As Congress continues high-stakes budget talks, nearly 400 school leaders met with over 300 members of Congress and legislative staff to ask for their support for policies to address the mental health and educator shortage crises during the National School Leaders Advocacy Conference, hosted jointly by the National Associations of Elementary (NAESP) and Secondary (NASSP) School Principals. 

“School leaders are more than administrators; they are the visionaries who navigate the complexities of running multimillion dollar organizations, working closely with communities and building safe learning environments to bring out the best in every student and educator,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “Our firsthand experiences must inform the policies that will shape a more equitable and effective education system. We ask legislators to listen to our insights during budget negotiations and beyond.” 

“United in purpose, we gather in Washington, D.C., for the National School Leaders Advocacy Conference as education leaders and advocates for all children,” says NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “Our collaboration with NASSP strengthens our collective voice on Capitol Hill as we speak out, influencing policy decisions and inspiring others with our shared dedication. School leaders are advocates by nature, and now, more than ever, we must ensure policymakers and the public hear their stories, understand the impact of their work, and support them in building a better future for every student.” 

School leaders are asking legislators for their support on the following legislation: 

  • The Loan Forgiveness for Educators Act 
  • Educators for America Act 
  • Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals (PREP) Act 
  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act 
  • Supporting the Mental Health of Educators and Staff Act 
  • Increasing Access to Mental Health in Schools Act 
  • Mental Health Services for Students Act 
  • Increased funding for schools serving high-needs students, educator recruitment and retention and Career and Technical Education. 

You can find the full legislative agenda here

Photos and interviews are available upon request.