UCEA joined a strong and diverse group of national and state organizations in support of Title II, Part A funding in ESSA. The following letter was sent to Appropriations Committees in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
View the full letter and list of signatories here: Title II Letter
Dear Chairmen Blunt and Cole and Ranking Members Murray and DeLauro:
The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), ASCD, Learning Forward, the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP), New Leaders, —which collectively represent principals, teachers and other school leaders in the nation’s 115,000 elementary, middle, and high schools—are writing to express our support for full funding of Title II, Part A of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) as Congress works to finalize a funding measure for the remainder of FY 2017 and FY 2018.
Overwhelmingly approved by a bipartisan Congress, ESSA provides new opportunities for states to use Title II, Part A funds to invest in principal leadership and support and job-embedded professional learning opportunities for teachers – all evidence-based strategies that will lead to improved student outcomes. Many states have already taken advantage of the optional three percent of Title II, Part A funds for school leadership activities. States also report that the Title II, Part A funds make possible the majority of their professional learning activities for teachers. To ensure that states have access to these opportunities, our organizations ask that Congress allocate no less than $2.295 billion to Title II, Part A in any new funding package. This amount
represents what was originally authorized for Title II, Part A under ESSA, and is still below pre- sequestration funding levels.
Research has proven that effective school leadership is second only to direct classroom instruction as a factor in raising student achievement. Given the unique role that principals play in ensuring that our nation’s students have a high-quality learning experience through high school in order to be college and career ready, principals must be afforded the necessary opportunities for professional learning and growth as they work to improve teaching and learning in all schools. Title II, Part A grants principals these opportunities, as it provides formula funding to states for the purpose of preparing, training, recruiting, and retaining high- quality teachers, principals, assistant principals, and other school leaders. Additionally, these funds can be used for reforming school leader preparation programs; modifying evaluation systems; and developing school leader residency, induction, and mentoring programs.
We are extremely disappointed by President Trump’s decision to eliminate funding entirely for Title II, Part A in the initial fiscal year 2018 budget proposal to Congress. Our organizations urge you to instead provide the full funding level authorized for Title II, Part A in ESSA. Over the past two years, there has been considerable recognition at the state and local levels of the need to provide a greater investment in the recruitment and retention of effective principals and professional learning systems for teachers. This is demonstrated in the current state ESSA plans that are being drafted, but without any Title II funding, states and districts will not be able to execute plans that strive to support effective educators as they implement the new law. Congress must give states the necessary resources to invest in principals and help our nation’s schools and students succeed by funding Title II, Part A at no less than $2.295 billion for fiscal year 2017 and fiscal year 2018.
Thank you for your consideration of this request, and we hope we can count on your support.