Category: Public Schools

Not Usual

He is a senior silicon valley executive.  She is an analyst in a governmental agency.  Their third grade daughter cannot read. He is an abusive deadbeat dad who hides his assets and pays no child support.  She is a low wage earner barely scraping by.  Their eighth grade daughter is one of the top students in

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Your Tax Dollars at Work! Headlines to Avoid

Mrs. Smith came into my office.  She was angry, but controlled.  Her practiced smile was plastered on top of gritted teeth. “Teachers just don’t get paid enough.  Every now and then we have to do something nice for them.” What was this all about? My staff had rejected Principal Smith’s expense report where she was seeking

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Size Matters

In the course of my career I have occasionally heard some unsavory “us versus them” talk. Teachers versus non teachers Certificated versus classified Management versus non-management School versus district Parents versus school administration Some discussions of the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) resort to this rhetoric, most notably the “school versus district” polarity.  I have previously mentioned the

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Budgeting Blindfolded as Art Form

Last Thursday the governor’s budget proposal for 2014-15 was unveiled.  My loyal readers may have noticed that I let the occasion pass by without a peep out of me. The truth is that all of you devoted school district business officials are still budgeting blindfolded.  Estimates for individual district revenues will be developed.  Programs will be implemented and costs

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Reputation: a Matter of Trust

Today I recommend thinkpurpose’s post Why I Don’t Care About the Reputation of my Organisation. …If you aim for a good reputation, trust takes a back seat. Spin, presentation and image are the easy ways to a good reputation but trust is made from simpler and sterner stuff. It has to be based on something

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Chocaholics, Beware of Vendors Bearing Gifts

Back when I started working for the Pretty Small School District, my boss would pass out tickets to professional hockey games.  She would say something like “Look, I have these tickets and I’m not that interested in hockey.”  So Spouse and I would go. I later found out that the tickets came from one of the district’s vendors. Back then

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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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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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