SBR: ‘Tis the season to send KASB your dataAndrea Hartzell
As we look toward the end of the summer and the beginning of a new school year, we find ourselves playing the reset game. Resetting classrooms, resetting our expectations for a new school cycle, and resetting our data.
Okay, so maybe not everyone worries about that last one. But KASB does. The Kansas Association of School Boards is one of the only school board associations in the nation that conducts annual data collections from its members and then shares that information with its members for comparison. This is a value-added service school districts in other states do not have access to. But, as with everything, there is a catch. The catch is that if your district does not submit the data, you won’t be able to compare yourself with other districts around you, others of similar size and makeup across the state, or with the state as a whole.
So, this is my humble plea to make sure your district is getting your data to us. Each district has a data steward identified. These people are the ones ultimately responsible for ensuring that KASB has the latest information related to staff salaries, contract details, calendars, fees charged, supplemental contract amounts, retirement plans, and all kinds of other information.
If you are the data steward for your district, then I encourage you to make sure you know what should be submitted and ensure there is a plan for getting this data to us. If you are not the data steward for your district, but you are interested in making sure your district is current with its data, then find out who your data steward is and encourage them to submit, and maybe even offer to help if you can.
Here is a list of the annual surveys we collect and why they might be useful to your district:
- Calendar: The Calendar Survey includes information on school start and end dates, spring break, vacations, daily start, end, lunch, and break times, schedule considerations, parent-teacher conferences, and kindergarten formats. Districts use this data to see how their calendar and schedule lines up with other districts. For example, districts may want to see if their spring breaks fall on the same week as nearby districts. This data is also very useful during teacher contract negotiations.
- Fees: The Fees Survey includes information on activity participation fees, admissions to events, activity budget finances, items furnished for categories of activities and whether there is a charge for them, fees for seniors, kindergarteners, library, books, transportation, shops and labs, publications, and driver’s ed, non-student and facilities fees. Districts use this data to see if what they are charging for and how much they charge is consistent with similar districts. For example, districts frequently wish to ensure the price for attending athletic events is consistent with what other districts in the area charge.
- Superintendent: The Superintendent Survey asks for demographics, years of experience, other duties inside and outside the district, and information on salary and benefits for all superintendents. Kansas districts use this data primarily for annual superintendent contract determinations and as part of the superintendent search process.
- Principal: The Principal Survey asks for demographics, years of experience, other duties inside and outside the district, grade levels and number of staff and students at their schools, and information on salary and benefits for all principals and assistant principals. Kansas districts rely on this information to ensure competitive salaries and consistent workloads for school administrators.
- Central Office Staff: The Central Office Staff Survey collects information on all central office staff serving as managers or supervisors of district staff, including job type, areas of responsibility, demographics, years experience, and salary and benefits information. Along with ensuring comparable compensation, districts use this data to see how other districts have distributed responsibilities at the district level.
- Supplemental Pay: The Supplemental Pay Survey collects information on part-time and supplemental contract pay, including the number of staff for each position type and activity, for annual and hourly pay, and also info on driver’s ed. Districts compare amounts paid and also the type of supplemental contracts offered by other districts.
- Employee Relations: The Employee Relations Survey collects information about non-renewals, terminations, releases from contracts, and other information pertaining to teacher relations. Districts work to ensure their employee relations process is consistent with other districts, and also to see how their teacher relations trends compare.
- Teacher Contracts: The Teacher Contracts Survey collects information on the teacher contracts and the contracts negotiation process, including number, length, and cost of negotiations sessions, salary and package amount and percent changes, agreement provisions, impasse data, contract years and reopeners, and teacher leave. This information is used heavily by districts during the contract negotiations process.
- Retirement: The Retirement Survey collects information on district sponsored retirement plans, including eligibility requirements, contributions, payment methods, benefits determinations, cost, and 403(b) plans. Increasing benefits costs have made this data more important to districts as they work to ensure adequate and affordable benefits for all staff.
- Other Staff: The Other Staff Survey collects information on district staff members who are not instructional nor administrative staff. This includes classified staff, nurses, and bus drivers, among others. This data is useful for districts because it is often hard to find any information on non-instructional and non-administrative school district staff.
- Teacher Salary Schedules: Though not an actual survey, KASB asks districts to submit a copy of their teacher salary schedules each year, and we compile this data into a format that can be compared across districts.
Find the data KASB collects and reports out on the member portal (https://kasb.org/member-portal/) by selecting “District-Level Data” from the “Member Resources” menu.
If you have questions about the data KASB collects and/or how to submit this information, please contact Ted Carter, chief data officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.