Advocacy Update

Time to Gear Up for this Year’s National Principals Month!

This October, join NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators in honoring our nation’s principals during National Principals Month! Throughout the month, we urge schools, states, and government officials to make a concerted effort to recognize the impact principals have on student achievement and school success, and to show their appreciation for these tireless leaders. There are countless ways to participate and show your support for school leaders!

Not sure where to start? Visit www.principalsmonth.org to get some ideas about how to get involved, check #ThankAPrincipal on social media to see what others have done in past years, or share why you love being a principal.

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

After numerous failed attempts to pass a repeal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Senate leadership introduced a new bill that would repeal the employer and individual mandates from the ACA. On July 28, the Senate voted on this bill with the belief that it would pass and then bring the Senate’s health care legislation into conference with the House’s bill. However, Senators Collins (R-ME), Murkowski (R-AK), and McCain (R-AZ) all opposed the bill, bringing the final tally to 51–49. After so many failed attempts in the Senate, where the health care debate goes from here is uncertain.

Why Should Principals Care?

NASSP has opposed these measures, as both chambers have proposed dramatic cuts to the Medicaid program, which would 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. 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 is pleased to see this bill fail and hopes that congressional leadership will reconsider before introducing any new health care bills that could potentially harm our schools’ ability to provide services for the most vulnerable children.

 

In the Press

Examining ESSA Plans’ Responsiveness to Stakeholders, Partners for Each and Every Child  

NASSP contributed to a newly released report that analyzes stakeholder engagement in the 17 consolidated ESSA plans that states submitted to the Department of Education by May 2017. The report details ways in which thoughtful, meaningful, structured, and ongoing dialogue among a variety of stakeholders is essential to unlocking the promise of ESSA and advancing excellence with equity in schools.

Assessing States’ ESSA Progress, The 74

Curious how far along your state’s ESSA plans are in comparison to other states’ plans? This interactive map provides you updates on each state’s ESSA progress and has direct links to news regarding that state’s plan.

How ESSA Can Promote STEM Education, Achieve

A new report from Achieve examines how states can use ESSA to help promote STEM education. This brief provides a landscape analysis of all states’ current assessment requirements and graduation requirements in science to help set the national policy context for science. To look at states’ current goals and approaches to science inclusion in their accountability plans under ESSA, as well as how they can leverage funding opportunities in ESSA to support science.

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