One of the biggest tasks that AASA has been working on in August and September is providing feedback on proposed Title IX changes. AASA supports proposed changes to this legislation. AASA believes that the current framework is overly burdensome, confusing, and causes significant operational problems for superintendents. In brief, this is a messy, unfunded mandate. Here are a few key changes that AASA is pushing for with this legislation:
- Flexibility so that schools can conduct investigations in a reasonable timeframe.
- Flexibility in how the complaint can be made. The K-12 setting is significantly different than higher education.
- The ability to designate work to building level staff.
- The elimination of two, separate 10-day review periods.
- A shift in the standard of proof to “a preponderance of evidence.”
- The ability to have informal resolutions for our younger learners.
This was all discussed in our July meeting and I appreciate the prompt action AASA staff are taking to seek changes.
Another area that AASA is working is tools to document the national labor shortage in public education. As we all feel the impact in our school districts, AASA is wanting a measurable way to show this challenge and determine if proposed solutions are making a difference. Look for more information about this throughout the year.
There continues to be work on providing free meals for students, better ways to measure poverty in our schools, ESSER funding flexibility, and K-12 access to the most recent clean energy funding.
Our MASA federal advocacy team consists of Dan Bittman: Elk River, Jeff Elstad: Owatonna, Chris Mills: Stephen-Argyle, and Craig Oftedahl: Luverne, and David Law: Minnetonka. Feel free to reach out to any of us if you have thoughts on these topics or ideas to share with AASA. Our next board meeting is in February.
One final note, the process to replace AASA director Dan Domenech will be starting in late September. I will be participating in that process from candidate screening through selection. I am confident it will be a difficult decision as there are many talented leaders across the country interested in this position.
You can find contact information for your AASA Governing Board members online at: www.mnasa.org/mn-aasa-governing-board.