President Diann Woodard Responds to US Congress Spending Bill Agreement

Late Tuesday evening Congressional leaders agreed to a $1.1 Trillion deal to keep most government programs funded through September 2015. The House and Senate are expected to vote on the measure later this week. In response to the agreement, AFSA President Diann Woodard released the following statement:

“We are pleased that Congress came together to do the necessary hard work they were elected to do and provide essential funding for government programs;

“School leaders need to plan in advance for their school year budgets, and the certainty of federal funds is paramount to their planning needs. That is why AFSA called on Congress to pass a full-year omnibus bill, rather than kick the can down the road through a short term continuing resolution;

“We are also pleased that the agreement includes increases for critical education programs, such as Title I, which is set to receive an increase of $25 million. Title I helps schools serving children from low-income families receive the education they need. Also, the $75 million increase for the Child Care Development Block Grant will help improve the quality and safety of infant and toddler care;

“We are, however, deeply disappointed that the deal decreases funding for the School Leadership Program by $9.4 million. The School Leadership Program is the only federal program dedicated to recruiting, mentoring, and training principals and assistant principals to serve in high-need schools. This decrease comes at the worst possible time for education, as the demands placed on school leaders’ instructional leadership capacity have never been greater;

“As the roles and responsibilities of school leaders continue to expand, principals must be afforded additional opportunities for professional learning and growth as they work to improve teaching and learning in all schools. AFSA will continue to fight for increased support for principals and school leaders.”