Advocacy Update

Tell Your Senators to Protect the Nation’s Most Vulnerable Children

Last week, congressional leaders unveiled their Affordable Care Act repeal bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Under this proposed legislation, dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program will prevent schools from providing comprehensive services for students. Almost 70 percent of school districts across the United States report using Medicaid to pay for school-based staff salaries for behavioral and mental health professionals, and almost half of the districts use the funds to cover licensing and association fees; professional development and continuing education; technology; or for creation of innovative intervention programs. Under the proposed plan, schools would be unable to provide medically necessary services for students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) under IDEA.

NASSP urges you to contact your senators on this issue by participating in our newest action alert. Your voice is critical in ensuring that these funds remain to help schools serve the nation’s most vulnerable children.

Time is Running Out to Register for the National Principals Conference

Curious how you can make a positive impact for your school beyond its walls? The answer is through advocacy! At this year’s National Principals Conference, you can learn from advocacy professionals about how to effectively advocate for your school. This includes sessions on influencing your state’s ESSA plan; how the federal education landscape has changed with President Trump and Secretary DeVos; and how to maximize your influence on legislators at all levels of government.

Learn how you can make a difference for your state and school—register for the conference now!

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

Last week, the House of Representatives took a big step forward for advancing career and technical education (CTE) policies by approving H.R. 2353, the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act. This legislation, introduced by Representatives Glenn “GT” Thompson (R-PA) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL), would reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act and update the law to make it more applicable in today’s world. The bill passed through the House unanimously on June 22.

Why Should Principals Care?

Reauthorizing and updating the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act would provide states and schools with new avenues to allocate federal funds for supporting student growth in CTE. This bill would specifically make it easier on states and school districts by simplifying the application requirements and shortening the process for acquiring these federal funds. It also provides more flexibility for states when determining where these funds should be allocated and encourages the use of funds to address the CTE needs of local communities by building partnerships with local employers and business leaders. Additionally, it would provide funds for professional development for teachers and school leaders—a legislative priority for NASSP.

The bill will now move to the Senate where Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY) is expected to lead the effort for bipartisan agreement. A similar situation on CTE played out last Congress with the Senate actually stalling and killing the House bill when there was disagreement among Democrats and Republicans on the appropriate authority of the U.S. Secretary of Education in overseeing the CTE state grants. NASSP will continue to monitor this bill and will be sure to alert its members of any changes in the future.

 

In the Press

Principles to Improve Equity in Schools, Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO)

ESSA provides states with new opportunities to improve equity and address achievement gaps for all students. However, addressing this issue can be somewhat daunting for states as they continue developing their ESSA plans. To help with this, CCSSO introduced a new report that highlights a set of principles to help inform states how to design effective systems to improve low-performing schools and provide an equitable education for all students.

Invest in Public Schools–Not Vouchers–to Help All Children, U.S. News & World Report

President Trump and Secretary DeVos have argued that the only real way to help improve education for all children is through voucher policies that allow federal funds to follow children to the school of their choice. However, a recent article highlights that the only real way to improve education for all individuals is through more funding for public education. The piece goes on to list several studies that show that voucher systems in different areas across the nation have had no meaningful beneficial impact on the students who use them.

Examining District Expenditures into Principal Pipelines, RAND Corporation

Data has proven that developing school leaders through principal pipeline initiatives produces positive results for districts. A new study recently examined how much districts actually contribute toward these initiatives. It found that districts that participated in the Principal Pipeline Initiative actually contributed less than 1 percent of their total district expenditures to pipeline efforts.

Examining Literacy Goals and Resources, Alliance for Excellent Education

Recently, the Alliance for Excellent Education, which has co-lead the Advocates for Literacy coalition with NASSP, released an update on literacy policy and goals. Their blog voices concerns regarding the cuts to literacy in the president’s budget proposal for FY 2018, presents positive findings from the Striving Readers Comprehensive Literacy (SRCL) program, describes the Literacy Education for All, Results for a Nation (LEARN) Act, and highlights the Department of Education’s notice inviting applications for the next round of SRCL grants.

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