30th July 2011
There’s a stunning lack of transparency when it comes to SEAs reporting basic staffing and budgeting data, making it difficult to analyze agency performance. Federal dollars, usually the dominant funding source for SEAs, are also typically tied to specific programs and employees, giving the state chief little control over how these funds are spent and thus little room to maneuver. Perhaps most important, though, is that these agencies are often overly focused on compliance, not reform. “The traditional role of the SEA,” we observe, “is to administer state and federal funds, and customarily SEA employees have worked to ensure the SEA complies with the law rather than focusing on how to best help districts and schools increase student achievement.”
Well, he that pays the piper calls the tune. Yet another reason not to send your kid to a government school.