Burbio School Tracker 4/30: Superintendent Turnover

This week we introduce a new dataset that documents when K-12 district Superintendents change, profile upcoming start dates for new Superintendents, and examine two states with very different ESSER III spending rates.

1. Burbio's K-12 datasets include a State-level Funding Tracker, school board meeting minutes, strategic plans, ESSER III plans, checkbook registers and more, and we continually evaluate new data sources. 

The most important individual in setting district policy is the district Superintendent, and a recurring question we receive from clients is how to monitor changes in this role. With that, over the next few weeks Burbio will roll out a K-12 Superintendent Turnover Tracker. As with any dataset, an important step is to identify a framework for documenting the information. Among the elements: 

  • Identify an upcoming change in district leadership immediately upon the resignation or termination of the previous Superintendent. 
  • Document status of searches, interim leadership (if applicable), and the start dates of new Superintendents.   
  • Monitor the full circle of activity, including where the new Superintendent used to work and what district the outgoing Superintendent left to lead (if any).

Here are some characteristics of Superintendent searches:

We are launching the service looking at the 3,000 largest K-12 districts and will be quickly growing that universe. Superintendent openings occur on a rolling basis. From an initial set of over 150 current openings we identified, below is a percentage distribution of the intended start date of the new hires: 

Superintendent Positions by Start Date

It is important to note that not all the open positions have had new Superintendents identified and start dates are based on posted timelines. Further, given that Superintendents often leave one district for another, filling one opening can create a vacancy elsewhere, making this information very fluid  We will be sharing additional insights in future Trackers as the dataset expands and deepens.

While Superintendent searches are generally triggered by a Superintendent retiring or taking a new job in another district, Superintendents being terminated, resigning under pressure, or having their contracts bought out occur frequently enough to be noted. Recent examples include:

2. In our previous Tracker we profiled 31 states' recent ESSER III reporting, and this week we showcase two different ends of the spectrum. As of March 15th, Ohio districts report spending 74.4% of their ESSER III funding, one of the highest of any state. Below is a breakout of the percentage of districts by their reported spending; note that just over 11% of the districts have spent less than half their ESSER III funds, and over 60% have spent more than 80%.

Ohio by Percentages 4-26

Massachusetts districts report having spent only 56.5% of ESSER III funding as of March 17th, one of the country's lower percentages. Below you can see almost 25% of districts report having spent less than half their ESSER III funds:

Massachusetts by Percentages 4-27

Going back to Ohio, even as districts have cumulatively spent spent a high percentage of ESSER III, the total of over $1 billion remaining in those is material. In the chart below you can see that three districts in the state have over $50 million remaining and 25 have between $5 million and $50 million:

Ohio By Dollars 4-26-24

Massachusetts districts have $722 million remaining as of the last reporting date, two of which have more than $50 million remaining and 14 districts have between $5 million and $50 million.   Massachusetts by Dollars 4-27



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