AFSA GEB Meets in D.C.

The AFSA General Executive Board met in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 18–19 to review the agenda for improving services to AFSA members, deliberate on key issues and welcome new members to the board.

Strategic Plan

The GEB reviewed and discussed an updated draft of a strategic plan to help guide AFSA moving forward. Included in the draft are targeted approaches to communications and organizing, along with educational and leadership goals for AFSA. New this year are goals to establish a retiree fact-finding committee, plans for an annual labor seminar or webinar, and plans to build coalitions among administrators and other education and community groups.

New Members Sworn In

Dr. Sandra Inga was sworn into AFSA's GEB during the October meeting in Washington, D.C.

Dr. Sandra Inga was sworn into AFSA’s GEB during the October meeting in Washington, D.C.

To fill the vacancies left by outgoing GEB members James Smallwood and Elaine Papas, the GEB added Sandra Inga, president of The Hartford Principals’ and Supervisors’ Association, and Dwayne Jones, president of the Association of Supervisory and Administrative School Personnel of Prince George’s County, Md., ASASP, AFSA Local 109.

Program Committee

The GEB approved New Orleans as the location for the 14th AFSA Triennial Constitutional Convention, scheduled for July 23–27, 2015.

The board also made a commitment to develop more webinars and trainings. Potential topics discussed were bullying and providing crisis and bereavement services.

Political Action Committees

To increase the visibility of school administrators, gain access to policymakers and have an impact on public policy on a national level, the GEB discussed the importance of members contributing to the AFSA Political Action Committee (PAC). Of equal importance is forming a local PAC to provide members with full access to local legislators.

By forming a local PAC, members can:

  • elect and retain legislators who are friends to public education and labor;
  • build strong alliances with key state government legislators;
  • cultivate and maintain an ongoing relationship with key representatives;
  • invite representatives to PAC fundraisers and introduce them to AFSA members;
  • gain access to legislators at their receptions and fundraisers;
  • enhance legislative and lobbying efforts; and
  • provide legislators with unique knowledge on important legislative issues.

Establishing local PACs and contributing to the AFSA national PAC also will be important for the 2014 midterm elections, allowing AFSA to contribute to and potentially boost favorable candidates.

Legislative Committee

Upon the GEB’s final review, the AFSA Legislative Committee will send a response to the full Senate outlining AFSA’s general positions on the major aspects of Sen. Tom Harkin’s (D-Iowa) ESEA bill, the “Strengthening America’s Schools Act.” In addition to detailed recommendations on principal evaluation and training, the response will call for less focus on testing and more focus on evidence-based assessments that are truly designed to improve instruction and student learning. The recommendations also will call for increased investment and resources for all public schools, and meaningful input from organized groups representing principals in all major policy areas.

The GEB also approved a community campaign designed to increase support for a set of key principles to improve public education, and support principals, assistant principals and other school leaders.

Scholarship Committee

The Scholarship Committee approved the announcement of the AFSA 2013–2014 scholarship program, which provides $2,500 scholarships for children of AFSA members. Students are selected based on their academic achievements, personal growth and level of community involvement. The application deadline is March 1, 2014. More details can be found at www.AFSAadmin.org/scholarship/.

The committee also outlined details for an annual scholarship in honor of Dawn Hochsprung, the AFSA member who gave her life protecting students during the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. The $5,000 in scholarship funds will be administered by the Connecticut Federation of School Administrators (CFSA) and is funded by one of AFSA’s insurance providers, M&M Group Benefits. The GEB chose to halve the scholarship in order to offer $2,500 to one male student and one female student each year. More details about the selection process for this scholarship will be coming soon.