- Atlanta Public Schools has hired 17 school business managers to relieve principals of many of the responsibilities for school operations, such as food service, ordering supplies and handling transportation issues, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- The new position, created this past spring, is part of the district’s effort to give school leaders more time to focus on instruction and build connections with students and teachers.
- Schools are not required to have these positions, but those that decided to hire a manager had to find the funding within their existing budgets. One school, for example, hired a manager instead of an instructional coach.
This past summer, New America, a Washington-based think tank, held a panel discussion to highlight some of the ways schools are supporting principals in their roles as instructional leaders. Creating new administrative positions to take some of the day-to-day decisions regarding school operations off of principals’ shoulders was one of those methods, and Atlanta schools are putting that into practice.
Some states and districts are also strengthening the role of principal supervisors so they can focus more on how school leaders are strengthening instruction and less on how they’re handling matters such as transportation and purchasing. But just as districts take care in recruiting, training and hiring the right administrators for principal positions, they’ll need to put a lot of thought into defining the role of a school business manager — or a director of operations, as they are called in the District of Columbia Public Schools — so they can find the best people for those roles.