Principals Groups Express Disappointment Over Senate’s Proposed Reduction in Professional Development Funds

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) issued the following statement on the Senate Appropriations Committee reduction of funding for Title II of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the primary source of federal funding for educator professional development:  

“Our organizations, representing the nation’s 115,000 principals, must express our disappointment at the Senate Appropriations Committee decision to cut $200 million from last year’s Title II levels, which is a full $240 million below the authorized mark in ESSA. Federal support for educators’, and especially principals’, professional development is already compromised by a series of alternative allowable uses for those dollars. Falling so short of the FY 2017 authorized level—and worse, reversing progress on federal support with a dramatic reduction from FY 2016 levels—sends a clear message to school leaders and teachers: We will invest in a law that holds you accountable, but not one that builds the skills you need to successfully implement the law.  

“The decision is especially demoralizing for principals, who originally received a signal of support with ESSA language that encourages states to set aside up to 3 percent of Title II funds specifically for principal professional development. Reducing the total pool of funds also reduces the chances of states taking advantage of that flexibility. That is why NASSP, NAESP, and AFSA worked to secure report language in the bill urging the Department of Education to issue guidance to states on the importance of strong school leadership and highlight best practices for the states looking to make increased investments to support principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders.”

The statement comes in response to today’s Senate Appropriations Committee markup where the Labor-Health and Human Services-Education spending bill received a 29-1 vote in favor of reporting the bill to the senate floor. NASSP, NAESP, and AFSA will continue to support school leaders with the implementation of ESSA in spite of inadequate funding levels for Title II and other important programs in ESSA. 


About AFSA
The American Federation of School Administrators is the exclusive union for administrators, professionals and supervisors advocating for excellence and equity in all of our schools, workplaces and communities. AFSA members are leaders in their schools and communities and are charged with the privilege and responsibility of helping to mold our nation’s students into successful, mindful individuals. As school leaders, AFSA members are constantly advocating for better public schools and systems of education. AFSA members are active in the labor movement and proudly stand in solidarity with all trade unionists and school administrators.

About NASSP
The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and national voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and all school leaders from across the United States and more than 36 countries around the world. The association connects and engages school leaders through advocacy, research, education, and student programs. NASSP advocates on behalf of all school leaders to ensure the success of each student and strengthens school leadership practices through the design and delivery of high quality professional learning experiences. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Association of Student Councils.

About NAESP
Principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning. Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession by developing policy, advancing advocacy and providing professional development and resources for instructional leadership, including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and effective educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org. NAESP administers the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President’s Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs.