School Leaders Discuss Safety and Violence Prevention Policy at Capitol Hill Briefing

NASSP’s Policy & Advocacy Center hosted a policy briefing on Capitol Hill on April 17, where school leaders offered school safety and violence prevention policy solutions to members of Congress and staff. Dr. Warman Hall, Dr. Dale Marsden, and George Roberts have all experienced gun violence incidents in their buildings, and they shared what they learned from personal experience with lawmakers. Among the specific policies discussed was Title IV funding in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Fully funding this program to its authorized level would better support violence prevention, safety, and mental health programs in schools, panelists said. A recording of the event will be available soon.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

President Trump Releases First Rescission Package

On May 8, President Trump released a rescission package that would cut $15.4 billion from the federal budget. Fortunately, none of these cuts included any of the dollars appropriated in the FY 2018 omnibus, but rather funds that have been authorized but not paid out. Not all the news is positive however, as the program that would receive the highest cut in the rescission package—$6.96 billion—is the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which provides health coverage for children of low-income families that do not qualify for Medicaid. How much these cuts would affect CHIP is still somewhat unpredictable. $5.1 billion would come from the Children’s Health Insurance Fund, which is meant to supplement the national allotment to states if necessary. These funds were supposed to be spent before September 30, 2017, so the ability to spend these dollars is already in question. The other $1.8 billion would come from the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund of CHIP, which provides payments to states that experience funding shortfalls due to higher than expected enrollment. NASSP is currently a member of the Medicaid in Schools Coalition, and opposes any cuts to the CHIP program.

One other concern is that President Trump has promised to introduce future rescission packages that could target appropriated funds. While the introduction of a rescission package targeting already appropriated funds is very concerning, the chances it succeeds would be highly unlikely. Both chambers of Congress would have to approve the package by a majority vote. Already, members on both sides of the aisle have come forth stating that they would not support any such package that targets appropriated funds. The FY 2018 omnibus was a collaborative effort, and Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate appropriations committees have stated that going back on the agreement after it has already been passed is not only bad policy, but would greatly harm future budget negotiations as well.

NASSP has reached out to the administration, asking them to oppose any cuts to education if a rescission package is introduced. Stay tuned to the Principal’s Policy blog in the NASSP Policy & Advocacy Center for future updates.

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Right now, Congress is debating attaching a private school voucher bill to the must-pass National Defense Authorization Act. This bill would drain Impact Aid funding that supports public schools serving military-connected students. Our service members’ children deserve great public education, not vouchers, and they need you to contact your representatives to tell them so. Participate in our action alert today!


In This Month’s
Principal Leadership

Principal Leadership magazine cover

This month’s Principal Leadership features an article from NASSP Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse detailing the current state of advocacy for school leaders at the national level. Read about recent collaborations with NAESP and other national education groups, successful actions taken by school leaders to influence federal policy, and more.


We invite all NASSP member advocates to write a guest article for Principal Leadership or blog post for School of Thought—just email Senior Manager of State Engagement and Outreach Greg Waples with your idea.



NASSP partnered with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) to host another school safety-related Capitol Hill briefing on May 2. “Beyond Metal Detectors: Strategies to Enhance School Climate and Safety” panelists included Tommy Welch, a 2018 NASSP Principal of the Year finalist. Watch a recording of the event here.

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