Maplewood Schools / Kids South Orange

SOMSD Principal Goes to Washington: Aaron Advocates for Educational Equity Laws

From Elizabeth Aaron:

Maplewood resident Elizabeth Aaron and fellow members of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, including school principals, NJPSA Executive Director Patricia Wright, and Legislative Director Deb Bradley before entering the Capitol building for meetings.

Local principal Elizabeth Aaron visited Washington, DC to encourage New Jersey’s members of Congress to pass laws that enhance the nation’s public schools and support equity for all students. The visit was part of the annual Advocacy Conference, sponsored by the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP).

Ms. Aaron, a principal in the South Orange-Maplewood School District, was selected by the NASSP to serve an advocate member of the delegation of educators from the state coordinated by the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association. The team visited the office and met with staff of members of House of Representatives Donald Payne, Bonnie Watson-Coleman, Tom Malinowski, Donald Norcross, and Chris Smith, and presidential candidate and Senator Cory Booker.

“As a principal, my job includes advocating for our district to access every resource and opportunity possible to help all students reach their full potential,” said Aaron. “That job extends to advocacy at the highest levels of government. The team from New Jersey had great conversations with members of Congress and their staff gave to give them a clearer impression of the impact their decisions have on our children and those from all across the state. For example, I shared information about what services and instructional work can be done with Title I funds to serve students with targeted reading intervention during the school year and in summer programs, and what support high schools get through the Perkins CTE grant funds. We also discussed the need for continued funding for use of Title II monies to support professional development for administrators, and Title IV to fund programs in technology, social studies and the arts. The impact that the reduction of such funds could have on our children is not something we can support as educators. When speaking with the staff of the newer members of Congress, we felt it particularly important to share specific examples of the work we do every day in our schools and districts so that they know first-hand what impact those programs have.”

Ms. Aaron was one of 180 school leaders from across the country who converged on Washington, DC, March 18–20 for the annual NASSP Advocacy Conference. The event included a series of presentations and panel discussions on the most pressing federal policies affecting education and culminated with a day of visits to elected officials at their offices on Capitol Hill.

About NASSP

The National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) is the leading organization of and voice for principals and other school leaders across the United States. NASSP seeks to transform education through school leadership, recognizing that the fulfillment of each student’s potential relies on great leaders in every school committed to the success of each student. Reflecting its long-standing commitment to student leadership development, NASSP administers the National Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society, National Elementary Honor Society, and National Student Council.

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