School and district leaders significantly impact school culture and climate, influencing student learning and teacher retention. Thus, high-quality preparation and in-service pipelines are critical to supporting schools and educational programs, as unprepared school leaders are less likely to improve student outcomes and are more likely to leave their schools than their more-prepared and better-supported peers.

To address the changing roles of school leaders — and to address turnover — states are enacting legislation in two main areas:

  • Strengthening the candidate pipeline.
  • Ensuring school leaders are represented in the policymaking process.

The Policy Brief examines recent state actions to support school leaders, including legislative examples from 13 states.

For more information, see:

  • This 50-State Comparison, which includes a state-by-state view of policies pertaining to school leader certification and preparation programs. 
  • This Policy Brief, which explores the role principals play in school improvement efforts (and how states can best support them).
  • This Policy Snapshot, which covers the changing role of school leaders.
Policy Brief (PDF)

Click on the cover image or button to view the full printable PDF of our Policy Brief.


 PUBLISHED: April 18, 2022

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