FGN News: February 2017

Help Advocate for Your School!

Please join us April 24–26 for the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference. This conference brings together state leaders to advocate on behalf of the nation’s school principals. Having these leaders converge on Congress and speak in a unified voice delivers a powerful message to legislators that effective principals are vital to student success.

The program consists of panel discussions with representatives from other national education associations, congressional staff, and officials from the Department of Education (ED); a briefing on the latest news in Congress and NASSP’s legislative agenda; and a day on Capitol Hill attending meetings with principals’ respective members of Congress and their staff.

Please contact Zachary Scott with any questions.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Aftermath of Betsy DeVos’ Senate HELP Hearing

On January 17, Betsy DeVos went before the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee to be questioned on potentially becoming the next secretary of education. The hearing highlighted a number of concerns that Democrats have had with DeVos. She often provided vague responses with no real answers and struggled on many important education policies. This included her lack of understanding over the growth-proficiency dichotomy, ignorance of the federal government’s role in enforcing the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and insensitive remarks toward allowing guns in schools.

DeVos’ hearing and her lack of support for public education prove that she is incapable of serving in a capacity that will aid all students and educators. For this reason, NASSP opposes her confirmation and asks that all of its members contact their elected officials to inform them of their opposition as well.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse After a question from Sen. @PattyMurray, #BetsyDeVos would not commit to protecting federal funding for PUBLIC schools. #vouchers
@dnchodak Let’s not forget that several Title I portability amendments failed throughout the #ESSA reauthorization process. #3Options4Choice
@zachscott33 .@BetsyDeVos plans to adhere to the current timetable to implement #ESSA
@nassp Sec. of Educ. nom. DeVos won’t commit to not privatizing our public schools: http://bit.ly/2jxkG4c . #NSCW

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

NASSP @nassp
Amanda Karhuse @akarhuse
Zachary Scott @zachscott33

#PrincipalsatED Event

Last month, then-Secretary of Education John King hosted a group of principals at ED for a special “Principals at ED” event. This event allowed principals the opportunity to collaborate on finding solutions for school leaders’ problems. It concluded with a meeting with Secretary King himself, where he was able to hear how the federal government can help today’s principals.

2017 National Principals Conference

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be a part of the largest convergence of both elementary and secondary school principals in the nation on July 9–11. Taking place in Philadelphia, the National Principals Conference will offer educators the opportunity to come together and find new solutions to problems all school leaders face. Registration is now open.

Take Action

Funding for FY 2017 currently expires on April 28. Congress has already begun discussions to determine what the next steps are for the federal budget. Don’t let principals be forgotten in these negotiations. Participate in NASSP’s recent action alert, which calls for funding for a portion of ESSA that can directly aid school leaders.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features a look at the current state of America’s schools and their infrastructure, finding that many schools are in dire need of upgrades. It also highlights NASSP’s newest position statement on school facilities.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or post for the School of Thought blog—just email Manager of Advocacy Zachary Scott with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email notification whenever a new post is published.