New York, NY—Today, a diverse set of 21 organizations from across the county urged the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to continue critical funding for the School Leadership Program (SLP). The undersigned organizations understand the substantial impact of school leaders on strengthening schools and believe continued support for this program is essential because dynamic leaders help create positive school environments, increase the retention of highly-skilled teachers, and increase student achievement.
As the only federal program dedicated specifically to strengthening school leadership, SLP provides high-poverty school districts with funds to recruit, prepare, and retain transformational school leaders. Research shows—and our experience confirms—the tremendous importance of strong school leadership, especially in underperforming schools. Ninety-seven percent of teachers list school leadership as essential or very important for their career choices, and principals account for fully one quarter of a school’s effect on student achievement; a highly effective principal can increase student achievement by as much as 20 percentage points.
Given the undeniable importance of school leaders, this broad coalition urged Congress to continue funding for SLP in any final appropriations bill.