FGN News: March 2017

Your Chance to Speak with Congress!

The deadline to register for the 2017 NASSP Advocacy Conference is just around the corner. Register by Monday, March 13, to be part of the conference in Washington, D.C., April 24-26. Programming includes sessions on the Trump administration’s education agenda and the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act; federal advocacy training; a debate on school choice; meeting with your representatives in Congress; and more! There is no registration fee to attend, but travel and lodging expenses may be required.

Please contact Zachary Scott with any questions.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Betsy DeVos Confirmed as the Secretary of Education

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, in her first statement as secretary, vowed to work on improving education for all students. Her confirmation comes after a historic tie in the Senate, broken for the first time by a vice president. Although NASSP opposed the confirmation of DeVos, we stand ready to work with the secretary and other ED officials to improve public education by ensuring there are great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student.

Trump Administration Eliminates Obama Transgender Directive

Despite concern from Secretary DeVos, the Trump administration recently removed the transgender rights guidance under Title IX instituted by President Obama. This directive sought to protect the right of transgender students to use the bathroom or locker room that aligns with his or her gender identity. In rescinding this directive, President Trump stated that these decisions should be made by each state. NASSP firmly believes in the importance of protecting and supporting all transgender students and strongly disagrees with rescinding this necessary piece of federal protection. Read NASSP’s statement on this action here.

Trump Administration Considering a New Federal Tax Credit Scholarship Program

Reports have begun to surface that President Trump is considering a new federal tax credit scholarship program, or “vocher” program. It would channel billions of dollars to families for children to attend a school of their parents’ choice. Not much is known about the policy yet, but it could cost as much as $20 billion, the amount Trump promised during his campaign. A program such as this may be included as part of a larger tax reform bill, which could pass through the reconciliation process. Reconciliation bills require only a simple majority in both chambers to be approved, improving the likelihood of such a program becoming enacted.

Twitter Talk

@akarhuse Chicago Public Schools (CPS) tells principals not to allow immigration officials in schools without warrant: http://trib.in/2lwoX9T
@zachscott33 A big thanks to .@RepBlainePress for taking time to meet the Student Leadership Advisory Committee on #moreTitleIV and #MakingGlobalChange
@nassp “It’s disheartening that Trump admin’s 1st ed action designed to make students less safe.” @USATODAY @HRC #LGBT: http://usat.ly/2mXwQSS

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

Take Action

Many Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plans will be rendered ineffective if the federal government does not appropriate the necessary funds to implement ESSA correctly.

NASSP currently has two action alerts that highlight portions of ESSA that greatly benefit principals, students, and schools. Contact your congressional representatives and remind them that federal dollars are necessary for positive change!

In this Month’s Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s issue of Principal Leadership features a closer look at some of the key congressional players and their roles in shaping education policy during the 115th Congress.

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.

2017 National Principals Conference

Come be a part of the first-ever gathering of Pre-K through grade 12 school leaders, July 9-11. Taking place in Philadelphia, the National Principals Conference will offer educators an unprecedented opportunity to come together and build bridges to fully prepare students for success in school and beyond. Registration is now open.