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October is National Principals Month! Will You Advocate With Us?

This October, we are using National Principals Month (NPM) to celebrate the dedication of our nation’s principals by recognizing their achievements and thanking them for creating positive environments where all students can learn. But NPM isn’t just a celebration; it’s also a time for all of us to take action on behalf of principals, teachers, schools, and students.

One of the most pressing issues in public education today is the growing shortage of highly qualified teachers and principals. For myriad reasons—including inadequate pay, poor working conditions, high cost of teacher and principal prep programs, and lack of decision-making authority—many current educators are choosing to leave the profession, and potential aspiring educators are taking other career paths. Our children are our nation’s future, and we need qualified, motivated teachers and principals to be there to lead, educate, and prepare them for their lives.

Despite the challenges we face, the good news is that there are real, proven solutions that lawmakers can implement to mitigate the problem and strengthen the profession. That’s why, during NPM, we’re asking you to join us and send a message to your members of Congress telling them to support policy that addresses teacher and principal shortages like the bipartisan Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals Act.

It takes just two minutes using our automated system to send an email or tweet to your officials. Will you advocate with us?

For more ways to get involved in NPM, check out this post in the NASSP School of Thought blog.


Senate Releases Education Appropriations Bill—Congress Delays Budget Deadline

On September 18, the Senate Appropriations Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies (Labor-HHS) Subcommittee released its FY 2020 Labor-HHS appropriations bill. The bill includes very few increases for NASSP priority programs, with Title IV seeing a small $50 million increase. Other priority programs like Title I, Title II, IDEA, and others were unfortunately funded at the same levels they received in FY 2019. These numbers show the partisanship of the bill, with Republicans pushing for large increases in other appropriations areas, like defense and border wall spending. Fortunately, this budget is far from finished as it appears destined to fail if brought to the Senate floor for a vote. This seems especially likely as a vote for cloture on the bill failed, mostly along party lines, soon after the bill was introduced.

With this bill and others still under debate by Republicans and Democrats, it became clear that Congress would need more time beyond the September 30 budget deadline to avoid a government shutdown. Because of this, the House and Senate passed a continuing resolution that extended the budget deadline to November 21 in the hopes that these issues can be resolved by then. Going by past precedent, however, it is completely possible that Congress will need to pass another continuing resolution in late November to extend the deadline to late December in order to give members more time to conference on appropriations bills and agree on final funding numbers.


I just wanted to share the work that @NASSP has done to build diversity, equity, and inclusion in schools - read our position statements on Educator Diversity ( and Culturally Responsive Schools (/policy-advocacy-center ...). #OurChallengeOurHope


The Senate just released their LHHS bill text and it unfortunately freezes #TitleIIA funds for another year at $2.1 billion. It is time for our educators to get MORE support so they can best serve their students. Join @NASSP in advocating for an increase


Just sat in on a great meeting with Alabama’s 2019 Principal of the Year @AndreaLDennis and some of @SenShelby’s senior staff.

Andrea explained how federal Title II and Title IV funds are effectively used in her school to support student achievement! #POY2019 #ThankAPrincipal


And that’s a wrap, the #POY19 Hill Day now concludes! Thank you to all the congressional offices for meeting with us today to discuss #TitleIIA, youth tobacco use, and mental health supports in schools. Principals have made their voices heard! #ThankAPrincipal #PrincipalsAdvocate

For more advocacy tweets, join us on social media by following NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:

NASSP   @nassp
Amanda Karhuse   @akarhuse
Zachary Scott   @zachscott33
Greg Waples   @GWaples


Take Action

Lawmakers need to see the principal’s role in action in order to understand the needs of schools, educators, and school leaders. You can make a difference this October by inviting your member of Congress to visit your school for a shadowing visit!


Other News

Registration for the 2020 NASSP Advocacy Conference and Capitol Hill Day is now open! The conference is free to all who want to advocate for principals and schools.

Derrick Lawson, principal at Indio High School in California, has been recognized as the fourth quarterly Principal Advocate Champion of 2019!

NASSP is joining forces with the American Federation of School Administrators and the National Association of Elementary School Principals for the National Principals Month congressional briefing and advocacy day on Capitol Hill on October 17.

The 2019 State Principals of the Year were in Washington, D.C., earlier this month to advocate with their congressional offices. You can catch up on some of the highlights by viewing #POY2019 on Twitter.

NASSP continues to work with the Learning Policy Institute to examine the issue of principal turnover. View the most recent updates in the research partnership.


In This Month’s Principal Leadership

This month’s Principal Leadership looks at the growing youth health crisis caused by vaping and electronic cigarette use, how educators can help students understand the dangers, and what Congress is doing to address the crisis. Read the column to learn more.

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