Tag: analysis

Billion with a “B” for iPads

I highly recommend the following commentary in the LA School Report:  If iPads are the answer, what’s the question?  The author interviewed tech savvy LA Unified students, who also happen to be in the target demographic for the iPad purchase (students of color in south LA and Watts).  One of the student responds: “What I’m struggling to

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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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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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‘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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Schrödinger’s Excel

Or, how to be deadly and awesome at the same time Is Excel good or bad?  It is both.  Are you good at Excel or bad at it?  Probably both. Excel is extraordinary.  In the wrong hands it also can be a disaster,  Excel is just a tool, like a chisel.  It is inspiring in the hands of a skilled carpenter and murderous in

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Local Control Funding Formula: Nothing and Something

The California Department of Education has “updated” its reporting software by removing the previous revenue schedule and replacing it with, um, nothing. I am going out on a limb.  I have created my own multi-year calculation.  Please email me at support@fiscalshare.com if you want a copy. We are four plus months into the fiscal year,

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Give Up Already!

I was still in bed when I heard such frightful swearing from the kitchen.  Upon investigation I discovered that Spouse had impaled his index finger on a nail and was trying to open up a “bandaid”.  Not a brand name Band-Aid, mind you, but a cheap generic version thereof.  He handed it to me.  Here

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When School Districts Borrow

This an outstanding guide to school district debt financing by Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP.  While the guide references California law, it is useful in understanding public school finance in general. School district administrators in California function in a complex financial universe that increasingly requires familiarity with and use of sophisticated tax-exempt public finance techniques to finance

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FiscalNote: Real Time Government Analytics

Following this company with great interest: “If you look at finance today, we can get in-depth stock and trade updates and analysis every quarter of a second, and it doesn’t make sense to not have the same type of real-time information about what’s happening in the government,”  Tim Hwang

We Don’t Need No %@# Standards?*

Imagine comparing two school districts’ test scores, where each district uses different tests.  That would be meaningless, right? Yet, this situation exists on the business side of things. Legislation will require a calculation, but the implementation is unclear.  Subsequent guidelines and regulations (if any) sometimes just cite the statute verbatim. For example, prior to the new funding formula, conversion

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