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ELab-U: Smart Money for School Leaders

BY Laura Anderson
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As a national school finance research center, we see ample evidence that despite school leaders’ best intentions, school spending decisions more often reflect inertia and deference to political forces. And that means decisions about deploying resources don’t invite the practical wisdom that strong leaders bring to other areas of decision making. Financial training is not part of most leadership preparation programs, including those in colleges of education. With the typical focus primarily on instructional leadership, the vast majority of school leaders are unable to even guess how much they’re spending on behalf of their students, and how those investments stand up against competing virtues. 

Smart Money for School Leaders is a collection of education finance instructional modules developed by Edunomics Lab, Georgetown University designed to provide the hands-on finance skills school leaders need to make strategic financial decisions and tradeoffs aligned with mission on behalf of their students.

The lessons can be done independently, with school communities or as part of a formal professional development or administrator prep programs.

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Participatory Budgeting: Building Trust
Weighing Community Perspectives: The “Would You Rather” Test
Case Studies: Building Financial Muscles with Real Dilemmas
View from a School: New Money and Cutting
Building a School Budget

Innovative financial strategies and how leaders could apply the concepts to their own school context including; getting a grip on rising costs; gauging value for programs and courses; paying good teachers well amidst cost constraints; personalizing education without breaking the bank and making costs part of everyone’s agenda.

Smart Money for School Leaders: Leading Through Financial Strategy

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