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June 30, 2016

KASSP State Coordinator Visits Washington, D.C.


School might be out, but it’s just starting for some members of Congress.


Jacque Feist, principal of Dodge City High School in Dodge City, KS, ventured to Washington, DC in late June to meet with federal elected officials about the most pressing issues facing schools in Kansas, including the transition to the new federal education law, resources for student literacy, and greater support for the ongoing development of principals. The meetings were part of the annual Advocacy Conference for principals, conducted by the National Association of Secondary School Principals, in cooperation with Kansas Association of Secondary School Principals.


Ms. Feist visited congressional offices on Capitol Hill to meet with Senator Roberts, Senator Moran and John Schuler, the legislative aide for Representative Huelskamp. The agenda was driven by the need for Kansas to focus efforts on implementing the new Every Student Succeeds Act, which President Obama signed in December and which takes full effect in August 2017. The law require states to use other factors in addition to standardized test scores to determine school success. The law also requires a renewed emphasis on reading and writing across the curriculum and includes language that encourages states to dedicate up to 3 percent of professional development dollars specifically for principals.


“My congressional meetings in Washington, DC went very well.  It is imperative for these conversations to take place as it helps our congressmen to understand how decisions made in Washington will impact our school back home in Kansas.”


Ms. Feist, in her role as the State Coordinator for KASSP, plans to maintain communication with her elected officials and meet with them during the year in their local offices.


“Advocacy requires ongoing effort,” Jacque Feist said. “It’s not a one-time thing. We need to build relationships with elected officials so they get to know us, and more important so they understand the needs of our schools.”

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