Reston, VA –NASSP Executive Director JoAnn Bartoletti issued the following statement on President Trump’s 2019 State of the Union Address:

While his explicit mentions were few, the president actually said quite a bit about education in tonight’s State of the Union address. His opening reflections on our nation’s great accomplishments–the liberation of Europe, the moon landing, and others—reflect a uniquely American commitment to draw out the best in each person. Buzz Aldrin and generations of great Americans launched their dreams in a robust system of public education that releases the full potential of every child in our nation.

And so, we encourage President Trump to take the next logical step, acknowledge the value of our system of education, and launch his commitment to renewing America’s infrastructure by renewing America’s schools, half of which are more than 50 years old. We count on the president’s support of the Rebuild America’s Schools Act, recently introduced in the Senate, which directs $100 billion to provide modern and safe learning environments for each of our nation’s children.

Each child means even those who are undocumented, who remain marginalized in their own schools in part by the president’s demagoguing rhetoric. Each child also means minority students who are disproportionately affected by exclusionary discipline policies–in much the same way the president acknowledges that our criminal justice system “wrongly and disproportionately wronged the African American community.” In the same spirit of righting that wrong, we encourage the president and Congress to join the nation’s school leaders in pursuing a remedy that reduces the racial disparity in exclusionary discipline previously addressed by the 2014 discipline guidance.

Finally, we applaud the president’s call to accelerate research on childhood cancer. A child’s success begins with their personal well-being, and we look forward to working with the Trump administration on this and other common goals.




The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for middle level and high school principals, assistant principals, and school leaders from across the United States. 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 Student Council.