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Advocate for Principals

According to the Institute for Education Statistics, 1 in 5 principals working in schools in the 2011–12 school year left their schools by the 2012–13 school year. Additional research shows that 1 out of every 2 principals is not retained beyond their third year of leading a school. School leaders who are retiring, transferring schools, or pursuing new opportunities within the education sector are not being replaced by enough qualified candidates. As a result, many school districts across the country report principal vacancies and a serious lack of qualified applicants to replace them. The demand for employment of elementary, middle level, and high school principals will grow 6 percent nationwide by the year 2022 due to population increases. Many school districts across the country are facing a teacher and principal shortage that requires immediate attention and careful long-term planning.

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.

Sponsored by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Susan Collins (R-ME), the PREP Act would address teacher and principal shortages with a specific focus on rural communities—and help ensure that there are enough educators with the right skills and tools to prepare students for postsecondary success. School leaders and other education advocates must contact their members of Congress now and urge them to support research-based policies like those in the PREP Act that will address teacher and principal shortages and ensure each child has access to excellent educators.

Together, the American Federation of School Administrators (AFSA), the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP), and the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) understand the gravity of this issue and urge you to take action today.

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