Reston, VA–JoAnn Bartoletti, Executive Director of the National Association of Secondary School Principals, issued the following statement on the President’s education budget request for fiscal year 2018.

“The President’s proposed budget abandons the nation’s public schools at a time when states are working to implement the new federal education law, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). The nation’s school leaders are especially concerned about the elimination of Title II, Part A, which provide $2.4 billion in flexible funding for states and districts to improve teacher and principal quality. More than a decade of intensive research by the Wallace Foundation concluded that quality instruction and quality leadership are the two largest school-based factors in student achievement. As states are ramping up their school improvement plans under ESSA, the president is ramping down support for the very professionals committed to educating our nation’s students, 80 percent of whom are in public schools.

“Of additional concern is the provision that allows Title I funding to follow the student to other public schools, often called “Title I portability.” Title I is designed to support schools with large low-income populations so schools can provide the necessary additional services to help these students succeed. Hitching the funding to individual students simply puts a strain on schools that already provide support programs–ignoring both the intent of Title I and the fundamental reality of school budgeting.

“The president’s strategy is clear: Starve our public schools, blame educators for not delivering, and fund alternatives under the disguise of ‘choice.’ Students and communities will suffer as a result. I strongly encourage the Trump administration and Congress to reconsider these proposals as the budget process continues.”

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 Association of Student Councils.