Month: December 2013

Bossypants

Who are you calling Bossypants?  Well, think Sarah Palin. Two things are required: Speak with complete authority and conviction Maintain a constant metronomic pace Rhythm is important.  There can be no pauses for reflection or feedback.  It is hard to maintain a theatrical pace, especially when the speechifying is extemporaneous. So when content is lacking, Bossypants will

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Excel Solver for Expense Transfers

Thank you Pronger for your post about the Excel solver function.  Follow this link to view his explanation and instructions. The solver function is especially useful if you deal with a multitude of funding sources such as state and local grants, federal awards and bond funds.  Each restricted funding source has very particular spending rules and most have

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The Money Grab

A recent video accuses “special interests” and “school district insiders” of trying to get their hands on money intended for high needs students.  Sigh. Let’s stop using charged words when important decisions about the future of education are at stake. The terms “insiders” and “special interests” are derogatory. They imply that teachers and district officials are trying to hoodwink parents.  Seemingly, if you

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Governmental Cost Recovery

I have heard the mantra again and again “we don’t make a profit” meaning, if we charge for services it’s only on a cost recovery basis. Yet I just read that Inyo COE charges a flat 7% to its charter schools for providing business services.  If a charter school now receives significantly more funding under the Local Control Funding Formula,

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Professional Development: it’s Tricky (Woo)

I recently saw a coaching app that uses the slogan “closing the accountability gap”.  It is an app designed to be used by professional athletes and their coaches.  This really resonated with me.  In education we talk about various types of gaps.  Achievement gaps and opportunity gaps are mentioned in terms of what we adults are not providing to

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‘Tis the Season for…the 14-15 Budget

The California Budget Project has posted a useful article on the 14-15 budget debate, which begins with the release of the Governor’s budget on or before January 10.  Also of interest on the CBP blog is their post on the budget process. And when I say that these links are useful and interesting, I mean that

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Parallel Structure, or Why the Bullet is Your Friend

So you’re pursuing a job in finance.  Question: How much writing will you need to do?  Answer: More than you might think. It is a given that you know something about finance, or you would never have been hired in the first place.  However, as you progess in your career you will find more of

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Winners, Losers and Political Sausage

When I attended the Edsource Symposium last May, the head of the state board of Education, Michael Kirst, got a bit testy when audience members started asking pointed questions about “winners and losers“.   Paraphrasing broadly, he said to forget the past funding formula.  It is over.  Stop comparing yourselves to others and stop talking about

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The Long and the Short of It

Or, Don’t Use Your Credit Card to Buy Groceries (and Don’t use Bonds to Buy Technology) I was walking by Fort Point in San Francisco (you’ll know the spot from Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”).  I fell into conversation with a guy who, by coincidence, was a new customer at the bank where I worked.  He went on to

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What Does it Take to Get Fired?

Sometimes, Not Much The article Fatal IT Distractions lists mistakes that will lead to immediate dismissal in the IT world: things like forgetting to back up data nightly or not testing your disaster recovery plan prior to a disaster. This made me ponder.  What will get you fired in the world of school finance? I am not talking about obvious offenses

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