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District Finance Network Resources2021-09-02T20:30:05+00:00

District Finance Network Meetings

These presentation slides from our District Finance Network Meetings can help guide districts as they consider financial plans for the coming months and years. Beginning with the financial turmoil in early 2020, the topics range from early projections of state and district economic outlooks to strategic budget cutting and stakeholder communications, the impacts of enrollment shifts and learning loss on district finances, and the implications of massive federal relief funds for K-12.

If you are interested in joining future meetings please email Laura.Anderson@georgetown.edu.

Five Principles to Guide District Spending

As districts weigh how to use their extremely flexible one-time federal relief funds, this webinar explores how to balance the immediate need to address learning loss while pacing spending to avert a fiscal cliff. We suggest creating a multi-year plan for spending down funds, considering alternatives to adding new recurring costs, and computing the per-pupil cost and value of investments.

View presentation slides from May 11, 2021

New Dollars: Reopening and Remediation

This webinar explores how to make spending decisions with new dollars in light of two big challenges: reopening schools and remediating learning loss. We look at how financial conditions and considerations differ for districts that have been all or mostly remote versus all or mostly open.

View presentation slides from February 23, 2021

Remediation Funding and Rethinking Benefits

With budget gaps on the horizon, we shared early findings from discussions with district leaders, teachers, parents, and principals on the kinds of cuts they would prefer. We also explored considerations for structuring investments in remediation, shared our analysis of teacher turnover trends, and pondered how changes to benefits could help bridge budget gaps.

View presentation slides from December 15, 2020

Post-Election: K-12 Finance

With a new administration and control of the US senate still in question, we look at what might be ahead for federal spending on education. We also consider the economic recovery outlook for individual states, and how the way that states apply cuts to state ed funding will impact districts differently. Lastly, we discuss the urgent need to figure out which students are disengaged or not being served at all, in order to tailor investments to uncover and address learning loss.

View presentation slides from November 10, 2020

Budgeting With Enrollment Drops

In this webinar we explore patterns of enrollment shifts across the country and the implications for short- and long-term budgeting when enrollments are so uncertain. We also discuss the impact of state formulas and varying hold harmless provisions, and help districts to consider an array of budget cutting options.

View presentation slides from October 20, 2020

Rethinking Resources in a Pandemic

As districts face competing priorities (student v adult, short-term v long-term), there is no playbook for this moment. In this webinar we explore what to do with non-working staff during remote learning; what it might look like to spend money differently; and how stakeholders react to potential cuts. (Hint: reminding stakeholders to consider what’s best for students changes their perspective!)

View presentation slides from September 15, 2020

Federal Stimulus & What Districts Should Know

David DeSchryver of Whiteboard Advisors provided key updates on whether we’ll see more federal funding for K-12. We looked at districts’ top priorities heading into the new school year (learning loss, equity, and social-emotional learning), and discussed keeping the emphasis on students when it comes to thinking about new investments and budget cuts.

View presentation slides from August 25, 2020

Reserves, New Revenues & Messaging

We provide an overview of where districts are tapping their reserves as revenues shrink, while some are are seeking new local taxes to offset funding reductions or cover increased costs to restart school. We also share early findings from our messaging research with focus groups, and suggest better ways to talk about budget cuts with stakeholders (e.g., providing a list of cuts that were considered, and clarifying how decisions are based on what is best for students).

View presentation slides from August 11, 2020

CARES Act & Reopening Schools

These slides provide an overview of federal CARES funding and guidelines: how much money, how it flows, and how it can be spent. We consider the widely varying projections of per-pupil costs to reopen schools amid COVID, and posit some cost-equivalent options for districts to consider as a mechanism to reduce labor costs and offset the costs of reopening.

View presentation slides from July 14, 2020

What Worries You?

The financial outlook for public education continues to change rapidly. In this meeting we look at the typical stages of hurried district budget cuts, what we’re seeing in states and districts across the country, and what we’re worried we’ll see more of in the months ahead.

View presentation slides from June 16, 2020

Steps Districts Can Take Now

With budget cuts looming, this meeting focuses on actions districts can take now to flatten the curve and avoid a fiscal cliff later, and considers spending choices with longer-term impacts (e.g., reining in healthcare costs, making raises non-pensionable). We examine options to reduce or avert layoffs, and discuss the importance of communicating in ways that build trust during times of budget cutting.

View presentation slides from May 5, 2020