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January 23, 2024

Welcome Our New Executive Council Members


Armando Aguirre

Executive Director

ESC Region 19, TX


Jill Broussard


Pinal County, AZ


Harold A. Coles,

District Superintendent

So. Westchester BOCES, NY


More About Our Executive Council Members

Dr. Armando Aguirre currently serves as the executive director at the Education Service Center Region 19, El Paso, Texas.  With extensive experience in education, his achievements and recognitions include the prestigious Principal of the Year of Texas award in 2006 for his leadership role as the principal of Mission Early College High School, the first early college in El Paso County. In 2012, he assumed the position of assistant provost at the University of Texas at El Paso, where he oversaw the El Paso Collaborative for Academic Excellence Council. In his current role, Dr. Aguirre ensures that ESC programs and services effectively enhance the quality of education within the region. He now expands his impact nationally as he joins the AESA Executive Council.


Jill Broussard was elected to the Office of Pinal County Superintendent in November 2011.

Her true passion for children drives her to work with the districts in Pinal County to provide safe, enriching, and engaging opportunities to help prepare today’s youth and tomorrow’s future leaders. Ms. Broussard has served on the Arizona State Board of Education, served as a member of the Certification Advisory Committee to the State Board, and president of the Arizona ESA Association. Ms. Broussard returns to the AESA Executive Council after completing her service as the president of the AESA Executive Council and representation of the Western Region in 2021. We welcome Jill back, who we know will be a wonderful addition to the executive council.


Dr. Harold A. Coles serves as New York's Southern Westchester BOCES District Superintendent.  There, he oversees the agency’s work with component school districts and their superintendents and serves as the NYSED Commissioner representative in the Southern Westchester region. During his career, Dr. Coles has served as superintendent, pupil personnel services (PPS) director, and adjunct professor. He has served as president of the New York State Association of Management Advocates for School Labor Affairs (MASLA) and as president of the National Art Education Association (NAEA) Board. In addition, he has served as an educational consultant on the Westchester County Juvenile Drug Court Task Force, NYS Girls' Justice Initiative (GJI) Westchester Girls' Justice Initiative/GRIP Executive Team, and Ninth Judicial District Court Westchester Access to Justice Immigrant Rights and Services Sub-Committee.  He currently serves on the AESA Foundation Board of Trustees and we welcome the contributions he will make to the AESA Executive Council!

News Round Up


Keeping An Eye on Iowa:

AEA's State Support for Services is at Stake


IOWA Area Education Agencies (AEAs) are facing a tough legislative challenge, led by  Governor Kim Reynolds. The proposed legislation takes aim to reduce the range of services AEAs will be able to provide to their regional school districts, especially rural districts. The news is fast and furious.  Here is a rundown of some of the latest news articles. This challenge is being met head-on by local education leaders, parents, and staff.


Gov. Kim Reynolds' Proposal to Reform State Area Education Agencies Met with Concerns from Leaders


Kim Reynolds Walks Back Area Education Agency Changes, Allows General Education Services


Teachers Could Earn Up to $16,500 in First Year Under Bill


State Level Advocacy Event!

Your Voice is More Important Than Ever

"Amplifying your Impact:  Mastering Effective State Advocacy”
FREE to AESA Members
One-Hour State Advocacy Webinar

This 60-minute  presentation will delve into the art of effective state advocacy, emphasizing the pivotal role of state-level engagement with legislatures, state agencies, and rulemaking authorities.


March 7, 2024
11 a.m.- 12 Noon EST

Presented by: Craig Burford


Advocacy at the state level can yield substantial policy changes and is often a catalyst for broader national shifts. This session will equip attendees with essential strategies and insights to navigate the complexities of state-level advocacy, helping them make a meaningful impact on the issues they are passionate about. Whether they are an educator, administrator, advocate, lobbyist, or concerned citizen, they will leave with a toolkit to drive change at the state level and beyond. 


