AASA Releases 2020-21 Superintendent Salary Study

(RESEARCH, PUBLICATIONS AND TOOLKITS) Permanent link

AASA Releases 2020-21 Superintendent Salary Study

Today, Feb. 23, 2021, AASA released its 2020-21 Superintendent Salary & Benefits Study, which serves as the ninth annual edition of the superintendent salary series. This year's report is based on more than 1,500 responses and offers readers the latest findings concerning school district leadership compensation and benefits packages. To get a sneak peek at the study, check out the findings listed below.

  • A superintendent’s median salary ranged from $140,172 to $180,500, depending on district enrollment (size).
  • More than one-half (53 percent) of the respondents, regardless of gender, indicated that their district is best described as rural, while nearly one-third (30 percent) described their district as suburban and nearly one-quarter (18 percent) described their district as urban. This is closely aligned with data from the National Center on Education Statistics.
  • In the 2019-20 school year, 32 percent of female superintendents described their districts as in declining economic condition, along with 25.1 percent of male superintendents. The findings for this year’s investigation show a trend of more superintendents, male and female, feeling less optimistic about the economic stability of their districts.
  • Most superintendents reported serving in their present position for less than five years, with just 13 percent serving more than 10 years. 
  • One-fourth (24.9 percent) of the sample consisted of females, while nearly three-fourths (73.8 percent) of respondents were male superintendents.
  • Respondents were predominantly white (89 percent), followed by African American (5.1 percent), Hispanic (2.8 percent), Native American or Native Alaska (.92 percent) and Asian (.46 percent).
  • About four out of 10 superintendent contracts specify the process, measures and indicators to be used in the formal performance evaluation.

The 2020-21 AASA Superintendent Salary & Benefits Study, was released in two versions: a full version for AASA members and an abridged version for wider circulation. You can check out both versions of the report by following the link here. The study's press release is accessible here.

AASA and 18 other National Education Groups Urge Passage of FY21 Budget Reconciliation Package

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AASA and 18 other National Education Groups Urge Passage of FY21 Budget Reconciliation Package

Earlier today, 19 national education groups sent a joint letter to Congressional leadership expressing their support for the American Rescue Plan that would appropriate $128 billion in new, flexible funds for school districts over the next two-and-a-half school years. This funding will enable school districts to sustain and enhance their support for students learning remotely as well as ensure schools open for in-person instruction have healthy, welcoming environments throughout the calendar year.

Groups supporting the letter include:

 

  •  AASA, The School Superintendents Association
  • American Federation of School Administrators
  • American Federation of Teachers
  • American School Counselor Association
  • Association of Educational Service Agencies
  • Association of Latino School Administrators
  • Association of School Business Officials International
  • Council of Administrators of Special Education
  • Council of Great City Schools
  • National Association of Elementary School Principals
  • National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Association of Secondary School Principals
  • National Association of State Boards of Education
  • National Association of State Directors of Special Education
  • National Education Association
  • National PTA
  • National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium 
  • National Rural Education Association
  • National School Boards Association

 

 

AASA’s 2021 Legislative Agenda is Finalized

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AASA’s 2021 Legislative Agenda is Finalized

On February 17th AASA’s Governing Board voted to approve the 2020 Legislative Agenda. You can access it here.

AASA Statement to Guidance Released by the CDC and Ed. Dept. on Reopening Schools

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AASA Statement to Guidance Released by the CDC and Ed. Dept. on Reopening Schools

Today, Feb. 12. 2021, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance prioritizing masks and social distancing of at least six feet for teachers and students in K-12 schools as they reopen.  The U.S. Dept. of Ed also released its first volume of a handbook as a supplemental document to guide educators on masking and physical distancing.

In summary, CDC guidance reiterates that access to vaccines should not be considered a condition for reopening schools for in-person instruction. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky stated, "These two strategies are incredibly-important in areas that have high community spread of Covid-19, which right now is the vast majority of communities in the United States.” According to Director Walkensy, "Teacher vaccinations can also serve as an additional layer of protection atop masking, distancing, hand-washing, facility cleaning, and rapid contact tracing, plus quarantines for the infected.

 Daniel A. Domenech, executive director of AASA, The School Superintendents Association, issued the following statement in response to the CDC’s new guidance on reopening schools. 

 “Since the outset of the pandemic, AASA and the public school superintendents we represent have focused on the safety and health of our staff and students—always with an eye on and priority for safely reopening schools.

 “With the new year, new Congress and new administration, we are greatly appreciative of the deliberate, coordinated and focused federal leadership on both prioritizing the physical reopening of schools and supporting schools in their work to do so. We have relied on the science and data available. However, when we found that lacking, we partnered with our fellow national organizations and outside academics to create the National COVID-19 School Response Dashboard, a platform that provides data critical to informing school reopening while ensuring the data was available and accessible at the most local of levels.

