ESEA Recommendations to Senate HELP Committee

Senator Lamar Alexander’s discussion draft to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)¬†does not go nearly far enough in recognizing the role principals play in schools serving children from pre-kindergarten to grade 12, and providing them with the support they need to be successful.


In response AFSA, along with National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) and National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) submitted joint comments to the Senate HELP Committee offering recommendations to further support the role of principals.


The comments reflect our strong belief that ESEA, in order to be successful, must acknowledge the vital role of principals and provide them with the necessary professional support to ensure improved learning for all students. The comments include detailed recommendations to improve upon Senator Alexander’s draft, including to:


  • Provide support for educators to help combat the effects of poverty on students;
  • Establish parameters for states and districts that are implementing principal evaluation systems to fairly evaluate principals and promote effectiveness;
  • Provide a set-aside for principal professional development in Title II;
  • Maintain the existing 50 percent fund transferability rule rather than increasing to 100 percent transferability between Title II and Title IV;
  • Add provisions contained in the School Recruitment and Training Act (by Sen. Al Franken)
  • Establish a principal residency requirement to balance the draft’s proposed teacher residency program;
  • Oppose any and all efforts to transform Title I funding into a private school voucher;
  • Restore the School Leadership Program;
  • Prohibit out-of-field principal recruitment without teaching experience


AFSA, NASSP and NAESP sent our recommendations to all members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee, and we are currently meeting with key members of Congress to advocate for our recommendations. We will continue working to make sure the voice of principals are heard in the reauthorization process, and that the current laws shortcomings related to support for our nation’s principals and school leaders are addressed.


Read the full comments here:

Official Statement from AFSA, NASSP and NAESP on Title I

Official Statement from AFSA, NAASP and NAESP on Title II