Advocacy Update

National Principals Month Starts Next Week!

National Principals Month is just one week away! October marks a time for organizations, teachers, students, parents, legislators, and the community to celebrate the great work of principals across the country. NASSP, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, and the American Federation of School Administrators have a number of activities planned, including congressional resolutions recognizing the celebration; principal shadowing visits; a video contest that gives students the opportunity to thank principals for all of their hard work; and much more.

Be sure to participate and #ThankAPrincipal. For more information, visit principalsmonth.org.

Inside the Beltway

What’s happening in Washington?

Two weeks ago, Senators Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced a new bill that would repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It was believed that Republican leadership would give up on any attempts to repeal ACA. However, the Graham-Cassidy bill seemed to have an avenue to success in the Senate.

Why should principals care?

Under the 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 the 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 being able to provide medically necessary services for students with an Individualized Education Program or Individualized Family Service Plan under IDEA.

In response to the bill, NASSP joined over 60 other national organizations in signing a letter to congressional leadership opposing the legislation. On Friday, September 22, Senator John McCain (R-AZ) announced that he would not support the bill, giving it a very slim chance of success.

 

In the Press

Federal Program Helps Ensure Broadband Access to Schools and Students, U.S. News & World Report

As schools continue to rely more and more on technology to help educate students, it is becoming increasingly important that students and schools have access to fast and reliable internet. The federal E-Rate program has greatly increased the number of schools and students who can access reliable internet, and can continue getting closer to solving previous problems that limited a student’s ability to succeed (such as the homework gap).

Examining Teacher License Reciprocity in Each State, Education Commission of the States

Teacher licensing requirements play a very important role in ensuring all students are educated by qualified individuals. However, some state policies may have negative impacts on the ability to bring teachers into the workforce. A new report analyzes each state’s licensing requirements and highlights the positives and negatives of these requirements.   

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