Can sharing superintendents improve education across small districts?
- Iowa's Akron-Westfield, Lawton-Bronson and Whiting school districts are among a rising number in the state that are sharing superintendents.
- The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier reports that the sharing of superintendents has been encouraged as a result of lower increases in state funding, declines in enrollment that have led to funding losses, and a 2007 program that incentivizes the sharing of administrators with additional funding.
- Iowa's shared superintendent numbers have tripled to 52 since the 2007-08 school year, and the decision largely comes down to a matter of saving money for expenses tied to the classroom, with the average Iowa superintendent making around $147,825 a year.
For small rural districts that might struggle with funding, sharing a superintendent is a feasible option that can mitigate some of their monetary concerns. Many of these districts likely have few schools to oversee between them, compared to larger districts.
Still, it's worth keeping in mind that differences in access and opportunity based on income levels still exist across small districts. One superintendent overseeing several would need to ensure that all are receiving equivalent resources and funding, and that the unique needs of each are being met. But this approach could also encourage greater collaboration and the sharing of best practices between these districts, thus facilitating a rising tide of solutions that lifts all ships.
- The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Sharing superintendents save schools money
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