National Legislative Update

USED Announces Liquidation Extension Request for ARP Funds

On January 9, USED issued this letter to American Rescue Plan grantees announcing that the liquidation extension request will be available for the final tranche of ESSER funds. States must submit their requests (including on behalf of their districts) by December 31, 2024, at the latest. Importantly, USED confirmed that “any allowable” uses of ESSER funds can be part of a late liquidation request, but the Department’s letter encourages states/districts to highlight in their submission any investments in “increasing daily student attendance; providing high-quality tutoring; and increasing access to before, after, and summer learning and extended learning time.” Further, the state’s cover letter must explain how the late liquidation will contribute to academic success, but it is worth noting that some of the examples provided include things like HVAC investments that keep students healthy in school. USED released this FAQ for grantees to reference during the submission process.


Committee for Education Funding (CEF) Grassroots Toolkit for Education Funding

AESA is a member of the Committee for Education Funding. They are currently running a grassroots campaign to tell Congress not to cut education funding as they are in the process of setting fiscal year 2024 funding levels. Feel free to share this toolkit with your members.


ERS Funding Cliff Resources

ERS has two ESSER funding cliff resources for districts and states. Check out 6 Key Factors to Assess Every District's Risk of an Upcoming ESSER Fiscal Cliff and Here’s Why Some States Are Facing a Steeper ESSER Funding Cliff in 2024


USAC Update on E-Rate

The Funding Year (FY) 2024 FCC Form 471 application filing window opened Wednesday, January 17 and will close on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. ET.


This update contains critical dates for FY2024.


Federal Advocacy Committee

The Virtual Federal Advocacy Committee Meetings occur January 24-25, 2024. The Federal Legislative Advocacy Committee Meeting is free and open only to AESA members. If you signed up, we look forward to seeing you soon. Information and materials have been sent. See you soon!

Happening Soon! Come Join Us

Join a Community of Practice!


Small Staff ESA Community of Practice


Topic: Best Practices in Strengthening Relationships With Your Board

Date: February 8, 2024, 2 pm Eastern (1 pm Central; 12 noon Mountain; 11 am Pacific; 10 am Alaska) time


Presentation Description: Strengthening board dynamics is a shared responsibility, one that is built upon trust and communication between the executive director and each board member. This interactive session will focus on practical strategies to promote strong board relationships to ensure well-informed and proficient governance practices that enhance accountability, transparency, and student success. 


Presenter: Valentina (Tina) Viletto, JD

Ms. Viletto currently serves as AESA Foundation Coordinator, after serving for twelve years as the director of community and government relations for the Montgomery County Intermediate Unit 23 (MCIU) in Pennsylvania. She has extensive experience in education legislation and policy issues, as well as district and ESA board service, training and consultation.


If you aren't a member of this Community of Practice but would like to attend this session, please contact AESA Program Assistant Beth Kabes to register at the rate of $25. 


Business Strategy Framework

Register Now for February Workshop 

The AESA Business Strategy Framework is a powerful tool that will help your leaders assess new opportunities and evaluate existing services. The framework provides a consistent approach to strategic marketing or understanding what markets/services your organization should be in and why. The framework sets your team on the right path to discovering game-changing insights about the services they offer by focusing on three specific areas with questions designed to encourage deeper thinking that will uncover previously unrecognized keys to success.


Location: Westmoreland IU 7, 102 Equity Dr., Greensburg, PA


  • February 21  |  8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • February 22  |  8:30 am – 3:30 pm

Registration Fee:

  • Individuals: $1,500
  • Team of 3 or more: $1,000 per person

The Reading Leaders Book Club! 

As lifelong readers and leaders, we all know the importance of reading and literacy, well beyond the pre-k12 classroom where it is often assigned. Reading Leaders AESA Executive Director Dr. Joan Wade and Janelle Bailey invite you to join the AESA Reading Leaders Book Club.  The club meets every third Thursday of the month to discuss the latest book.

To join: Contact Ann Fiene 

Next meeting:  Thursday, February 15, 2024 @ 7 pm Eastern (6 pm Central; 5 pm Mountain; 4 pm Pacific; 3 pm Alaska) time.

February Book Choice: The Many Lives of Mama Love: A Memoir of Lying, Stealing, Writing, and Healing by Lara Love Hardin


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