FGN News: March 2016

NASSP staff has returned from Ignite ‘16 and is ready for a busy spring! Advocacy is in the trenches with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) implementation and funding for principals in the next budget cycle. See more about our work below and learn how you can get involved right now. ESSA implementation will be an ongoing process with different opportunities for principal involvement. Keep reading the School of Thought blog and your NASSP emails to stay informed and find out when to take action to support principals and schools!

And don’t forget: The NASSP Board of Directors has stated its intent to adopt position statements on A-F School Grading Systems and Online Learning. Following a 30-day public comment period, the board will vote to approve the position statements at its next meeting in May. If you have any comments or suggestions, please submit them to Amanda Karhuse, director of advocacy, at karhusea@nassp.org by Thursday, March 24.

This Month’s Top Advocacy Issues

ESSA Implementation

NASSP advocacy staff has been busy deciphering ESSA, the new federal education law, and working to make sure principals’ voices are heard at every step and level in the implementation process. One important step was working with the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) and the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA) to urge the U.S. Department of Education (ED) to issue guidance and technical assistance on Title II, which mainly covers professional development for school employees, including teachers and principals. In a major win for principals, ESSA allows states to reserve up to 3 percent of their Title II funds for statewide principal activities.

In the coming weeks, NASSP will begin hosting a webinar series on ESSA. The first webinar is Wednesday, March 23, at 3:30 p.m. (ET) and will discuss Title I provisions (register here). In the meantime, check out our presentation from the Ignite ‘16 session “Goodbye NCLB, Hello ESSA” for an overview of the new law and opportunities for principals to take action.

ED has also published an FAQ document on ESSA and more information on their ESSA webpage, including materials for the upcoming negotiated rulemaking for Title I.

FY 2017 Appropriations

President Obama released his budget request last month, kickstarting the budget and appropriations process for FY 2017. Associate Director of Advocacy David Chodak wrote an article for the School of Thought blog about the budget request’s impact on principals. Unusual this year is that the topline budget cap has already been negotiated between Republicans and Democrats in Congress as part of the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2015. NASSP and other leading principal organizations are advocating in Congress for the School Leader Recruitment and Support program, the only federal program completely dedicated to school leaders. Send a message to your Congressmen today asking for their support of this program.

National Assistant Principals Week

We’re celebrating the hard work of assistant principals during the week of April 11–15, and we need your help to properly thank them. To help promote the important role they play in our school communities, we’re looking for stories of around 200 words and photos of APs working in their school buildings. Please send any questions or contributions to Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas at papavizass@nassp.org. Make sure to include the assistant principal’s name, title, school, city, and state. We are also looking for a principal or two to draft a post for the School of Thought blog about a time when an assistant principal saved the day. Please reach out to David Chodak, associate director of advocacy, at chodakd@nassp.org if this is something you are interested in doing.

Twitter Talk

@jfcastro2 #ESSA allows states to reserve 3% of Title II $ for school leader activities; could include induction & mentoring for principals. #NTCPolicy
@dnchodak Happy Middle Level Education Month! Find resources to celebrate at your school here: http://bit.ly/1VkiQwN #MLEM16
@akarhuse Thanks @RepSusanDavis for encouraging guidance on recruiting & retaining principals in Title II of #ESSA: http://bit.ly/1VHjp3T #NASSP16

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


NASSP, along with other leading national education organizations of the State and Local ESSA Implementation Network, signed a letter sent to Acting Secretary of Education John King asking the U.S. Department of Education to honor the law’s intent to leave the decision making to state and local education agencies with support from the federal level. NASSP staff also attended the National Governors Association (NGA) winter meeting where Network representatives met with the governors who serve on the NGA Education and the Workforce Committee and discussed the possible creation of similar coalitions at the state level.

In this Month’s Principal Leadership


The March issue of Principal Leadership magazine features an article on ESSA titled “The Every Student Succeeds Act: What Principals Need to Know.” Director of Advocacy Amanda Karhuse offers detailed commentary on ESSA, highlighting the changes to the law that are particularly relevant for principals.

Advocacy Updates on School of Thought

This month on NASSP’s School of Thought blog, we have a post covering Acting Secretary John King’s appearances on the Hill to discuss the Department’s budget and the ESSA implementation process. We also have a blog post on the president’s FY 2017 budget request.

All FGN members are invited to write a guest blog post for School of Thought. Just email Advocacy Coordinator Sophie Papavizas with your idea. You can also subscribe to the blog to receive an email whenever a new post is published.