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Louisiana School-Based Budgeting (SBB) Task Force. Jason Willis, Chief Finance/Business Officer Stockton Unified School District. Background. New York State Helped developed formula of ‘weights’ to provide additional State funding to New York City in CFE vs. State adequacy case

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Louisiana school based budgeting sbb task force

Louisiana School-Based Budgeting (SBB) Task Force

Jason Willis, Chief Finance/Business Officer

Stockton Unified School District


Background
Background

  • New York State

    • Helped developed formula of ‘weights’ to provide additional State funding to New York City in CFE vs. State adequacy case

  • Oakland Public Schools (CA)

    • Budget Director; drove institutionalization of results-based budgeting (RBB); developed structure and culture to create better ties between strategy/planning and budgeting

  • Hartford Public Schools (CT)

    • Advising on opportunities to refine weighting system, technology, and support from Finance office


Increasing school decision making balanced with support and accountability
Increasing School Decision-Making:Balanced with Support and Accountability

One primary principle of SBB is to empower greater decision-making at the school-level. This has shown:

  • Different staffing choices that adapt better to the needs of the school’s student populations.

    • Counselor versus bilingual aide

  • Staff support dollars and one-time purchases that more tightly wrap around the school’s goals.

  • Complements between General Purpose and categorical fund expenditures was noticeably different than staffing formula.


Increasing school decision making balanced with support and accountability cont
Increasing School Decision-Making:Balanced with Support and Accountability (cont.)

Flexibility and decision-making at school-level should be accompanied by training and accountability:

  • Initially a large ‘train-up’ period getting into system; followed by maintenance and refresher sessions.

    • Principals became providers of effective practice.

  • Central Office role shifted to define parameters for budgeting including existing state/federal regulations.

  • Instituted tiered accountability support system (TASS).

    • Defined achievement targets and ID additional support.


Starting with end in mind sbb and strategic planning
Starting with End in Mind:SBB and Strategic Planning

Get to a different place when it starts with goals rather than parameters for how to spend:

  • All school stakeholders understood finite resources.

    • Greater staff buy-in when final decisions were made

  • Budget reduction decisions? Preferred to be handled at school site level.

    • Principals developed various options, allowed increase maneuverability when facing mid-year cuts

  • Created more space for meaningful, strategic discussion.


Budget development and monitoring timelines and process
Budget Development and Monitoring:Timelines and Process

  • SBB process typically fits within requirements outlined by State (e.g., Local Government Budget Act).

    • California holds dubious distinction of being one of the most over-regulated states in the nation.

  • District retains primary reporting responsibility to State. But, plenty of opportunities to improve technology.

  • Monitoring activity at all levels jumped dramatically.

    • Caught errors in attributing costs to an account,

    • Peer pressure applied at end of year curbed over-spending.


Responsibilities and duties trends nationally local context matters most
Responsibilities and Duties:Trends Nationally, Local Context Matters Most


Central office shifts focus business and budget office
Central Office Shifts Focus:Business and Budget Office

Shift from a compliance- to more strategic-orientation.

  • Organized department to serve a set of schools rather than a function (position control, categorical/grants, etc.)

    • Cross-functionality helped to avoid vacuum of knowledge

  • Reinvesting in technology that was more responsive, user-friendly, and functional for end users.

  • Breakdown of silos among departments that allowed information to move more quickly.

  • Noticeable increase in positive customer service experience.


Results from implementing sbb oakland offer their progress
Results from Implementing SBB?Oakland Offer Their Progress

While the results from OUSD can’t be attributed directly to RBB; it greatly helped to facilitate the process.

  • Academic Results – OUSD is the most improved urban school district in California for six straight years.

    • For 2009-10, OUSD gains were twice the state average.

    • 12 schools quadrupled the state average with 50+ point gains (API).

  • Support for RBB – Survey of all OUSD principals last spring:

    • 93% of principals valued having decision-making authority over their budgets,

    • 78% of principals believed in the equitable allocation of dollars.

    • 83% affirmed that if faced with budget reductions, they want that authority to make that reduction.


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