NAESP Statement On Failure Of Trump Administration And Congress To Provide Funding To Safely Reopen Schools
The National Association of Elementary School Principals calls on the Trump administration and congressional leaders to resume negotiations on a coronavirus response package and reach an agreement that includes robust funding to safely reopen schools.
Alexandria, VA—August 11, 2020—“On behalf of elementary and middle school principals from across the country, the National Association of Elementary School Principals calls on the Trump administration and congressional leaders to resume negotiations on a coronavirus response package and reach an agreement that includes at least $175 billion in unconditioned funding to safely reopen schools.
Districts and schools are facing school reopening decisions that could shape the educational prospects of millions of students, affecting the country for decades to come. There is no way around it: Failure by the Trump administration and congressional leaders to provide significant funding to support safe school reopenings would be abandoning America’s K-12 schools at their most perilous moment.
As the academic, social, and mental health needs of students continue to grow, districts and schools desperately need funding to cover the immense costs to safely reopen. Expanding sanitation protocols, boosting staffing, providing personal protective equipment for staff and students, and reconfiguring school spaces to meet social distancing guidelines will require significant resources that public schools simply do not have. When health conditions on the ground do not allow for safe in-person reopenings, districts and schools will need additional funding to ensure students, no matter where they live, have reliable internet access at home and can effectively participate in learning opportunities and interact with their classmates and teachers. These remote learning needs can be addressed by providing $4 billion in dedicated federal funding through the E-Rate Program. Districts and schools are confronting these school reopening costs at the same time that K-12 education systems across the country are seeing decreased state aid due to falling state income and sales tax revenue.
As K-12 schools face an uncertain path ahead, the Trump administration and congressional leaders must step up and provide a strong federal response that positions districts and schools to support educators, families, and students during this time of extraordinary turmoil.”
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, advancing advocacy, and providing 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. NAESP administers the National Principals Resource Center, the American Student Council Association, and the President’s Education Awards & American Citizenship Awards Programs. For more information about NAESP, please visit www.naesp.org.