 “Our data initially reported what has become only clearer—that it is likely safer for schools to be more open than they currently are, so long as appropriate mitigation strategies are in place. And to the extent that today’s sets of guidance address both of those realities—that schools can open and to do so requires mitigation strategies—it represents a strong step forward in helping more students return to the classroom.

 “As we near the one-year mark since our students left the classroom, it has become abundantly clear that our nation’s greatest assets—our children—are paying some of the biggest tolls for this pandemic in their physical, mental and academic health. We reiterate our call for additional federal funding to support the work of reopening, covering costs spanning from testing and ventilation to PPE and social distancing, and so many more things in between. We applaud the CDC and the U.S. Dept. of Education for the coordinated and collaborative effort to provide clear, actionable guidance that school system leaders can incorporate into their reopening plans.

 “We remain deeply indebted to the tireless leadership of superintendents and educators in our nation’s public schools and will continue to do everything in our power to support those schools already reopened and those still working to reopen safely.”

 

OCRE Federal Rural Education Summit

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OCRE Federal Rural Education Summit

 
As part of our commitment to supporting rural education, Organizations Concerned About Rural Education is hosting its first virtual Federal Rural Education Policy Summit for Capitol Hill on Wednesday, February 24th. During this half-day virtual event, Hill Staffers and other attendees will get an overview of the most pressing issues facing rural K-12 schools, administrators, teachers, and students as our public school system continues to recover from the pandemic. 
 
The Summit will feature five separate 1-hour long policy sessions focused on the most pressing education-related issues facing our nation's rural communities and offer attendees resources and recommendations for how to solve these problems. If that wasn't enough to get your attention, then the Summit's line-up of high-profile speakers and experts from the Department of Census, Center on Budget Priorities, and Learning Policy Institute, are sure to convince you to join the conversation. 
 
This event is part of the allied coalition efforts of the summits co-hosting organizations: Association of Education Service Agencies; National Association of Federally Impacted Schools; American Federation of Teachers; Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents; Association of School Business Officials International; Bellwhether Education Partners; Committee for Children; Consortium for School Networking; Future of Privacy Forum; Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality; Mid Atlantic Equity Center; National Association for Family, School and Community Engagement; National Association of Secondary School Principals; National Association of State Directors of Special Education; National Education Association; National PTA; National Rural Education Advocacy Consortium; National Rural Education Association; National School Boards Association; Parents for Public Schools; Public Advocacy for Kids; and White Board Advisors. The Summit's hour-by-hour agenda and resources are forthcoming but will be updated in this blog post as we near the event. You can register for the event by clicking here. The summit's agenda is accessible by clicking here.
 

Detailed Explanation of the K-12 Funding Request in the American Rescue Plan

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Detailed Explanation of the K-12 Funding Request in the American Rescue Plan

On February 5, 2021, the Biden Administration released additional information on the President's latest $1.9 trillion COVID-19 economic relief proposal dubbed a Detailed Explanation of the K-12 Funding Request in the American Rescue Plan. Specifically, this document serves as the Administration's justification to Congress to appropriate $145 billion in K-12 education funding to support LEA's safely reopening. As good news, the plan differed from the initial details of Biden's $130B K-12 education proposal during the campaign trail. 

As a justification for the higher request in funding from Congress, the President based his new proposal on CDC cost estimates associated with safely operating school districts during the 2020-2021 academic year, an approximation of the costs for school districts to avoid lay-offs into the next school year, and an estimate of the additional costs around the academic and social-emotional needs of students that have resulted from the pandemic. We've included an overview of a breakdown in allowable uses of K-12 funding in the chart below.

Allowable Use of Funding

Cost in Billions of $

Estimate Source

To avoid Lay-offs Closes budget holes so districts can avoid lay-offs this school year and next.

