New Leaders is extremely disappointed that the Trump Administration’s budget proposal fails to recognize the robust research base that shows the critical role school leaders play in creating schools where teachers and students thrive.
The budget proposal would eliminate many programs that have helped improve educational outcomes for the nation’s children—including the School Leader Recruitment and Support Program, the only federal program specifically focused on investing in evidence-based, locally-driven strategies to strengthen school leadership in high-need schools. It would also eliminate the Supporting Effective Instruction State Grants program (Title II, Part A), through which 24 states have committed to using a new opportunity in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) to invest in leadership. The Administration justifies those cuts by stating program activities can be supported with other funding sources, including alternative federal sources that have also been proposed for elimination or already-stretched state and local coffers.
At a time when states have proposed promising strategies to use leadership—in part, buoyed by federal investments—to meet their goals for school and student success under ESSA, the Administration’s budget is particularly disappointing. The approach put forth threatens to stifle innovation and stymie state and local efforts to invest in evidence-based leadership at a time when we know how critical it will be for every school, especially those serving vulnerable students and low-income communities, to be led by a well-prepared, well-supported principal.