February 12, 2016

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AASA Joins National Organizations in Letter of Response to Proposed Changes to Overtime Pay

AASA, The School Superintendents Association joined 19 other national organizations on a letter in response to the Department of Labor's (DOL) proposed changes to the exemptions to the Fair Labor Standard Act's (FLAS) overtime pay requirements for executive, administrative and professional employees (the 'white collar' exemptions).

As a reminder, the DOL proposes more than doubling the salary level required to qualify for the "white collar exemptions". You can read more background in our previous blog post

Signing groups represent state and local governments, public schools, public institutions of higher education and other pubic sector entities. You can read the full letter here, and we have excerpted the public school-specific section below:

These costs would be imposed at a time when many public entities have not recovered from the last economic downturn. Our nation's public colleges and universities are still attempting to mitigate the impact of recession and post-recession reductions in state funding to higher education. During the six-year period from 2006-2007 to 2012-2013, after adjusting for inflation, four-year public universities experienced state funding cuts of $2,370 per student, while tuition and fee revenues increased by only $1,940, resulting in a shortfall of $430 per full-time student. Increasing costs of public colleges and universities at the levels proposed by the rule would put significant pressure on tuition levels and/or educational services. Municipalities face similar budget challenges. According to the National Association of Counties, only 65 of 3,069 county economies have recovered to their pre-recession levels. A similar reality for cities is evident in the National League of Cities 2015 City Fiscal Conditions Report, which shows that, while fiscal conditions continue to improve, they remain weakened nearly eight years after the start of the recession. This has government services already stretched thin. Despite a growth in population, government employment today is less than what it was prior to the recession. For school districts, which collectively are the largest employers in the nation, these thinly stretched state and local budgets translate to fixed school district budgets that cannot absorb unpredictable cost increases. Combine that with implementing the recently authorized Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which returns autonomy and flexibility to the state and local level, and state and local education agencies will be dealing with a myriad of regulations at the exact time they face the fiscal impacts of these DOL rules. The result will be reduced staffing at state education agencies and/or budget cuts at the exact time resources prove most critical to ensuring ESSA success.

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