One Year Later: How the Economic Downturn Continues to Impact School Districts
October 27, 2009
Findings based on a study of school administrators conducted in September and October 2009.
Eight hundred seventy‐five (875) school administrators from 49 states and the District of Columbia completed the survey. This survey asks many of the same questions included in the five previous surveys, in an effort to begin to collect and analyze long‐term data. Now one year after the initial AASA report on the impact of the economic downturn on school districts, there are yet to be concrete indicators of a rebound in the nation’s economy.
Unfortunately, school districts' economic welfare appears to be a lagging indicator, even further behind the still less‐than‐ stable remainder of the economy. The survey data supports a “diluted” impact for schools. Said another way, America’s schools were not insulated from the immediate economic downturn experienced in the fall of 2008 and the impacts continue to hamper district operation.
Looking forward, the 2010‐11 and 2011‐12 school years will be challenging. Districts and school administrators will be answering tough questions about items, programs and personnel that can be cut, while trying to figure out what—if any—economic recovery is in store at the state and local level while also contemplating the anticipated end of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds.