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AASA and NSBA Sign Petition to U.S. Department of Education for ESEA Regulatory Relief
ARRA Regulatory Reporting Requirements Overwhelm K-12 Schools
ARLINGTON, Va., May 24, 2011. At a press conference today Daniel A. Domenech, Executive Director of the American Association of School Administrators released the results of the latest AASA economic impact survey, Projection of National Education Job Cuts for the 2011-12 School Year, which shows that two-thirds (65 percent) of the responding school districts eliminated personnel in the 2010-11 school year and that nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the districts anticipate doing so in 2011-12.
“The results of this survey,” said Domenech, “illustrate that the continued economic recession at the state level, the cessation of emergency federal funding (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and Education Jobs Fund) and actual and anticipated funding cuts in federal FY11 and FY12 appropriations are having a devastating effect on staffing the nation’s public schools.”
o 8,523.9 teacher jobs;o 3,185.9 pupil support services jobs;o 982.7 administrative jobs; ando 4,810.1 classified jobs.
o 8,523.9 teacher jobs;
o 3,185.9 pupil support services jobs;
o 982.7 administrative jobs; and
o 4,810.1 classified jobs.
Based on this representative sample, an estimated 227,000 education jobs are on the chopping block in schools across the nation for the 2011-12 school year.
“No question this will mean larger class sizes and more belt-tightening,” Domenech added.
Dr. Lawrence Mishel of the Economic Policy Institute has told AASA, “For every 100,000 education jobs lost, there will be roughly another 30,000 jobs eliminated in other sectors due to less spending of those laid off.”
Thus the 227,000 education jobs lost will translate into more than 67,500 job cuts in other sectors, bringing the total job loss across job sectors to 294,500.
A Nationwide Petition for Regulatory Relief, Including Sanctions Under NCLB
In a separate, but closely related issue, AASA and the National School Boards Association have joined together to petition the U.S. Department of Education and Congress for relief from a heavy load of regulatory requirements stemming from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), popularly known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB). Specifically, the petition requests suspension of additional sanctions under the current Adequate Yearly Progress requirements effective this coming school year: no new schools would be labeled as “In Need of Improvement” or subject to new or additional sanctions.
At the press conference Anne L. Bryant, Executive Director of NSBA, joined Domenech at the podium to point out that the ESEA legislation is more than three years overdue for reauthorization and that, under its present requirements, in the coming year more than three quarters of America’s public schools will be labeled as failing.
“It is not our schools that are failing,” Domenech said. “As a nation, we are sharply reducing the resources that schools have to work with, and we are asking schools to divert funds that should be going into the classroom into providing reams of reports and data. We are failing our schools.”
As an example, Domenech cited the newest set of reporting requirements, which are now being imposed of all schools who received funds under the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
“Aside from the huge issues of costs, data reliability and privacy rights—individual and identifiable student data will now be reported to the state—many schools do not have the technology in place to collect the data that the federal government is asking for,” he explained. “It could be years before this data is available in many states. In the meantime, schools are using precious resources, both in time and money, trying to meet the standards.”
“We are asking for relief,” Bryant said. “State and local education budgets are being cut to the bone, while the federal government continues to mandate unnecessary standards and sanctions under ESEA and ARRA’s demands for data. School districts should not be forced to fire educators and instead need to hire new data collectors. NSBA and AASA will be reaching out to school leaders from all across the country to join us in signing this petition to tell Congress and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that the few resources schools now have available to them should be used in the classroom, not on administrative tasks.”
“We believe in assessment,” Bryant continued. “We believe in holding schools accountable to advance student achievement. But we also believe first and foremost that schools must have adequate funds to teach our children.”
The petition is available for reading and signing at http://goo.gl/peJpe.
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About the Survey
Projection of National Education Job Cuts for the 2011-12 School Year, is the 11th in a series of studies conducted by the American Association of School Administrators on the impact of the economic downturn on schools. AASA launched the series in fall 2008 in response to state budget shortfalls, federal buyouts and interventions, and a series of additional events characterizing a slowing, stagnating economy. As the economic situation worsened, AASA has monitored the economic downturn’s impact on schools through a series of surveys to school administrators nationwide.
More than 1,000 superintendents from 49 states submitted responses in this latest study. Almost three fourths (71 percent) of respondents work in districts enrolling fewer than 3,000 students. More than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents describe their community type as rural, compared to 23 percent reporting suburban and 6% reporting urban.
The study, under the direction of Noelle Ellerson, AASA Assistant Director, Policy Analysis and Advocacy, was completed May 18, 2011.
The American Association of School Administrators, founded in 1865, is the professional organization for more than 13,000 educational leaders in the United States and throughout the world. AASA’s mission is to support and develop effective school system leaders who are dedicated to the highest quality public education for all children. For more information, visit www.aasa.org. Follow AASA on twitter at www.twitter.com/AASAHQ or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AASApage.
Founded in 1940, the National School Boards Association (NSBA) is a not-for-profit organization representing state associations of school boards and their more than 90,000 local school board members throughout the U.S. Working with and through our state associations, NSBA advocates for equity and excellence in public education through school board leadership. Online: www.nsba.orgTwitter: www.twitter.com/NSBACommFacebook: www.facebook.com/SchoolBoards