March 2014 AASA News

Posted on July 16, 2014

The Advocate, March 2014

Dan Domenech

Executive Director

AASA, The School Superintendents Association

 

I have good news and bad news regarding the President’s FY15 Budget proposal. Which one do you want to hear first? All right, we’ll start with the good news. First of all the budget adheres to the agreement reached by Congress this past December which restores most, but not all, of the Sequester cuts. The President’s budget actually goes $56 billion past the Bipartisan Budget Act, an increase that is included as a separate proposal and split evenly between defense and non-defense spending, to be funded through a combination of spending cuts and closed tax loopholes.

 

There is a continued emphasis on funding pre-school programs for four year olds and that is good, knowing what we know about pre-school funding being the investment with the best return in education. Unfortunately this request will run into problems in Congress, as will most of the budget, as there will be partisan squabbling over whether existing pre-school programs like Headstart have been successful. Fortunately many states have come to appreciate the value of investing in pre-school programs and governors are taking the lead to increase funding for pre-school programs in their budgets.

 

There is also money for STEM program and professional development, for the professional development of teachers in digital learning as additional E-Rate dollars roll out, and for safe schools by working to reduce gun violence, make schools safer and increase access to mental health services. There is also a proposed increase for IDEA funding.

 

So what could be wrong with that scenario? All of the new money—including that for IDEA—is earmarked for competitive grants. With the failure of Congress to reauthorize ESEA and their own hesitation to work with Congress, this administration instead continues to rely on   pushing out its policy directives through the competitive grant process. It began with the billions appropriated for stimulating the economy and it is now dependent on the budget and the waiver process. A brilliant strategy, to be sure, but one that we feel goes against the role that has been relegated to the Federal government in education, which is ensuring equal opportunity for all students.

 

Ironically there is a new Race to the Top component in the budget that focuses on improving the academic performance of students in the nation’s highest poverty schools and supports work to identify and close opportunity and achievement gaps. But those dollars will only go to those districts that “win” the competition whereas the greater numbers of “losing” districts get zilch. It is an inequitable attempt to reach equity.

 

We want to see federal dollars distributed equitably through the intended formulas, not through competitive grants. We want to see greater support for the nation’s rural schools, not level funding. We want to see ESEA reauthorized. Let your Congressional representatives know.

 

You can read the full AASA FY15 Budget Analysis on the blog or in this PDF version.

 

 

Issue 08                                                                                                                       March 14, 2014

 

Topics:                         Election Update

                                    The Advocate: March 2014

                                    AASA State Leadership Conference

 

Deadline(s):                 Registration for AASA State Leadership Conference, March 28

 

Reminder(s):                AASA Display Unit

 

Announcement(s):      None

 

 

  1. 1.                   Election Update

 

v  AASA President-Elect

 

Following is a link to the AASA 2014 President-Elect Ballot. Please feel free to share this with eligible AASA voting members in your state. In order to vote, members will need to use the credentials sent to them from Survey & Ballot Systems (their AASA Member Number and their individual election passcode). If you hear of an eligible voting member not receiving this information, please send me their name … I’ll check on their eligibility and ask S&B to resend the credentials. Those members without email addresses or for whom the email bounced will receive a paper ballot next week. They can either return the paper ballot, or use the credentials (which will be included) to vote via their computer. The voting system counts only the first ballot received … electronic or paper.

 

https://www.directvote.net/aasa/

 

In case you are asked, the cut-off for voting was as of March 1, 2014. The data was sent to Survey & Ballots at that point. New members after that date will not be receiving a ballot.

 

Following is a link to a web page with president-elect candidate information. Please feel free to share.

 

http://www.aasa.org/pres-elect2014.aspx

 

  1. 2.                   The Advocate: March 2014

 

Included as an attachment with this newsletter is The Advocate: March 2014. This month Dan writes about the President’s FY15 Budget. Thank you for sharing this with members in your state.

 

 

 

  1. 3.                   AASA State Leadership Conference

 

There are 2 ways for you to make hotel reservations for the upcoming AASA State Leadership Conference, San Diego, May 1-3. Please note that this information needs to be shared with those attending from your state association. The room rate is $239 at the San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina … located on the waterfront in beautiful, downtown San Diego.

 

We’ll start with hotel/city tours on Thursday afternoon, followed by a reception that evening. We have moved the Recognition/Memorial Luncheon from Saturday to Friday … the conference will end following the final speaker on Saturday morning (around 11:45 a.m.). AASA reimburses for ½ the airfare for this conference for up to 3 people from each state association. I hope you will be able to join us … surely something to look forward to after this cold/snowy winter. I’ll try to include the conference registration form in the newsletter scheduled for this Friday.

 

On the following website:

 

#1           RESERVATIONS PROCESS & BOOKING WEBSITE

 

Online and phone reservations will be accepted beginning on 28-Feb-2014.

 

A dedicated booking website has been created for this event so you will be able to make, modify and cancel your hotel reservations online, as well as take advantage of any room upgrades, amenities or other services offered by the hotel.

 

To access the website, please click the following link:

 

https://resweb.passkey.com/Resweb.do?mode=welcome_ei_new&eventID=11141214

 

#2           Phone:

 

Reservations Toll Free: 1-877-622-3056

Reservations Local Phone: 619-234-1500

 

At the end of this newsletter is a form that can be used to register attendees for this meeting.

 

Deadline(s):        Registration for AASA State Leadership Conference, March 28

 

Reminder(s):

 

  1. 4.                   AASA Display Unit

 

As plans are made for upcoming state meetings, please remember that we have 2 AASA display units that we can send you to use to highlight AASA member benefits. It is anticipated that in February, the Governing Board may vote for a dues increase to be effective July 1, 2014. There has not been a dues increase in 3 years.

 

Announcement(s):           None

 

2014 AASA State Leadership Conference: Registration

San Diego Marriott Marquis and Marina

San Diego, California

May 1 – 3, 2014

 

(Please make copies as needed – print or type – one registrant per sheet)

 

_____________________________        ____________________________

Name                                                                          Badge Name

_____________________________        ____________________________

State Association                                                       Position within state association

______________________________      ____________________________

School District, if applicable                                     Position within school district, if

applicable

_____________________________________________________________

School District or State Association Address

_____________________________________________________________

School District or State Association Address

__________________________     _________________________________

Work Phone Number                                                          Work E-mail Address

________________________________________

Badge name for spouse/guest, if attending

 

 

Will               Spouse/Guest

Attend           Will Attend

Thursday, May 1

 

___              ___     City Tour (1:30 – 5 p.m.)

 

___              ___     Reception (5:30 – 6:30 p.m.)

 

Friday, May 2

 

___              ___     Continental Breakfast (8 – 9 a.m.)

 

___              ___     Recognition Luncheon (12 – 1 p.m.)

 

Saturday, May 3

 

___              ___     Continental Breakfast (8 – 9 a.m.)

 

 

 

 

Please return to George Karamihas at AASA by Friday, March 28, 2014

FAX: 703-841-1543

Email:           gkaramihas@aasa.org