 

60

Learning Policy Institute, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, National Conference of State Legislatures

To provide for physical barriers and other materials CDC recommends to help keep students safe

3.5

CDC

To provide additional custodial staff members

14

CDC

To support additional Transportation Investments that   provide for social distancing on buses

14

CDC

To provide PPE for students eligible for free or reduced-price lunch

6

AFT,CDC, American Association of School Business Professionals

To support activities around promoting social distancing by reducing class size

50

AFT

To provide a nurse to the 25% of schools without one

3

American School Nurse Association

To extend learning time & support for students through tutoring or summer school

29

Learning Policy Institute

To provide the additional school counselors and psychologists

10

American School Counselor Association

Activities around the digital divide

7

Census Pulse Survey Data

To provide wrap-around services and supports to students and families through Community Schools

.1

Internal

To advance equity and evidence based polices to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic

2

Internal

Total Need

199

N/A

Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 133)

- 54

N/A

Net Funding `

145

N/A


 

 

AASA Advocacy Pre and Day-of NCE Events

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AASA Advocacy Pre and Day-of NCE Events

It's February: whether you're a new or old member; non-member; aspiring superintendent; or researcher, you know that this time of the year is when AASA throw's our premier event, the National Conference on Education (NCE). For this unprecedented year, AASA is not only holding its first-ever virtual NCE but also celebrating its launch with some pre-conference treats to get you psyched for your upcoming advocacy and other education policy-related activities in 2021.  To make sure you don't miss out on any of our nifty sessions, we have curated the advocacy webinars and NCE sessions in the list below.

Pre-Conference Sessions:
  • Join us for Salary and Benefits Study Contract Webinar with Hogan Lovells' Maree Sneed and AASA Researcher-in-Residence Christopher Tienken on Feb. 9, 2021 2:00 PM EST. This webinar is free to all AASA members.
  • AASA’s Advocacy Team Presents, What’s Up in Washington: Sign up for this webinar on Feb. 10, 2021 2:00 PM EST (free for AASA members) to hear from the complete AASA advocacy team for a refresh on the latest COVID package, to the latest guidance and Executive Orders from the Biden administration, to what’s possible with a 50/50 split in the Senate.

Follow us online for our Policy Sessions During NCE:

  • Check out Education and the Front Page on Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 12:30 PM – 1:15 PM EST with Eric Green Reporter with the New York Times, Andrew Ujifusa Reporter with Education week, and Laura Meckler Reporter with the Washington Post.
  • Check out The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America on Thursday, February 18, 2021 from 3:00 PM – 3:45 PM EST with Author Richard Rothstein.
  • Join us for the AASA President-Elect Candidates Forum on Thursday, February 18, 2021, from 3:50 PM – 4:35 PM EST. This session will be moderated by AASA Immediate Past President, Deborah Kerr.
  • Join us for a presentation with Acting Chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel during, Leading Through Connectivity: How FCC Policy Supports Our Learners on Friday, February 19, 2021, from 11:00 AM – 11:45 AM EST.
  • Check out the session Nice White Parents on Friday, February 19, 2021, from 12:40 PM – 1:25 PM EST for a conversation around the exploration of whiteness, history, and NYC public schools with Producer/Reporter Chana Joffee-Walt at This American Life and Senior Program Officer & Independent Consultant Ramapo for Children, Rachel Lissy.
  • Join us for the session, COVID-19 School Response Dashboard on Friday, February 19, 2021, from 2:20 PM – 3:05 PM EST with Brown University Professor Emily Oster, Deputy Director of Education Policy at American Enterprise Institute Nat Malkus, Principal Consultant on Education at Qualtrics Byron Adams, and Superintendent of Mason City Schools Jonathan Cooper.
 

Budget Analysis: Fully Fund IDEA 2021

(IDEA) Permanent link

Budget Analysis: Fully Fund IDEA 2021

Since the passage of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) in 1975, federal funding for the program has fallen woefully short of the amount initially promised by Congress under the law. In Fiscal Year 2020, the federal government provided a meager $12.7 billion to states to help offset the additional costs of providing special education and related services to an estimated 7 million students with disabilities nationwide. 
 
This Federal contribution was just 13.2% of the amount promised by Congress, also known as “full funding,” and has resulted in an approximate fiscal shortfall of $23.5 billion for special education services across the nation. As a result of this failure, the burden to cover the funding shortfall and additional cost for IDEA services has moved to states and local school districts. As the chart below indicates, after adjusting for inflation, funding provided in FY 20 is the lowest percentage of the federal share of IDEA funding since 2000. 

To make matters worse, the growth in the number of students served by IDEA in the past several years is further exacerbating state and local public school systems' budget shortfalls. Between 2011–12 and 2018–19, the number of students receiving IDEA services increased from 6.4 to 7.1 million, which in turn increased the percentage of IDEA students from 13 to 14 percent of total public school enrollment. In states like California, New York, and Florida the federal government's failure to fully fund IDEA has cost these localities $1.2 - $1.9 billion for special education services in school year 2020-21 alone. To see the full breakdown between state and federal IDEA funding gaps across the nation, check out this nifty chart below  from the National Education Association or click here


For AASA, which co-chairs the IDEA full funding coalition, these new statistics further highlight the need and importance of our allied advocacy efforts to push Congress to provide up to 40% of the costs associated with IDEA and other special education-related services. Looking ahead to the first months of the 117th session of Congress, it is likely that this issue will gain broader attention on Capitol Hill due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on K-12 operations. Thus far, Congress has already introduced the Keep Our Promise to America’s Children and Teachers (PACT) Act, which would fully fund Title I and IDEA. Moreover, our intel suggests that an IDEA full funding bill is in the works. As such, we implore you to keep up-to-date on all of AASA's advocacy efforts on IDEA to engage on this issue and ensure Congress provides this critical funding for our most vulnerable students.

