National Association of Elementary School Principals

Advocacy Update

Comment on NASSP’s Position Statement on Teacher Shortage

One of the most difficult tasks principals face is staffing their schools with effective teachers who can help every student achieve to his or her greatest potential. Unfortunately, recent reports point to a growing teacher shortage nationwide. NASSP has released a new Teacher Shortage Position Statement to help address the problem and provide recommendations for policymakers and school leaders to help find new solutions.

The NASSP Board of Directors recently stated its intent to adopt this position statement and the 30-day public comment period is now open. If you would like to send a comment or recommendation regarding this statement, please contact Amanda Karhuse, NASSP Director of Advocacy, at karhusea@nassp.org by Friday, April 28.

Oppose Trump’s Budget and Support Educators!

Our nation’s principals play a unique and vital role in supporting student success. Research has shown that principals are the second most important factor in supporting student growth. Despite this fact, President Trump’s recent budget asked for a complete elimination of Title II, Part A funds for FY 2018 and to halve the amount of funds appropriated for FY 2017. However, Congress still has the ability to properly fund these programs that are meant to recruit, retain, and support teachers and principals. Take a stand with NASSP and participate in our newest action alert opposing President Trump’s cuts and asking Congress to fully fund Title II, Part A at the levels authorized under ESSA.

 

Inside the Beltway

What’s Happening in Washington?

Last week, President Trump officially signed legislation removing the ESSA accountability regulations that were put in place by the Obama administration. The final elimination completes the circle for the regulations since President Trump took office. He originally halted the accountability regulations from going into effect, which was then followed by the House of Representatives and Senate voting to eliminate them.

Also last week, amidst increasing concerns surrounding ESSA implementation, the NASSP Board of Directors visited Washington, D.C. for their quarterly board meeting and to join the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) at their National Leaders Conference. The board participated in the advocacy training portion of the conference and then joined elementary school principals from their state to visit their congressional representatives on Capitol Hill. Many of the meetings were successful, with members discussing an array of issues including funding for ESSA programs, as well as reauthorization of the Carl D. Perkins Act and the Higher Education Act. To learn more about the meetings, check out the hashtag #PrincipalsAdvocate on Twitter.

Why Should Principals Care?

Eliminating these regulations creates more uncertainty for states as they draw nearer to finalizing their ESSA plans. ED has neglected to provide much guidance to states, leaving many state boards of education wondering what this new administration will actually require of a plan in order for it to be accepted. There is also growing concern from the education community that ED may just rubber stamp many plans without properly examining them. With no oversight from the federal government, some state plans that contain harmful regulations could be enacted with no pushback whatsoever.

 

In the Press

NASSP Partners with Others to Protect Funds for Principals, EdWeek

As noted above, the Trump administration has shown that one of its budget priorities is to eliminate funding that directly aids teachers and principals in better serving all students. That is why NASSP has partnered with a number of other organizations to call for the protection of these funds and to show the Trump administration the detrimental impact its efforts could have on our nation’s educators.

Secretary DeVos May Use ESSA Plans to Push Vouchers, U.S. News & World Report

Secretary DeVos has made it clear that one of her key objectives is to promote school choice policies that could prove detrimental for public education institutions. It seems that DeVos may use every avenue possible to pursue this failed policy, even encouraging states to adopt choice policies in their own ESSA state plans.