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To Stay Engaged in Matters of Public Education Policy, Check Out AASA Advocacy Programs in San Diego

AASA’s advocacy team invites you to journey with them into the weeds of federal education policy at the national conference in San Diego. From the use of artificial intelligence in schools to a roundup of all regulations you need to know, there’s a wide range of content for those interested in how the federal government intersects with K-12 schooling issues.

On Feb. 15, start your first conference day at 10:15 a.m. with a session on How to Leverage Federal Dollars to Improve Your School Facilities, presented by UnDauntedK12. This session will provide step-by-step instructions how to use new, 10-year, non-competitive funding under the Inflation Reduction Act to install modern, clean energy technologies in your schools. If you would rather focus on something more enigmatic, head over to AI in Schools: Bridging Policy, Innovation Practices and Measuring Impact for Districts led by Andrew Ko, AASA’s chief innovation officer.   

At the annual Federal Relations Luncheon at noon, Cara Fitzpatrick, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist while working for the Tampa Bay Times and now an editor at Chalkbeat, will discuss her 2023 book The Death of Public School: How Conservatives Won the War Over Education in America, which traces the long and turbulent history of school privatization.

Then save the best for the last session of the day: an update on federal education policy from the full AASA advocacy team at 2:15 p.m. Noelle Ellerson Ng, Sasha Pudelski, Tara Thomas and Kat Sturdevant will present the latest public education policy and funding news from Washington, D.C. They will start with funding and legislative updates from Congress and moving on to recent regulations and guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education as well as the various federal policy issues percolating at the Department of Agriculture, Federal Communications Commission, Federal Trade Commission and other federal agencies. This is a must-attend session for those concerned about federal education matters and who want to stay engaged with AASA’s advocacy work.

On Feb. 16, kick off the day with an early morning session on how to leverage a registered apprenticeship to build your principal pipeline. A panel of superintendents, joined by David Donaldson from the National Grow Your Own Network, will share their experiences with using this relatively new program to address a persistent issue of staff shortages.

Wrap up the second day at 2:30 p.m. with the second part of the AI in Schools discussion. This session will focus on bridging the gap between policy and practice and talk through how to shape your district’s strategies in the age of AI in schools.

You can follow the goings-on of the advocacy team and the conference’s policy sessions on the AASA blog and by following @AASAdvocacy and the advocacy team on Twitter: @Noellerson, @SPudelski, @K_Sturdevant and @TaraEThomas1. Or you can always follow along by downloading the AASA Advocacy app, available on the App Store and Google Play.

(Tara Thomas is a public policy analyst at AASA.)

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