• Two-thirds (68.2 percent) of respondents eliminated positions in 2011-12, virtually identical to the 68 percent in 2010-11 and the 65.5 percent who anticipate doing so in 2012-13.

School administrators demonstrate a pragmatic understanding and anticipation of the potentially deep cuts that sequestration would cause and support a call to Congress to take action to avoid automatic, across-the-board cuts.

And although the impact of class size on achievement is a hotly debated issue, the report notes that the increase in class size produced by the economic downturn will significantly affect the quality of interaction between teachers and students and likely will negatively influence the attainment of students.

More than one‐third of survey respondents (40.3 percent) increased class size in 2010‐11, compared to 54 percent in 2011‐12, and 57.2 percent are anticipating this change in 2012‐13. Nearly one‐third (30.7 percent) eliminated or delayed instructional improvement initiatives in 2010‐11, compared to 40 percent in 2011‐12 and 48.3 percent who anticipate doing so in 2012‐13. More than four in 10 (41.5 percent) reduced instructional materials in 2010‐11, compared to 49.4 percent in 2011‐12 and 54 percent who are considering it for 2012‐13.

“The need for sound, reasoned federal policy—both education and fiscal—is greater than ever. AASA’s members—school administrators across the country—lead the nation’s public schools and have delivered a very clear message,” said AASA President Patricia Neudecker. “Congress and the Department of Education must continue to work to ensure schools have the resources they need.”

“The recession continues to have a long-term impact on learning and achievement for today’s students,” said Domenech. “I look forward to one day releasing a survey that talks about the end of the recession and the refunding of the nation’s public schools. Until then, we must monitor the damage and call on Congress to move quickly on the reauthorization of ESEA and on an increase to the nation’s investment in formula programs like Title I and IDEA.”

The prior results of AASA’s Economic Impact Study series are available here.