Sharing Success Stories to Advocate for Public Education

Andy Ratliff
President, Alaska Association of School Business Officials (ALASBO)

Greetings, ACSA members, and happy Spring! The sun is shining, the snow is melting, and budget season is in full swing. It was great to finally see many of you in person at the legislative fly-in, and I feel like we made a lot of progress in our advocacy efforts. Reflecting on the many conversations that I had with legislators on both sides of the aisle, a recurring theme kept coming up; districts need to be able to tell their success stories and show the value of public education and ensure that we are being efficient with the dollars provided.

As we prepare our respective budgets and hope that we are funded enough to, at the very least, continue current levels of service to our students, it will be as important as ever to continue advocating for education and detail the impact that inflationary pressures have put on all our finances. In addition, we can use this as an opportunity to share our successes and help those who have the responsibility to fund education understand that State money is being used wisely.

ALASBO continues our efforts to train new staff for districts through the New Business Manager Institute (NBMI) to give business managers the tools they need to help tell their story in numeric terms. Additionally, ALASBO has been collaborating with AASB and ASA to update some of the business-focused board policies and expects to have that ready around the first of May. This process will update policies to make them easier to understand and acknowledge the changes in best practices that have occurred since the last review.

I hope everyone can get outside and enjoy some sunshine as the final weeks of school wind down and have some much-needed downtime this summer. We’ll need all the rest we can get if we have to gear up to again advocate for a sustainable fiscal plan next year as that fiscal cliff nears!