Little Engagement from ED Commission on School Safety

Three months have passed since the Trump administration created a national “School Safety Commission” at the Department of Education in response to the mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School, but there has been little progress in that time regarding the development of real solutions to the violence. Meanwhile, there have been seven more school shootings, including May 18 at Santa Fe High School in Texas where 10 students and educators were killed. Thus far, the ED Commission has not sought to substantively engage national education groups or seek substantive input from experts and practitioners in the field as it mulls a course of action. In response, NASSP joined in drafting and signing a letter to Secretary DeVos asking for a more transparent and meaningful process moving forward.

NASSP also participated in the commission’s first open hearing session on June 6. NASSP’s Senior Manager of Federal Engagement and Outreach Zach Scott gave remarks on behalf of the organization that focused on not arming educators, ensuring staff have the necessary supports to secure the safety of their students, and the importance of federal investments in mental health supports. You can watch the recording of the hearing here (NASSP’s remarks begin around the 4 hour and 14 minutes mark). Unfortunately, Secretary DeVos and the other members of the commission were not in attendance, as other representatives were sent in their place.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

Appropriations Season Heats Up

It’s summertime again, and while that means most schools are closing their doors until fall, days on Capitol Hill are about to get very long as legislators begin the appropriations process to determine spending levels for FY 2019. Both chambers have stated that they would like to pass all 12 appropriations bills this year (an act not completed since 1996) to avoid having to pass another end-of-the-year spending bill, like last year’s omnibus. The focus for NASSP during this process is the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS-Ed) Appropriations bill. Labor-HHS-Ed is typically the last appropriations bill taken up, as it is the largest nondefense discretionary bill and tends to be one of the most difficult to pass. The Senate is still determining its overall allocation amount for the bill, but the House kept its amount at its FY 2018 level of $177.1 billion. This amount will then be disbursed among the programs within the bill to determine their overall funding level during markups this summer. The Senate and House are both hoping to markup their bills in late June, most likely the week of June 25–29. These markups will determine the funding levels of NASSP’s most important policy priorities, including Title II, Title IV, and many other education programs.

With these markups approaching quickly, now is the time to contact your members and voice your support for Title II and other education programs that aid in your ability as a principal to contribute to the success of your teachers, your school, and, most importantly, your students.


Take Action

In the next few weeks, Congress will be considering critical education funding bills for FY 2019. Key decisions are being made right now about whether schools will receive adequate federal funding in the coming year through essential programs like Title II and Title IV of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act. Join thousands of educators and advocates around the country in raising your voice to support federal education funding by contacting your representatives today.



NASSP collaborated with the other members of the National Coalition for Public Education (NCPE) to advocate against an effort to add an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have drained Impact Aid funding to create a new private school voucher program. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of grassroots education advocates contacting their members of Congress, the amendment was ultimately defeated.


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