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NASSP | National Association of Secondary School Principals

Secretary Cardona Addresses 2021 Advocacy Conference

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In his keynote address at the 2021 NASSP Advocacy Conference last month, Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona highlighted the crucial role that principals play in creating the safe, welcoming, and productive environments that allow students to succeed. In a one-on-one conversation with NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe, Secretary Cardona also discussed the work that lies ahead for K–12 schools and policymakers as we collectively continue to endure the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on education.

Other highlights from the 2021 conference included the “State of American Education” session, where leading national and state policymaker and policy influencers discussed the current state of affairs. Representative Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ) offered insight from the halls of Congress, while former Indiana State Superintendent Jennifer McCormick (R) shared a state elected official’s perspective. NASSP 2021 Principal of the Year Richard Gordon and Nirvi Shah, a senior deputy editor at POLITICO, rounded out the fascinating conversation between educators and policymakers.

If you weren’t able to join the conference live, both Secretary Cardona’s keynote and “State of American Education” session have been recorded and can be accessed below!

Watch the Conference Sessions



President Biden Proposes Significant Investments in K­–12 Education

After the recent passage of the American Rescue Plan, all eyes turned back to the White House to see what the administration’s next major priority would be. Following President Joe Biden’s joint address to Congress on April 28, we have our answer. In the last month and a half, the White House has introduced two different infrastructure plans to help America “Build Back Better.” The first, the American Jobs Plan (AJP), is a $2.5 trillion package that includes investments in many critical areas of America’s infrastructure, including K–12 schools. It includes $100 billion for general school facilities infrastructure ($50 billion in bonds and $50 billion in grant funding), $45 billion to improve drinking water and reduce exposure to lead in drinking water from outdated pipes in schools, and $100 billion to expand broadband connectivity. NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe praised the plan and called on Congress to pass it without delay.

In the second major legislative proposal, President Biden has focused on investments in human infrastructure. On April 28, the White House released the framework for the $1.8 trillion American Families Plan (AFP). Like AJP, a new major federal investment in education is a primary focus of AFP. The proposal would provide universal, high-quality preschool to all children ages 3 and 4, and would provide two years of free community college. Additionally, AFP includes a substantive section dedicated to supporting teachers in schools and strengthening the workforce. Targeted investments would be made to strengthen teacher pipelines, diversify the workforce, and incentivize quality candidates to enter the profession for high-demand subject areas. While these initiatives are a great first step in supporting educators, NASSP was dismayed that principals were not directly included when considering additional support.

Finally, President Biden also recently released his first discretionary budget proposal in early April. While it primarily contained just the topline numbers, it did have some specifics regarding education funding. President Biden’s budget request to Congress included $102.8 billion for the Department of Education, a $29.8 billion raise over FY 2021. That request included $36.5 billion for Title I and $15.5 billion for IDEA, both significant increases. It also included an extra $1 billion to hire specialized instructional support personnel. The White House is expected to release the full, detailed 2021 budget proposal before Memorial Day.


Educators’ View: Principals Know Best What Their Schools Need. They Should Have a Central Role in Deciding How Relief Funds Are Spent @The74

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Great piece hear from @NASSP's CEO @RonnNozoe and @NAESP Executive Director @efranksnaesp Educators’ View: Principals Know Best What Their Schools Need. They Should Have a Central Role in Deciding How Relief Funds Are Spent @The74

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Great analysis here of the poor condition of so many public K-12 school buildings. Schools MUST be included in any #infrastructure package Congress pursues in the coming months

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As we conclude today's Virtual Hill Day, we want to recognize the wonderful principals who advocated for their schools and public education today! Thank you for making your voice heard. #PrincipalsAdvocate

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Take Action

A new national infrastructure investment has been proposed by the White House and is being debated in Congress. Send a message to your lawmakers today and help ensure that adequate funding for public schools is included in any infrastructure deal!


Other News

The Biden administration has announced that it will undertake a comprehensive review of the Title IX rule enacted under former Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and the Trump administration. NASSP is seeking feedback from school leaders and would like to get your thoughts on Title IX. Read more in this blog post and please contact Amanda Karhuse [email protected] directly to offer feedback.

The 2021 NASSP Advocacy Champion of the Year will be announced TODAY during a virtual event. Join us this afternoon to learn who is receiving the annual award for outstanding advocacy on behalf of principals, educators, schools, and students.

Registration has opened for the 2021 National Principals Conference! Join hundreds of school leaders across the country virtually for NPC21, July 14–16, for professional development, networking, and inspiration.

A recent op-ed from NASSP CEO Ronn Nozoe and NAESP CEO Earl Franks details why principals must be included in the decision-making process for how funding from the American Rescue Plan is spent in school.

NASSP’s position statements guide the organization’s values, inform policymakers, and educate school leaders on emerging and pertinent issues in K–12 education. We are seeking feedback from YOU on what topics NASSP should consider adopting as new positions statements this year.

The Department of Education recently released Volume 2 of their COVID-19 Handbook for educators, outlining additional strategies to address the mental health and well-being of students and educators, lost instructional time, adapting to new technology and teaching methods, and more.


In This Month’s Principal Leadership

The May issue “Advocacy Agenda” from Aaron P. Dworkin, CEO of the National Summer Learning Association, discusses how we need to expand the conversation in education about the power of summer and out-of-school time, rethink the traditional notion of summer school, and create a shared vision across the community to support the whole child beyond the school bell.

For more advocacy tweets, follow NASSP and the advocacy staff on Twitter:







Amanda Karhuse




Zachary Scott




Greg Waples

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