Making a Positive Impact

“Being a principal is such an amazing job. Sometimes I just sit back and think about all of the young lives I can inspire and encourage. I love being able to serve students, staff, and the community. I take great pride in knowing that I have the most important job in the world, which is being an educator.” —Rinard Pugh, Principal, Allendale Elementary, Michigan

The principal profession is struggling, and school leaders have been leaving their positions at alarming rates—leading to inconsistent leadership and teacher attrition, which negatively impacts student achievement. National Principals Month is calling on policymakers to step up and fight to give principals what they need to be properly prepared, supported, and compensated to meet the day-to-day challenges of leading a school.

Today’s principals:

  • Feel inadequately prepared for the job with little opportunity to grow professionally once they get there
  • Remain in high-stress positions in a complex role, often without access to support and ongoing professional development
  • Are vastly underpaid relative to the importance of the work they do to prepare our children and the next generation of American workers and leaders
  • Lack access to robust principal pipelines—the set of systems that influence aspiring and current school leaders at the state and local school district levels
  • Do not have appropriate decision-making authority within the school context

Together, we can inform local, state, and federal governments about the harsh reality of what principals are experiencing and get support for better legislation.

Go Back To School for a “Shadowing Visit”

Want to get a better idea of what principals are facing? We urge all policymakers to shadow a principal for a day during the month of October to gain a better understanding of the challenges school leaders face and how policymakers can aid these individuals moving forward. Learn more and head “back to school” during National Principals Month.

The American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) urge you to support and enact policies to ensure principals are able to remain in their schools. We need our principals—and now they need us.


The United States House of Representatives, the Senate, and state legislatures across the country have passed resolutions to recognize and celebrate National Principals Month in 2019. You can view and download these official legislative documents using our interactive resolutions map.

Take Action

Now is the time to make the voice of school leaders heard on Capitol Hill. Congress is currently attempting a major overhaul and reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA). As they proceed, it’s vital that they incorporate measures to address teacher and principal shortages and support underserved schools. That’s why we need to ask representatives and senators to support the Preparing and Retaining Education Professionals (PREP) Act, S.752, and include its key provisions in any HEA reauthorization proposal. Learn more here.

Act Now