NAESP is saddened to learn today about the passing of New Jersey Representative Donald Payne, who lost his months-long battle with colon cancer.

Rep. Payne, first elected to Congress in 1988, was a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee. During his career in Congress, Payne, a former high school teacher, championed efforts to help students and the neediest children, including expanding access to Head Start and quality after school programs, and making college more affordable.

Less than a week before his death, Rep. Payne introduced H.R 4113, a bill that expands access to mentoring for early career principals, strengthening a critical component to principal preparation. NAESP supports this legislation and intends to work with the House Education and Workforce Committee to incorporate Rep. Payne’s final education initiative in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization.

Read a summary of the bill.

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