Washington, DC—From March 27-29, nearly 400 school leaders will gather in the capital to shape national policy through discussions with top decision-makers, including leaders in the Department of Education, members of Congress and legislative staff during the first-ever National School Leaders Advocacy Conference, hosted jointly by the National Associations of Elementary (NAESP) and Secondary (NASSP) School Principals.

“School leaders are crystal clear about what their schools need now from policymakers after overcoming new and growing challenges to sustain learning through a global pandemic and beyond,” says NAESP Executive Director L. Earl Franks, Ed.D., CAE. “NAESP’s Leaders We Need Now research shows an immediate need to address high educator turnover, the mental health of students and staff after enduring unprecedented trauma over the past three years and the lack of professional learning opportunities that target the new demands on the profession and changing needs of school communities. By coming together as a unified group of Pre-K–12 principals for this advocacy conference, we’re taking the message to Capitol Hill that leaving these issues unaddressed—or even under-addressed—will have a long-lasting negative ripple effect on education, the principal profession and student outcomes.”

“Each and every day, our members work at the center of schools where they listen to and engage with students, staff and families to ensure that the needs of the community are being met,” said NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe. “Their unique experiences and wisdom are absolutely essential and must be considered when developing effective policies. Representatives and policymakers must listen to their insights and heed their advice because it is the only way to reimagine and rebuild a system that ensures every student’s needs are met and provides access and opportunity to achieve their full potential.”

On Wednesday, March 29, school leaders head to the Capitol to ask 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.

If you wish to interview a school leader from your community or meet school leaders in person in DC, contact Adam Davis at [email protected] or Kaylen Tucker at [email protected].