Resolution 11 — Social Emotional Learning as Part of Pre-K–12 Learning

WHEREAS, the American Federation of School Administrators supports school and educator use of evidence-based social emotional learning (SEL), a process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions; and

WHEREAS, evidence suggests that programs teaching social and emotional skills have yielded significant positive effects on student attitudes about self, others and school, as well as strong academic gains, with one study finding that students participating in SEL programs demonstrated a 6% increase in high school graduation rates and an 11% increase in college graduation rates; and

WHEREAS, more than four in five (85%) school counselors reported being very interested in incorporating SEL into their programs; and

WHEREAS, school districts have recognized SEL’s value to the educational recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, with one analysis suggesting that SEL spending increased by approximately 45% between late 2019 and early 2021; and

WHEREAS, multiple federal programs operated by the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, including COVID-19 relief laws, provide funding for SEL programs;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators reaffirms its support for the integration of SEL concepts into and use of SEL programs in conjunction with Pre-K–12 education; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the American Federation of School Administrators objects to the politicization of SEL and supports continued federal and state funding of SEL concepts and programs.