Principal effectiveness matters for student outcomes, and strong principal pipelines matter for principal effectiveness. School districts looking to invest in such principal pipelines can use this guide to find the most promising federal funding sources to support their work.
Research shows benefits for students and schools from what have come to be described as “comprehensive, aligned principal pipelines”—a set of coordinated (“aligned”) procedures and policies designed to cultivate and support effective school leaders across the range (“comprehensive”) of talent management activities under a district’s purview.
The guide identifies seven categories of procedures and policies:
1. Leader Standards
2. High-Quality Pre-Service Principal Preparation
3. Selective Hiring and Placement
4. Evaluation and Support
5. Principal Supervisors
6. Leader Tracking System
7. Systems and Sustainability
For each category, the guide specifies related district activities, along with indicators of progress and the federal funding sources that may be most promising for each one.
Funding information for activities in all seven categories is also compiled into a single “at-a-glance” table. Part 2 of the guide provides details about each funding stream, including its purpose and core allowable uses; how it is allocated (e.g., by formula or in the form of competitive or discretionary grants); and the primary recipients.
The authors—an expert in principal pipelines (Brenda Turnbull) and two experts in federal education law and financing (Scott Palmer and Sean Worley)—recommend that district staff members who lead pipeline development efforts use the guide in consultation with their district federal program officers.