AFSA Chalks Up Big Wins in Fiscal Year 2018 Spending Bill

The FY18 spending bill signed by President Trump last week was a big win for AFSA thanks to our strong inside and outside the Beltway advocacy efforts. The final bill increases overall federal education spending by nearly $2.7 billion and preserves level-funding ($2.055 billion) for Title II-A of ESSA, which supports professional development for all educators and allows states to spend up to 3% of their funding specifically on principals. President Trump and the House of Representatives had sought previously to eliminate all funding for this program. With this bill’s enactment, many states can now move ahead with plans to provide directed professional learning activities for principals, like the state of Missouri, which is already running a Principal Leadership Academy for all of its state’s principals.

This win would not have happened without all of the emails, calls and visits to Congress that AFSA’s members made. In addition to a strong grassroots ground game, AFSA worked closely with a group of national education organizations, which included the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, to maintain pressure on Congress and the Administration to fund Title II-A.

While this past year’s assaults on public education and labor policy have not provided AFSA and its locals much to cheer, today is a day to celebrate. Congress and the President finally delivered on a major AFSA priority and ensured that our principals and teachers will be well-supported with professional development opportunities next school year. All AFSA members should be thrilled and all of our advocates deserve to take a bow.