 
 

Updated P-EBT Implementation Guidance for States

(SCHOOL NUTRITION) Permanent link

Updated P-EBT Implementation Guidance for States

On January 29th, 2021, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released new Pandemic EBT guidance that will allow states to provide P-EBT benefits to children in schools and childcare settings. Specifically, this guidance provides states with new flexibilities when developing or amending P-EBT plans and increases the daily P-EBT benefit for both school children and children in childcare by approximately 15 percent to reflect the value of a free reimbursement for an afterschool snack. The guidance also allows states to retroactively apply to use the new higher benefit back to the beginning of School Year 2020-2021. 
 
Check out the full details via USDA's memo, updated state plan template, and accompanying Q&As document by following the highlighted links.

The Advocate: February 2021

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The Advocate: February 2021

February is usually a time when we look forward to seeing superintendents from across the country gathering together somewhere warm or fun (or both) and chatting about the politics of Washington, the politics of their hometowns and learning together from great leaders and inspiring thinkers. While we won’t be in sunny San Diego this year, AASA’s Policy & Advocacy team is still excited to have some great professional learning opportunities planned this month, culminating in our first-ever virtual National Conference on Education.

Before we describe some of the sessions we have selected for the Policy & Advocacy strand, you should know we have intentionally decided not to offer our annual Federal Advocacy Update this year as part of NCE. We know you’re not seeing us or hearing from our team as often as you normally would, and we didn’t want to compete for your time and attention with so other many great sessions at our national conference. So, we are offering our normal, full-team, one-hour, jam-packed federal education policy update on February 10 at 2 p.m. ET for any and all AASA members. You can sign up to register here and if you can’t attend, you can still obtain a copy of our PPT and a link to watch the event afterwards.

Back to NCE: This year we wanted to offer not just sessions you know and love (like our superintendent salary and contract session with Maree Sneed), but also sessions that feature some high profile, diverse speakers who can and should push you to think differently, or at least think more deeply about your job as a federal advocate for your district.

The first of these is a session with Jessica Rosenworcel, acting FCC chairwoman and a long-time friend of AASA. Rosenworcel has been a commissioner at the FCC since 2011. Throughout her tenure at the Commission, her focus on closing the digital divide for students has been outstanding.. We are thrilled that President Biden has nominated this champion for digital equity for kids to be the new chairwoman of the FCC. This is a great opportunity to hear what she wants to do to support the E-Rate program and other programs that touch connectivity in schools in her new role.

The next two sessions we wanted to flag are complimentary in their focus on school segregation. The first features Richard Rothstein, one of the boldest and most heralded scholars on the subject. Rothstein will again share with AASA members the history of school segregation and the role that the U.S. Government played in creating and sustaining racially segregated school systems. As a compliment to this session, we are excited to introduce you to Chana Joffe Walt, a radio journalist and producer, whose podcast Nice White Parents, exploded in popularity this summer for its view that one of the most powerful forces in shaping our public schools, White parents, are at the heart of what’s wrong with our public schools. Nice White Parents was recorded over a five-year period and describes various attempts to integrate our public schools over the course of American history, including the present day, and how White parents who say they want integration and diversity often become obstacles to true racial equity.

We also have sessions that are focused on what superintendents are dealing with right now: COVID cases. We couldn’t help but do an NCE session with Emily Oster, a renowned health economist from Brown University. She has partnered with AASA in the development of a COVID-19 database for districts. Oster, along with Qualtrics, a brilliant firm that maintains the database, will describe how districts can utilize the platform, what we know so far about COVID spread in schools (based on data provided by AASA members) and what mitigation strategies appear to be the most effective based on our data.  Finally, given that the work of superintendents, particularly these days, is highly scrutinized by local, state and national media, we compiled a panel comprised of the best of the best in education policy journalism that will not only give you their take on what’s happening in federal education policy these days and their predictions for the Biden Administration and new Congress, but also provide ideas for how to engage with reporters most effectively, particularly when it comes to national issues. You won’t want to miss the conversation with reporters from The New York Times, Washington Post and Education Week.

We hope you can make it to some of these exciting sessions. Stay safe and healthy.