Tag: school district

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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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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School Construction Law:

In Brief Lozano Smith recently posted this video on YouTube, covering changes in California school construction law.  Do you need to watch it?  Unless you are directly managing school district facilities and construction, probably not.  But school finance leaders do need to be aware of new laws that affect their direct reports.  So to save you and hour, here’s what

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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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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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Classroom Dollars and Bad Teachers

Start with a graphic representation of a dollar bill. Divide it up to show how many cents are spent in which categories.  Not a bad way to represent expenditures. Except when it is done this way: Why? Because this cartoon is not just wrong, it is dishonest.  The categories of expense are a bit hard

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Taking a Position

The director and manager of school construction sat down in my office.  They had made it clear that they needed to see me NOW.  “What’s up?” “Well, you hired a supervisor. For the construction department.”  “An accounting supervisor. Yes.” “We should have been consulted. After all, she works in our department.” “Yes, she’s physically located

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Arson

FIRE ACCOUNTING Click on the link for my manual on school arson.  I have dealt with three major school fires in my career.  And believe me, there was no manual.  The first thing I did ten years ago when confronted with my first school fire was to Google “accounting for school fires” and couldn’t find anything terribly useful. I

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Fun Civics Facts

When my non-American family members ask what I do for a living, I first have to explain what a school district is. I have discovered that many Americans don’t really know what a school district is either.  And a few of those actually work at school districts.  The most common surprise seems to be that

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