Rotch attends Congressional meeting

Published 9:57 am Wednesday, August 23, 2006

By Staff
From Staff Reports
Joined by more than 400 colleagues from across the country, Donnie Rotch, principal of T.R. Miller High School, took the critical needs of Alabama schools directly to lawmakers on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
Rotch traveled to Washington, D.C., for a joint meeting of the National Association of Elementary School Principals and the National Association of Secondary School Principals, which brings together leaders from affiliate school leadership associations from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Rotch serves as president of the Alabama Association of Secondary Schools Principal Association.
Following briefings on a number of education issues such as No Child Left Behind, special education, federal education funding, and leadership training, the school leaders met with members of Congress and staff to advocate on behalf of their colleagues from their home state.
Rotch urged Congress to fully fund No Child Left Behind. The FY 2007 budget proposed by the President and the House falls approximately $9 billion short of what was authorized. Schools cannot meet the objects of NCLB without adequate resources.
Also at the meeting, Rotch urged that congress should use a growth model to determine the progress of individual students and student subpopulations. Congress was also urged to support literacy by increasing funds for the Reading First and Early Reading First programs and providing funds for the new Striving Readers initiative, which focuses on middle level and high school students.
Other points covered by Rotch in the meeting were that Congress should oppose eliminations and funding cuts to critical elementary and secondary school improvement programs including comprehensive school reform, dropout prevention, smaller learning communities and innovative education grants; provide $16 million in school leadership program funding to give high-need districts a better chance to recruit and retain high-quality principals; and reserve public funds for public education by rejecting all funding plans that would lead to vouchers and thereby lessen the public funds available for public education.
Alabama's Secondary Principals Association serves 500 principals in Alabama. NAESP and NASSP are national professional associations for K-12 principals in the United States, Canada and overseas.
Rotch has served T.R. Miller High School as principal for seven years, beginning with this school year. Prior to being placed in his current position as principal, he served the school as assistant principal and football coach.