Category: Productivity

Indirect Costs: The Basics

What are indirect costs? Imagine your district has received a reading grant.  The grantor is providing funding for a teacher and instructional materials.  Indirect costs are all those additional costs associated with running the grant.  These will be hiring costs for the teacher, including recruitment, fingerprinting, and credential analysis.  When the teacher puts in an order for

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Book Review: Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work

I wish I could have read “Why Motivating People Doesn’t Work…and What Does” by Susan Fowler at the start of my career. It would have been helpful to not only learn the concepts but also to be coached in their practice. I have gleaned some of this information from mentors and coaches, such as: “money is only a de-motivator”. and “when you

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Bank Reconciliation

Continuing my occasional series on “the basics” this post addresses something I almost skipped, thinking it was perhaps too basic. Then I worked with an employee who reconciles the district’s clearing account, cafeteria account and student body accounts. I realized that the concept of bank reconciliation might be foreign to younger employees.  Growing up in the era of

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When Your Chart of Accounts Gets Out of Hand

Is your school district’s chart of accounts not working for you? Here are some questions to ask when designing a new one.

Indirect Costs When Revenue is not Fixed

I wrote about the so called magic formula for budgeting indirect costs on a fixed amount grant.  This calculation uses the grant revenue amount to determine how much of the grant you can budget to spend and how much needs to be set aside for indirect costs. However it is important to remember – actual indirect

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Carryover Complications

Say a school is allotted $20,000 (with carryover allowed) and they only spent $15,000.  The carryover amount is: a) $5,000 b) something else Often the answer is b) “something else” This is because the central office will usually give the school site the net award amount – i.e. the award minus the indirect cost on the

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Three Monkeys and the Question of Evil

When we were in Bali in February we purchased a set of “Hear no Evil, See no Evil, Speak no Evil” figurines.  When we got home we realized we had been given two “Speak’s” and no “See’s”. This led me to ponder – should we really endeavor to see no evil?  I suppose in the Buddhist tradition one would

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Devices in Meetings

The superintendent checks his emails under the table.  As if we can’t all see that. Now others doing the same thing. Before devices: Participant says (out loud) “Excuse me, Bill, I think we are getting a bit off topic here. I’d like to suggest that we redirect our focus back to XYZ and have this discussion later.” After

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Grants, Entitlements, and Carryover

When I started working at a California school district one of the first things I had to learn was the difference between a grant and an entitlement. A few years ago the state accounting manual was revised to refer to funding sources (resources) as either those with a fund balance or those with unearned revenue and no fund balance.

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Grant Carryover: An Ounce of Prevention

I have a short term assignment at a new district.  When working with grants that carry over year after year it is a great idea to check that the “carryover” amount is correct.  I did a quick check yesterday on two grants and found in fact the carryover was not correct on either of them. For the

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