Advocacy Update: November 2019 Staff

We discuss the FY20 budget, principal preparation legislation, and new ESSA per pupil expenditure requirements.

FY 2020 Funding Bill

The FY 2019 funding bill, which funds the U.S. Department of Education, expired on September 30, 2019. Congressional leaders have so far been unable to come to an agreement on funding levels for an FY 2020 bill. A short-term funding bill, known as a continuing resolution, is currently funding government programs at FY 2019 levels. In mid-June, the U.S. House passed an FY 2020 funding bill that would significantly increase overall funding for key federal education programs, including a $500 million increase for Title II, Part A, as well as increases for other vital programs such as IDEA and Title IV, Part A.

NAESP has called on the U.S. Senate to adopt the strong funding levels included in the House-passed bill, however, so far Senate Republicans have not signaled support for these increased levels. Senate and House leadership are in discussions about a potential path forward on overall funding levels, though, up to now the two sides have been unable to come to an agreement.

Principal Preparation Legislation Advances

The Higher Education Act (HEA)—last authorized in 2008—remains a top legislative priority for NAESP this Congress. In late October, the House Education Committee considered and passed an HEA reauthorization bill—the College Affordability Act—which includes several provisions that would boost funding to schools of education to improve principal preparation. Separately, NAESP and other K-12 groups have endorsed the PREP Act, introduced by Senators Kaine (D-VA) and Collins (R-ME), which would amend HEA to include measures to boost clinical-oriented preparation and residency models that are critical to preparing principals to better meet the day-to-day challenges of leading schools. NAESP is working with other national education organizations to ensure a final HEA bill includes measures that strengthen principal preparation, diversify the educator workforce, and address educator shortages.

New Resources: ESSA Per Pupil Expenditure Reporting Requirement

A new public-reporting requirement included in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that directly impacts principals is now taking effect across the country. The new requirement means states will have to calculate spending of local, state, and federal dollars by school and to make public a “per pupil expenditure” (PPE). Previously, states have been required to report at the district level but not down to the school level.

This is significant because communities can compare spending from school to school, as opposed to getting an aggregate number for the district, with student outcomes. This change will mean that principals will be on the front lines of this discussion with community members, district leaders, and the media. NAESP has partnered with the Collaborative for Student Success to develop resources to help prepare principals for these critical conversations around resource allocation in their community. These resources will help principals drive an equity agenda for their school and help ensure more thoughtful decisions about what dollars are spent and how those dollars best serve students.