The Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds have announced a three-year, $8.9 million grant to the Council of Chief State School Officers in support of CCSSO's efforts to ensure that state laws and policies strengthen the capacity of superintendents and principals to improve student learning. The Washington-D.C. based CCSSO represents the heads of departments of education in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. extra-state jurisdictions.
Under the plan, CCSSO will lead the State Action for Education Leadership Project, a new consortium comprised of the National Governors' Association, the National Conference of State Legislatures, the National Association of State Boards of Education, the Education Commission of the States, and CCSSO. The group will solicit reform proposals from all 50 states early in 2001. The proposals will then be reviewed by an independent panel, which will recommend planning grants of up to $50,000 and subsequent implementation grants of up to $250,000 to as many as 15 states.
"States must be full partners with school districts if the often-difficult climate for superintendents and principals is to be improved," said M. Christine DeVita, president of the Wallace-Reader's Digest Funds. "Very few states have a comprehensive plan for improving district and school leadership, and sometimes, state policies may actually limit those efforts. The State Action for Education Leadership Project is an important step to help states create new designs to improve state policies, remove obstacles to creative solutions, and increase funding where necessary to better recruit, train and sustain principals and superintendents."