AFSA GEB Lobbies on Capitol Hill for Principal Professional Development Funding

S6302082AFSA’s General Executive Board (GEB) met Friday, May 2 in Washington, DC for a day of lobbying on Capitol Hill for AFSA’s Day of Action. The GEB focused on critical federal education legislation, particularly the importance of federal support for principal professional development.

The day began with conversations with Jeremy Ayers, Education Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Education & the Workforce; Sarah Bolton, Senior Budget and Policy Advisor for the Senate Budget Committee; and Patty Murray and Jennifer Castagna, Staff for the Senate Minority Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.

The GEB met with congressional representatives from key states, addressing AFSA’s support of revising the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) Title II, Part A funding for professional development. Right now, according to research conducted by the US Department of Education, only four percent of these funds are used for principal development. AFSA, along with the National Association of Secondary School Principals and the National Association of Elementary School Principals, requests that at least ten percent of these funds be set aside for principal professional development. AFSA GEB members also advocated for increased school leadership program funding in the next fiscal year.

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AFSA supports a $9,237,000 increase in FY15 appropriations for the School Leadership Program to ensure teacher quality and
student achievement in schools. The additional funds, for a total of $35 million, will assist principals and assistant principals obtain training and professional development. With increased administrator responsibility in implementing college and career-ready standards, new teacher evaluation systems, accountability requirements and transitioning to digital learning and online assessments, this set aside is more than justified.

AFSA sincerely supports and appreciates the efforts of the GEB on Capitol Hill, and will continue to advocate for professional development opportunities and support for school leaders.