School Leader Specific Professional Development

WHEREAS a bipartisan Congress overwhelmingly approved the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA); and

WHEREAS, ESSA provides new opportunities for states to use Title II, Part A funds to invest in principal leadership; and

WHEREAS, many states already have taken advantage of the optional 3 percent of Title II, Part A funds for school leadership activities; and

WHEREAS, states also report that Title II, Part A funds make possible the majority of their professional learning activities for teachers; and

WHEREAS, research has proved that effective school leadership is second only to direct classroom instruction as a factor in raising student achievement; and

WHEREAS, Title II, Part A provides principals with professional learning and growth 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; and

WHEREAS, these funds can be used for reforming school leader preparation programs, modifying evaluation systems, and developing school leader residency, induction and mentoring programs; and

WHEREAS, school leaders occupy a unique position in their schools, responsible for creating excellent learning environments as well as handling the business and administrative functions of their campuses; and

WHEREAS, professional learning opportunities geared specifically to the unique roles and responsibilities of school leaders is critically important to principal performance, growth and the academic success of the children matriculating in their schools; and

WHEREAS, prior to the enactment of the Every Student Succeeds Act, federal law did not differentiate between school leader and educator professional learning, even though their roles and functions in schools are different; and

WHEREAS, prior to ESAA’s enactment, a U.S. Department of Education study found that school districts used only 4 percent of Title IIA professional development funds for principal professional learning; and

WHEREAS, the American Federation of School Administrators, working in conjunction with the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, advocated successfully to include within ESSA’s revised Title IIA an optional 3 percent set-aside of funds reserved for states to be used for principal and state leader professional learning; and

WHEREAS, 24 states have committed within their state ESSA plans to set aside their 3 percent of Title IIA state funds for school leader and state leader professional learning, and some states, such as Missouri, already have used these funds for these purposes; and

WHEREAS, AFSA and its allies advocated successfully to preserve level funding for Title IIA in the fiscal year 2018 in the face of efforts by the administration and the House of Representatives to eliminate this program entirely, which would have terminated the 3 percent set-asides as well;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that AFSA will continue to pursue and support all sources of federal funding that increases training and professional development opportunities for school leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that AFSA will continue to work with its locals to urge states to make use of the 3percent set-aside option to provide specific and meaningful professional learning opportunities for principals and school leaders; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators will continue to work with its public school allies to preserve and, if possible, expand funding for Title IIA; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all AFSA locals and members advocate in support of the Title II, Part A program at the local, state and federal levels; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that AFSA strongly encourages all locals and members to participate in AFSA Action Alerts in support of the Title II, Part A program.