NAESP Gathers School Leaders to Advocate for School Funding, School Safety, and School-Based Mental Health Services

School leaders from across the nation will attend NAESP’s National Leaders Conference to discuss the most pressing education issues.

Alexandria, Va.—March 13, 2019—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. The conference will take place March 17-20 in Washington, D.C., at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel.

Highlights of this year’s conference will include sessions on federal education policy, best leadership practices, and the latest research by:

  • Jeremy Anderson, Education Commission of the States
  • John Bridgeland, National Commission on Social, Emotional, and Academic Development
  • Danny Carlson, NAESP
  • Alyson Klein and Andrew Ujifusa, Education Week
  • Reg Leighty, Foresight Law + Policy
  • Joshua Starr, PDK International
  • Bob Wise, Former West Virginia Governor and Member of Congress

A joint session with NAESP and the National Association of Secondary School Principals will feature Carmel Martin, senior fellow, Center for American Progress, and Rick Hess, resident scholar and director of Education Policy Studies, American Enterprise Institute. Denise Forte, director of Public Affairs, The Century Foundation, will moderate the session.

Advocacy Agenda and Policy Insights.

NAESP will roll out its advocacy agenda for the 116th Congress at NLC. Principals—representing K-12 schools nationwide—will advocate for the following policy priorities on Wednesday, March 21:

  • Responsible federal education funding, including spending on Every Student Succeeds Act programs such as Title I and Title II, Part A grants, and increased funding for the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  • Support for proposals that would amend the Higher Education Act to strengthen principal recruitment, preparation, and retention. This includes expanded opportunities for clinical-based prep and principal residency programs.
  • Boosting school safety, including a comprehensive approach to improving school safety and mental health services in schools.
  • Strengthening supports around school climate issues, such as boosting funding for expanded school-based mental health services, leveraging support for social and emotional learning, and identifying ways to support trauma-informed schools.

Note: Principals may be interviewed at the Renaissance Capital View Hotel March 18 or 19 or after their congressional appointments March 20. 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

The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) is a professional organization serving elementary and middle school principals and other education leaders throughout the U.S. and Canada and overseas. Our mission is to lead in the advocacy and support for these leaders in education in their commitment for all children. To learn more, visit