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CBO Mentor Project. Class #4 Magnificent Seventh September 10 & 11. DRAFT Schedule to date. Introduction of Guests. Celebrations. Challenges. Have you learned your classmate names?. Random Selection Stand Identify the district selected

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cbo mentor project

CBO Mentor Project

Class #4

Magnificent Seventh

September 10 & 11

introduction of guests
Introduction of Guests



Have you learned your classmate names?


Random Selection


Identify the district selected

Research relative to Student Achievement (e.g. who did you talk to, where did you go for resource documents)

Talk about student achievement in your district

(How are students doing?)(or selected district)


Stop watch for each table.

Volunteer time keeper.

ken hall bio
Ken Hall Bio

Ken Hall has served in major state positions in both the legislative and executive branches and, in his last state responsibility, served as chief deputy director of the State Department of Finance from 1970 to 1974.  Ken was the chief architect of California’s major public and school finance bills of that era, including designing California’s revenue limits, which is the current core funding base for K-12 education. After leaving state service, and for the next 30 years, Ken built School Services of California Inc, a consulting firm which today serves virtually all 1,050 California K-12 school agencies.  The company focuses on school finance, budget and governance issues and Ken provided training services to thousands of school executives annually as well as serving as expert witness in numerous court and labor debates. Ken retired from School Services in 2005 and today serves as executive in residence for the University of Southern California Roosier School of Education.  He serves on numerous non-profit boards and lives in Carmichael, California.

questions for ken hall
Questions for Ken Hall


questions for ken hall1
Questions for Ken Hall


team presentations
TEAM Presentations

SACS reports for two districts (2008-09 actuals and 2009-10 budget)

El Dorado Union High School District & Lake Tahoe Unified School District

Goal of this Exercise: Learn to read a financial document (SACS), Work with a team to complete a project, Analyze the information, Create a story, Put your creative side to work to tell the story, Present the story in public

 Six Teams:

Create a summary document that TELLS A STORY for your presentation, Define your target audience (you get to decide the audience), Presentation is typically PowerPoint , 10 minute presentation, No specific guidelines – use your group imagination.

There is no right or wrong presentation – your job is to communicate to the group THE STORY you have learned about this district from a review of their financial information. Please try to disguise your accounting background when you prepare the story.

 Some elements that MUST be included:

Some type of summary of general fund (income, expenditures, ending balance)

Some narrative discussion of the fiscal health of the district

Appendix with fingertip facts that you gleaned from the document – must include estimated cost of 1%

team project
Team Project
  • Reminder on next two pages – strengths of the members of your team.
  • Be prepared to report out at next session.
steve luhrs guest speaker
Steve Luhrs (guest speaker)

State of California, various audit and management positions in the Dept. of Finance, State Controllers’ Office, Office of Emergency Services, and Dept. of Education (20+ years.) Assignments included set-up and implementation of recovery plans for multiple school district bankruptcies.

  • Compton Unified School District, Associate Supt. Business (30 months)
  •  Hayward School District, Interim Chief of Finance (7 months)
  •  El Dorado Union High School District, Assoc. Supt. Business and Administrative Services (8th year, current position)

Education and Certificates

 San Jose State University, BS Accounting

Golden Gate University, MBA

CPA (Inactive)

CASBO CBO Certification 

september mentor questions
September Mentor Questions

Talk to your mentor about legal contracts and the most important lessons they have learned over the years relative to contracts.

Talk to you mentor about how they analyze a financial report that comes to them from their Director of Fiscal Services for final review and approval. What tools do they use to analyze the data? What are the critical elements they look for when they review?

Has your audit started? Who is the auditor? Talk to your mentor about the role of the auditor and what attributes they feel are important in the selection of an auditor. Bring a copy of your audit report (2008-09 audit) to this session and discuss with your mentor the findings and recommendations.

september mentor questions1
September Mentor Questions

Interview question: Ask your mentor, what is their favorite interview question?

(write up the question and response and post to google doc site)

Pick a partner:

Ask your partner to respond to your mentors favorite interview question. They respond and you critique their response.

Your partner then asks you their mentors favorite interview question. You respond and they critique your response.

september written assignment
September Written Assignment
  • Prepare a 200 – 300 word summary that describes your district budget philosophy. Include in your description details such as centralized or decentralized budgeting. Include any formulas used in the process. Include any identified reserve level philosophies.
october mentor questions
October Mentor Questions

What is your mentor’s philosophy on budget presentations? Discuss with your mentor their tips for a successful budget presentation. What advice would they give you regarding budget documents?

Ask your mentor about to give you an example when they were faced with a difficult ethical dilemma in their role as a CBO.

october mentor questions1
October Mentor Questions

What is the workers compensation rate and modification factor for your district?

What is your annual premium? Are you self insured? Member of a JPA? Other? What are the challenges facing your district in the area of workers compensation?

Discuss with your mentor debt financing and ask their best advice on the potential pitfalls.

october interview question
October Interview Question

Interview question: It is May and you are reviewing the district books to avoid year end surprises. What three accounts would you review and why? Discuss how to avoid year end surprises.

(write up your response and post to google docs)

october assignment
October Assignment

1. Refresh yourself on your strengths. You can expect a quiz from Mr. McGuire at the next meeting. Take a look at the strengths of your teammates from your last project. Be prepared to report out some insights about your team group dynamics as it relates to the different strengths of the group.

2. End of Year Variance assignment:

Prepare a board summary report of your district prior year actual (2009-10) compared to the last estimate. This report should include:

  • Spreadsheet summary of variances from last information told to board and final information at year end with narrative explaining the variances
  • Documents to look for:
  • 2010-11 Budget to board – find 2009-10 estimated actuals from this document
  • 2009-10 Actuals (September 15, 2010 document)

If you do not have a district, request your mentor’s assistance in finding a suitable district for analysis. Finished assignment due at the December class (submit electronically). End of year variance analysis must be reviewed by your mentor prior to submission. The variance analysis will include a narrative and a summary financial document. Mentors are asked to pay particular attention to the narrative and provide input that makes the document “board package ready.”

previous assignment ufb
Previous Assignment - UFB

3. User Friendly BUDGET.

 Do not wait until the last minute to download – User Friendly Budget refers to the end product – not the process of downloading the software and using it.

Go online to School Services of CA.


(Go to School Services of CA (sscal.com). Select: Services and Products. Select: software & technology. Select: user friendly budget. It takes up to 30 minutes to download.

 Your job is to complete the User Friendly Budget (UFB). Complete all sections of UFB for the District of your choice. You do NOT have to fill in 10 years of prior year data – only three years are required.

If you are a county office or charter, select a school district that interests you. Review and discuss with your mentor prior to the class. Due by the October class. Be prepared to report out in TWO minutes and two minutes only what you learned about budgeting in CA using UFB during dinner at the October class. Resource for prior year data: http://www.ed-data.k12.ca.us

future assignment planning
Future Assignment Planning
  • Food service presentations November symposium (team project assigned in October)
  • Attend a collective bargaining session if possible - work with your mentor to find an opportunity – not due until January/February.
  • Attend a JPA meeting (workers compensation/property & liability/health and welfare) – not due until January/February.
  • Keep working on your unique “Fingertip Facts”. You will keep adding to this document as the class progresses and your final document is due at the end of the program.
  • Get your resume and cover letter updated - not due until January/February – but don’t wait.