IAPSS – A Message from Our President – January 2019

Posted on January 29, 2019

“Leaders don’t force people to follow – they invite them on a journey.” – Charles S. Lauer

Planning. When the calendar turns to January planning revs up for the next school year. Staffing appropriately is a struggle between funding and student numbers. With about 4/5th’s of Indiana public school districts gradually losing students, along with declining revenues, we plan for an even tighter future in both curriculum and staffing. Those districts growing in student numbers are gaining quickly, which brings challenges with facilities into the mix. In addition to your in-district expertise, make sure you touch base with your fellow superintendents. They can understand and assist you with your planning challenges.

“Leadership is not a person or a position. It is a complex moral relationship between people based on trust, obligation, commitment, emotion, and shared vision of the good.” – Joanne B. Ciulla

Congratulations and best wishes to MSD of Wayne Township Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Butts as a finalist for National Superintendent of the Year. A large group of Indiana superintendents will be pulling for Jeff during the AASA National Conference in Los Angeles in February. Everything in LA will be great, except the traffic……

“If a man seeks for greatness, let him forget greatness and ask for truth, and he will find both.” – Horace Mann

Thanks goes to Dr. Phil Downs of Southwest Allen County Schools for studying the effects of vouchers on all Indiana public school budgets. That information is great to share with your area legislators.

“Our work is the presentation of our capabilities.” – Edward Gibbon

There is trouble again in ISTEPland with scoring of 2018 tests. Education Week and other publications are discussing and debating the need for annual testing. Indiana knew what was best 31 years ago when ISTEP+ began only for grades 3, 6, 8, and 10.

“The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

It has been good to hear talk from our Indiana leaders of dollars for teachers. Our school districts include about one employee in a support role for every teacher. Without those people, our children would not be transported, enjoy clean and safe buildings, use technology, eat two meals daily, participate in out-of-the-school day activities, and have health, emotional, special and communication needs met. We hope those caring folks are not forgotten in the political dialogue.

“Real courage embraces the twin realities of current difficulty and ultimate triumph.” – Max Lucado

During the past decade in Indiana, public school funding percentages have increased for suburban and urban districts and decreased for small town and rural districts. This might be more for political than educational reasons. In your discussions at the Capitol, please don’t allow those who game using children to divide our unity as an organization.

“Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Just take an opportunity and make it as perfect as you can” – Mark Sanborn, The Fred Factor

50.7 million students attend America’s public schools, 5.7 million are in private schools, and 1.6 million are homeschooled. Where do public school students attend?

  • Suburban 39.7%
  • Urban 30.2%
  • Rural 18.7%
  • Town 11.3%

“The stars will never align, and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” – Tim Ferriss

Best wishes,

Tom Edington,
IAPSS President