« Back to News

Superintendent Meeting in San Francisco Offers Ideas and Good News to Risk Managers

Feb 19, 2009 by Lee Gaby

The American Association of School Administrators opened its Annual Conference today with a variety of presentations.

School PR experts told attendees that communication must run both ways. Former Fairfax County, Va., school communicators, Meg Carnes and Kitty Porterfield urged moving away from one-way model of school communication and embracing the role of Web 2.0 among multi-generational school stakeholders. They made the following points which are also applicable to school risk managers.
A blog requires a serious investment of time to create a meaningful dialogue.
Be sure to address the needs of the Gen-Xers.
Frame messages as choices rather than orders.

Attendees heard about a Baldridge award winning district in North Carolina that came back from the brink of disaster by throwing out much of the traditional thinking about school work and focusing solely on improving classroom instruction. A strategy dubbed the Plan-Do-Study-Act, gave teachers the training they needed to be effective and followed up with classroom visits and regular meetings to ensure training was put to use. This same approach could be applied by schools that are struggling with excessive employee injuries.

AASA Assistant Director of Advocacy and Policy Mary Kusler reported that school districts will see financial benefits of about $77 billion out of the $787 billion newly enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Approximately $54 billion – will go to a new State Stabilization Fund designed to help fiscal shortfalls. Almost $40 billion will be used to restore education reductions back to 2008 levels. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act will get a boost of almost $12 billion and allow districts to reduce local efforts to 50 percent of the total federal allocation. IDEA will also receive $400 million for Section 619 and $500 million for Part C. Title I will get $10 billion – with 4 percent allocated off the top for school improvements The increase in Title II will be $3 billion available in school improvement grants, $650 million for technology and $250 million for longitudinal data systems. Title II will also see a $200 million teacher incentive fund that will award competitive grants for inventive pay, $100 million for a teacher training fund and a $70 million appropriation to the McKinney-Vento Homeless Act.

$89 billion in Medicaid relief should also help schools indirectly. The stimulus is designed to provide short-term funding and used in the next two years.

For more information about this important meeting, please go to www.aasa.org

Newsletter Signup

Enter your email address below to sign up for the Public School Risk Institute Newsletter

Our Sponsors