ARLINGTON, Va. – The American Association of School Administrators, the professional organization for school superintendents and other school system leaders, issued the following statement on the Obama Administration’s 2011 budget proposal:
“AASA applauds the support for and investment in education in President Obama’s 2011 budget proposal and the changes in No Child Left Behind that are assumed in the proposal. The significant increases in funding for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the focus on improving teaching and closing the achievement gap are important steps toward long-term positive change in our schools.
“However, AASA is concerned with the decision to shift a significantly larger proportion of dollars into competitive grant programs. While understanding the Obama Administration’s commitment to rewarding and duplicating successful programs and practices, AASA urges Congress to maintain formula grants to provide a more reliable stream of funding to local school districts. Formula-driven funding represents the dedicated funding stream that allows school districts to appropriately plan for and invest in innovation and reform. Our members are concerned that competitive grants will have a disproportionately negative impact on small and rural districts that do not have the capacity to prepare grant applications.
“AASA strongly encourages both Congress and the administration to recognize—and be prepared to react to—the possibility that the sizeable increase in federal education funding may not translate into funding increases at the local level. With state and local economies struggling under severe budget shortfalls, Congress and the administration need to be alert to supplanting of federal funds. When states play ‘shell games’ with federal dollars intended for schools, the nation’s students lose.”
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.