Approximately 100 members of AASA’s Governing Board breezed through its meeting agenda in San Antonio, Texas, on Wednesday, adopting a revised new position statement on parental engagement in education and approving the association’s federal legislative agenda for the coming year.
In its first of two meetings in 2023, the Governing Board also decided to hold AASA membership dues level in all categories for the next year and approved the candidacies of two veteran superintendents for the association’s presidency in 2024-25. Electronic voting in the election opens Friday.
With President Shari Camhi presiding, the board took its most significant action in adopting an expanded position statement on how school system leaders should view the most appropriate role for parent input in education. This has become a politically sensitive and contentious issue nationally since many schools adopted public health precautions during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and have acted to ensure schools address fairly the nation’s racial past and welcome and include students of diverse backgrounds and gender orientations.
The adopted position statement reads as follows: “Parents are their children's first and most important educators, which is why effective family engagement at the state and local level is one of the key determinants of student and school success. As superintendents who serve at the pleasure of school boards selected by parents, families and community members, it is critical that every child and family who walks through our doors on a daily basis feels welcome and supported in our buildings and classrooms. We know an educational environment that connects and engages families will ensure greater success for all students.
Every family should have the opportunity to be an active participant in their child’s educational experience and connect directly with their child’s educators, while working in concert with professional educators, school staff and administrators to maximize their child’s success.”
The legislative agenda, which was approved a month earlier by the AASA Executive Committee, spells out the association’s stances on an array of federal matters. These include continuing federal support in the recovery from COVID-19, support for special populations of students and student data privacy. The agenda guides the AASA public policy staff in its work during the year.
Delegates in each of the seven regions that comprise the Governing Board weigh in with their concerns or suggested changes to the association’s official stances.
With the benefit of a working lunch, the board wrapped up its work in just over four hours, adjourning its meeting at the Marriott Rivercenter at 1:18 p.m.
(Jay Goldman is editor-in-chief of Conference Daily Online and AASA’s School Administrator magazine.)