Advocacy Update

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

Last month, 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 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. This translates into schools providing 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. Last week, Senate leadership postponed a vote on this bill due to a lack of votes to secure its passage. This shows that our efforts are working! Now is the time to keep the pressure on your senators by asking them to oppose this bill that would prove so harmful for the nation’s most vulnerable children!

Only 4 Days Until the National Principals Conference! Don’t Miss Out—Register Now!

We are only days away from the first-ever, jointly held National Principals Conference! However, there is still time to register. This is your best opportunity to network with other principals from around 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. Take advantage of this opportunity to better yourself and your profession for your students, school, and community!

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

On June 27, members of ED’s Principal Ambassador Fellowship hosted school leaders in the department for a special Principal Preparation Leadership Summit focused on culturally responsive leadership. NASSP also co-hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill last week with the National Association of Elementary School Principals, American Federation of Teachers, and Learning Policy Institute (LPI), which focused on how professional development for educators benefits students.

Why Should Principals Care?

Those who attended the ED event were able to hear from some of the nation’s top experts on equity and principal preparation programs, which included remarks from NASSP’s advocacy team. These remarks highlighted the organization’s own principal preparation efforts while also highlighting the work the team is doing to help the principal profession using federal government channels. NASSP was fortunate enough to have President Dan Kelley attend the event and share his thoughts with the audience as well. Later, the principals were able to collaborate with one another by sharing their own experiences and develop answers to some of the issues facing equity for all students. The event concluded with attendees sharing their findings with Secretary DeVos in the hope that these conclusions could aid ED in better supporting school leaders and students in the future.

The Capitol Hill briefing largely focused on two new reports from LPI about professional development for educators. The first report analyzes professional development opportunities for educators and what components are needed for professional development to be successful. The second report looks at state ESSA plans that aim to use the 3 percent of Title II funds set aside for principal professional development. The report then provides summaries of how each state plans on using its 3 percent set aside to display the variety of ways these funds can be used to support school leaders.

 

In the Press 

Examining Equity in State ESSA Plans, Alliance for Excellent Education

Curious how your state’s ESSA plan stacks up in terms of equity? Then take a look at the Alliance for Excellent Education’s new ESSA Equity Dashboards. The Alliance reads through each plan, grades it based on different areas of equity, then posts those grades to their state-specific dashboards. Currently, they have reports for Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, New Mexico, and the District of Columbia, with more slated to be posted in mid-July.

ED Allows Additional Time for Financial Transparency Requirement, Education Week

According to a new requirement in ESSA, states and school districts must report the amount of federal, state, and local dollars that are spent on each student. Originally, these funds were required to be reported in the next school year. However, this week, ED sent a letter to states informing them that these reporting numbers are not due until the 2018–19 school year to allow for a smoother transition into the new law.

Can New School Staffing Models Aid Principals?, New America

New America has recently examined innovative school staffing models that are designed to make principals’ roles more manageable, while ensuring that teachers still receive the support necessary to improve instruction. In this new report, they detail the benefits and challenges of these “new school leadership models” and also provide recommendations for how states and districts can strategically encourage and fund new staffing models via ESSA.

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