Guest post by George Roberts
August 27, 2012. The first day of school for the 2012–13 school year. The sun was shining; the sky was a brilliant blue; the air was thick with the smell of freshly cut grass; the students were wearing their best back-to-school clothes; and the schoolhouse was filled with a palpable sense of excitement that only the first day of school can bring. Little did I know that three hours later the smell of gunpowder would fill the cafeteria, the smiles would turn to tears, and the excitement flipped to fear.
Any principal, teacher, or student who has faced the trauma of a school shooting event will understand these descriptions and rapid change of emotions. For me, it was all of these things and so much more as principal of the largest high school in my district and the one responsible for the well-being and safety of more than 2,000 students and 200 staff. (more…)
Last week, the House and Senate passed a $1.3 trillion omnibus bill which will fund the federal government for the remainder of FY 2018. This funding package comes after several short-term funding packages, one government shutdown, and a two-year spending deal. There were major concerns that a funding bill wouldn’t get passed before the March 23 deadline due to several controversial riders, but they were ultimately excluded from the legislation to ensure its passage. (more…)
Less than two weeks ago, we watched in horror as one of the worst school shootings in American history unfolded at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—17 students and educators were killed and another 14 were wounded. Sadly, what should be a unique and isolated tragedy is just one more heartbreaking entry in our nation’s long and rapidly growing list of school shootings. At NASSP, one of our guiding principles is that school leaders and staff members, along with community members and leaders, have a shared responsibility to ensure that schools are safe. Our students have a right to attend schools without fear of violence, and we must do more to support a holistic approach to violence intervention and prevention both inside the walls of our schools and out in the community. (more…)
On February 12, President Trump released his FY 2019 budget request. While the president’s budget is most likely not going to be enacted by Congress, it is still an important document that allows him to highlight the administration’s spending priorities moving forward. Unfortunately, President Trump’s budget called for drastic reductions in nondefense discretionary programs despite Congress recently passing a deal to raise the budget caps. Trump called for the Department of Education (ED) to receive $63.2 billion in FY 2019. This is a $3.6 billion—or 5.4 percent—cut from the amount ED received in FY 2017.
What follows is an analysis of how some of NASSP’s top priorities faired in Trump’s budget request. (more…)
For the second time in less than three weeks, the government shut down. At midnight on February 8, funding for the government officially lapsed after Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) refused to allow the Senate to hold a vote on another short-term funding package. Fortunately, none of the detrimental long-term impacts of a shutdown were felt, as Congress was able to pass the bill just hours later in the early morning of February 9. This new funding package carries with it greater hope to avoid more budget politics in the future though, as tied to it is a deal to raise the defense and nondefense discretionary spending caps for the next two years. Now that the Appropriations Committees have concrete numbers, they’re able to begin writing the rest of the FY 2018 budget. They have over a month to do so, as the current short-term funding package will expire on March 23. But how will this caps deal influence education, and what does it mean for the remaining FY 2018 budget process? (more…)
Last week, the new members of NASSP’s Student Leadership Advisory Committee came to our nation’s capital for their first annual meeting and to attend the 2018 DC Leadership Experience and Development (LEAD) Conference. At the meeting and conference, the new committee learned how to be advocates for their schools, their communities, and their generation. As a member of NASSP’s advocacy team, I had the pleasure of working with these incredible young people throughout the week, and I believe we learned as much from them as they did from us. (more…)
After months and months of short-term funding packages, time finally ran out. The Senate was unable to pass a continuing resolution before January 20 and because of this, the federal government has shut down for the first time since 2013.
Much of the impact K–12 education will face will depend on the length of the shutdown. Most education programs are forward funded, meaning dollars are already designated to go out to programs, regardless of a shutdown. However, the longer the shutdown, the greater the impact that will be felt by schools and districts. Overall, we can break down a shutdown’s impact into three main areas for K–12 education: (more…)
Guest post by Brandon Mowinkel
In a day and age where public schools seem to be under constant scrutiny, it is vital that principals become advocates for our schools and the students we serve, sharing our stories of success and the challenges we face. When I became an administrator, I would have never imagined that I would be in regular contact with my state and federal representatives to ensure a high-quality education for all students. Stories matter, and it is our responsibility to be sure they are being told. (more…)
After months of debate, conferencing, and closed-door deals, Republicans in Congress passed a sweeping tax reform bill—H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act—that was signed into law by President Trump on December 22, 2017.
While the bill has implications that will undoubtedly affect all Americans, there are several components that may directly affect schools, educators, and students: (more…)
Inside the Beltway
What’s Happening in Washington?
Congress narrowly avoided a government shutdown last week by passing a continuing resolution through January 19, 2018. Congress also passed a sweeping tax overhaul that was signed into law by President Trump.
Why Should Principals Care?
Congress avoided a government shutdown in December by passing a continuing resolution (CR) that provides level funding for the government through January 19. (more…)