ACSA at 50 | Past leaders: Bob Lee
February 21, 2022
At first, Bob Lee didn’t think he was qualified to be president of ACSA. But at the urging of friends and mentors, he ran for the office and became president of ACSA in 2007-08. Today, Lee continues his work with ACSA as a Membership Recruiter for Region 7.
1. What issues were at the forefront during your time as president? There were a few major issues during my time as president. The first one that comes to mind is the Reauthorization of NCLB (No Child Left Behind). There were so many aspects of NCLB that came up such as adequate funding, the growth model, flexibility and highly qualified teacher requirements to name a few. Another hot topic was California’s state budget, which had a $14 billion shortfall. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a $4.8 billion cut to education. This came to about an $800 per student cut. Districts would have been decimated with cuts and reductions that would have severely impacted school districts. We also were dealing with a public image issue. Administrators were considered unnecessary. They said there were too many administrators and they were overpaid. It really caused a division between teachers and administrators. “Leadership Matters” helped improve the situation by having administrators tell their stories to the media and to other community groups.
2. What impact do you think ACSA has had on education over 50 years? ACSA has had a tremendous impact on students from California. Without strong leadership, districts would have a hard time reaching goals set by the state and by school boards. ACSA has been the one organization whose voice can be heard in the Capitol and at the State Board of Education. This voice centered on students and what they needed to be successful in schools.
3. How did ACSA support your ability to be a successful education leader? ACSA has helped me become a successful educational leader. I subscribed to their professional development by attending as many conferences or symposiums as possible. Sharing and networking at these events cannot be understated. These programs helped me become the administrator that I am. ACSA has given me so much and I couldn’t begin to tell how much the organization has meant to me. There are so many wonderful people in ACSA, especially the staff members. I am so thankful to have these wonderful people a part of me.
Bob Lee with Jim Negri at the 2021 Leadership Summit.
Lee with former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
ACSA Past President Bob Lee.
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