Associated Press

After stalling in Texas’ State House, a bill threatening the rights of transgender students may be reintroduced in the Texas legislature. This bill would require public schools in Texas to force students to use the restroom of their birth-certificate gender.

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