As we approach 2014, the Alaska Association of School Administrators (AASA) would like to express our appreciation to the students, parents, elders, communities, board members and educators across this great State for allowing us the opportunity to provide a quality educational program for all children. Our commitment to kids is stronger than ever for the continued development of excellence in education through a strong and evolving public education system.
This year, AASA has adopted "Voices of Unity" as our theme, focusing attention not just on AASA and our umbrella organization, the Alaska Council of School Administrators (ACSA), but on other like-minded organizations as well. With our focus on building relationships among all education stakeholders, we hope to accomplish a common goal: "The Alaska Legislature adopting a multi-year foundation funding plan that allows for effective long-range planning and promotes operational efficiency". The capacity to achieve a multi-year foundation funding plan hinges on unification of this shared vision.
Our partnership efforts are underway. Superintendents throughout the State are resolved around updated standing resolutions and joint position statements collectively developed with our professionals colleagues—principals and business officials. Additional partners including the Alaska Association of School Boards (AASB), Citizens for the Advancement of Alaska's Children (CEAAC), Alaska Learning Network (AKLN), the Special Education Service Association (SESA) and others—are potentially available to help bring an even stronger united voice to the legislature. AASA has already held joint boards meetings with AASB and CEAAC.
Last year, AASA, collaborating with other like-minded organizations, was successful in its advocacy efforts. While the base student allocation (BSA) was not increased, essential legislative funds were provided for public education through numerous targeted initiatives. We all recognize that Alaska's declining oil revenue forecasts a potential bleak picture for future state budgets. This forecast is all the more reason to unite in an advocacy for a BSA increase now or, at the very least, find a mechanism to permanently insert the one-time funding opportunities—$25 million for energy relief and $21 million for safe schools—received last session into the foundation funding formula.
The superintendents and other educational organizations across Alaska are called on to unite and advocate for a goal that very few feel is possible. If we succeed, each of our 54 districts will be able to tailor these additional funds to meet the educational needs of their students and continue the journey of providing each child a "world-class education".
Thank you for your continued participation within our organization. We appreciate your feedback provided through surveys, legislative presentations and other correspondence, allowing us to continually evolve and move forward. Best wishes for an exceptional school year.
— Todd Poage,
— AASA President
— Alaska Gateway School District