Nation’s Principals to Advocate on Capitol Hill for Equity and Funding

Media Advisory
Contact: Kaylen Tucker, NAESP

Nation’s Principals to Advocate on Capitol Hill for Equity and Funding
School leaders from across the nation will attend NAESP’s National Leaders Conference to discuss the most pressing education issues.  

Reston, VA—March 22, 2017—Nearly 200 elementary and middle-level principal leaders from across the country will gather in the nation’s capital to attend the National Association of Elementary School Principals’ (NAESP) National Leaders Conference (NLC) to sharpen their leadership skills and advocate for a stronger investment in students and public schools. During the conference, which will take place March 26-29 in Washington, D.C., at the Grand Hyatt Washington, NAESP will also launch its 2017 Advocacy Agenda, which includes an action plan to help principals understand and engage with the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Highlights of this year’s conference will include:

Sessions on Equity, Equality, and Social Justice. Several professional development sessions will focus on this year’s theme, “Equity, Equality, and Social Justice in the Era of ESSA”:

  • Dr. John Jackson, CEO and President of the Schott Foundation for Public Education
  • Kyle Good, Senior Vice President of Scholastic
  • Michael Haggen, Senior Vice President and CAO of Scholastic
  • Dr. Sarah Fiarman, a senior leadership consultant, author, and trainer

Advocacy Agenda & Policy Insights. NAESP will roll out its compressive advocacy agenda at NLC. This year, the advocacy portion of this conference will be conducted in collaboration with the National Association of Secondary School Principals. On Wed., March 29, K-12 principals will meet with congressional representatives to advocate for the following policy priorities:

  • Responsible federal education funding, including spending on ESSA programs such as Title I & Title II, Part A grants, and increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA);
  • Opposition to legislative proposals that divest in public education, such as vouchers and tax credits that fund private institutions not bound by federal and state laws to ensure accountability on staffing, programming, and personalization for students with disabilities;
  • Support for proposals that would amend the Higher Education Act (HEA) that will strengthen principal recruitment, preparation, and retention.

Education Policy Crossfire. The conference will also present a panel of experts to provide context to the political climate in Washington and outline education policy issues that will likely be under consideration this year. The panel features:

  • Kim Hefling, Senior Education Writer, Politico (Moderator);
  • Gerard Robinson, American Enterprise Institute Resident Fellow, Education Policy Studies; and
  • Catherine Brown, Center for American Progress Vice President, Education Policy.

ESSA Action Plan for Principals. NAESP will highlight its new toolkit, the “Principals Action Plan for the Every Student Succeeds Act: Providing All Students with a Well-Rounded and Complete Education.” The action plan provides an overview of key levers in ESSA to support the concept of a well-rounded and complete education, actionable policy points to engage and communicate with state and district leaders around ESSA, and strategies for developing a communications plan.

Note: Principals may be interviewed at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel on March 27 or 28, or after their congressional appointments on March 29. To interview principals about their congressional meetings, or to locate principals from particular states or districts, please contact Kaylen Tucker ( or 703-518-6257). More information and a preliminary agenda are available at


Principals are the primary catalysts for creating lasting foundations for learning. Since 1921, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) has been the leading advocate for elementary and middle level principals in the United States and worldwide. NAESP advances the profession by developing policy, professional development, and resources for instructional leadership including specialized support and mentoring for early career principals. Key focus areas include pre-K-3 education, school safety, technology and digital learning, and effective educator evaluation. For more information about NAESP, please visit

NAESP administers the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President's Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs.