From the Editors: Extending Resources

Principal, November/December 2011

Principal, November/December 2011

Everyone is battling a budget. As the Congressional “super committee” works to finalize cuts to the federal budget that will have implications for education funding, state and local entities are determining how much they can spend on education. These decisions ultimately determine individual school expenditures on everything from resource teachers to field trips to new technology. At the same time, it is clear that despite budget cuts to education, educators, policymakers, and parents want to improve academic achievement for all children. Luckily, school leaders are experts at creating lasting foundations for learning, often transforming scant resources into viable solutions.

This issue of Principal focuses on how schools can do more with less. As the title of the opening article, “Down, But Not Out,” indicates, the content is not intended to dampen, but instead aims to hearten school leaders and provide them with practical ideas about how to raise achievement despite dwindling budgets. You will find out how schools in hard-hit Michigan are overcoming financial setbacks, gain tips on how to keep the focus on students in the aftermath of administrative cuts, and learn best practices on successfully seeking grants, in addition to discovering how a principal maintained priorities as she closed her school.

This issue also features the second installment in the five-part autism series, which focuses on positive behavior supports, and an introduction to the Doing What Works (DWW) online resource, which provides research-based best practices. NAESP has partnered with DWW to help distribute the content and has developed an online publications series, Best Practices for Better Schools, both available at

Finally, longtime readers know that the November/December issue of Principal magazine highlights the National Distinguished Principals program, which honors outstanding elementary and middle-level administrators. This year’s honorees, 61 principals from across the nation in both public and private schools and schools from the United States Departments of Defense Office of Educational Activity and the United States Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, were recognized for their exemplary achievements in Washington, D.C., October 20 to 21. The eight-page salute to these principals is between pages 28 and 29.

Your comments are always welcome, so send us an email at to let us know what you think about the issue.

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