NAESP Gathers School Leaders in Washington, D.C., to Advocate for School Recovery Support and Funding on Capitol Hill

School leaders from across the nation will attend NAESP’s National Leaders Conference to discuss the most pressing issues facing their schools. #naespNLC

Nearly 200 elementary and middle-level principal leaders from across the country will gather in the nation’s capital to attend the National Leaders Conference (NLC), which is hosted annually by the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). The meeting gives principals a firsthand role in shaping the association’s advocacy and policy priorities as they engage with top education and policy thought leaders and legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill. The meeting takes place Feb. 27-March 2 in Washington, D.C., at the Capital Hilton Hotel.

Highlights of this year’s conference include the following sessions on the evolution of pandemic leadership, the future of the principal profession, school finance and funding, and making schools more equitable:

  • Q&A session with U.S. House Education and Labor Committee Chair Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) and remarks from U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education Ranking Member Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO);
  • A deep dive into NAESP’s Leaders We Need Now research series with lead researchers Dr. Matt Clifford of WestEd and Tammie Knights of the American Institutes for Research;
  • A look at the importance of being equity-driven, data-centered, and student-focused with Denise Forte and Dr. Tanji Reed Marshall of The Education Trust; and
  • Trends in ESSER spending with Dr. Jessica Swanson from Georgetown University’s Edunomics Lab.

A joint session with NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals will feature a fireside chat with U.S. Department of Education Secretary Miguel Cardona on his vision for K-12 education in 2022 and the critical role school leaders play.

NLC also will feature a look at the 2022 education landscape and federal policy updates from NAESP Associate Executive Director, Policy and Advocacy, Danny Carlson. On Wednesday, March 2, participants head to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators as part of a lobby day to ask for their support on the following legislation:

  • Passage of the FY22 Appropriations Bill
  • Educators for America Act (S. 3360/H.R. 6205)
  • Mental Health Services for Students Act (S.1841/H.R. 721)
  • Elementary and Secondary School Counseling Act (S. 3356/H.R. 6214)
  • Safe Schools Improvement Act (H.R. 2653)
  • Reopen and Rebuild America’s Schools Act (S. 96/H.R. 604)
  • Build Back Better Act

Learn more about NLC at Follow #naespNLC and #PrincipalsAdvocate on social media for real-time updates from NLC.

Note: Principals may be interviewed at the Capital Hilton Hotel Feb. 28 or March 1 or after their congressional appointments March 2. To attend NLC sessions or to interview 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 learning, 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