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Budgeting for Educational Equity
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Budgeting for Educational Equity

Author: CASBO and WestEd

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How can dedicated teams of leaders, school business officials, educators, and entire school communities allocate resources to better meet the needs of all students? That’s the story we’re sharing in this new limited series presented by CASBO and WestEd. Each episode, our host Jason Willis welcomes education leaders and practitioners to discuss funding, educational improvements and advancing resource equity across all levels of California's public education system. We'll explore their motivations, the tools they’re using, and what’s working and what they’ve learned. Join us to tap into the experiences of guest experts and colleagues who are doing the work every day of ensuring a more equitable allocation of resources. It's valuable insight you won't want to miss!Want to learn more ways to put what you hear about resource equity into action? Check out our episode companion briefs, available via WestEd at https://www.wested.org/budgeting-for-educational-equity-podcast-series/
6 Episodes
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We hope you've been enjoying the series so far and taking away a lot of useful information. This is a quick update to let you know  we are busy working on several new episodes that will start posting in a few weeks.  We also wanted to make you aware of  the companion briefs that are now available online. To describe these more, host Jason Willis introduces John Diaz, a financial analyst at WestEd, who has been leading the work in developing the companion briefs. The briefs serve as a helpful, interactive tool for listeners, building on strategies or practices articulated by our guests, and offering additional research on topics related to budgeting for educational equity.Available Companion Briefs include:Download the companion brief to Episode 1: Defining an Approach to EquityDownload the companion brief to Episode 2: Using Data to Advance EquityDownload the companion brief to Episode 3: Planning for ChangeDownload the companion brief to Episode 4: Meeting the MomentMore About the Series and the BriefsBudgeting for Educational Equity is a podcast series that explores how education resources can be allocated to better meet the needs of all students. The companion briefs have been developed to provide opportunities for listeners to engage in tangible, practical application of the lessons derived from each episode. The brief can be used as a launching point for discus- sions about equity within communities and school district administrative offices. It can also be used to support existing ongoing work such as the Local Control Accountability Plan or district budget development. Episodes can be found online in the Show Notes and on the WestEd Budgeting for Educational Equity Podcast Series webpage.*Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO), the premier resource for professional development and best practices for more than 24,000 California school business leaders, in partnership with WestEd, a national nonprofit research development and service agency that works to promote excellence and equity in education. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. Engage with us!Follow us on Twitter at @Budget4EdEquity to keep up to date on the series and share your thoughts, ideas, questions and feedback. Budgeting for Educational Equity is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd serves as an advisor and develops the written materials that go along with each episode.
Each person’s equity journey is unique, including the one taken by Marguerite Williams, Ed.D. After serving as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent for academic services, she became increasingly interested in the business side of schools and completed the CASBO CBO Certification program. That helped lead to her recent appointment as assistant superintendent/CBO for a charter management organization in Vallejo that operates four schools and serves approximately 1,400 students.In this episode, Marguerite shares valuable insights about resource allocation and equity from her unique perspective as an instructional leader and a new CBO. She describes key challenges, what motivated her on her journey, and how her own understanding of school business has evolved -- plus, practical strategies she’s used to keep equity at the forefront throughout her career.Quotable: “On the business side, I can do great things for students. I can support the instructional program with resource allocation. I can make sure our students have the best facilities to learn. I can make sure there's a clean and safe environment.”More about our guestMarguerite Williams, Ed.D., serves as assistant superintendent/CBO for Griffin Technology Academies in Vallejo. Previously, she served as assistant superintendent of academic services for Adelanto Elementary School District, and as senior director of equity and diversity for the Association of California School Administrators. Dr. Williams began her career in education as a teacher, and has also served as an assistant principal and principal in the San Bernardino City School District, and as a district-wide instructional director in Los Angeles USD. She obtained her doctorate in educational leadership with an emphasis in higher education by examining the levels of site and district leadership support which teachers and team members received in implementing the Response to Tiered Intervention Model in San Bernardino. She holds a Master’s Degree in Multicultural Education.About our seriesBudgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO), the premier resource for professional development and best practices for more than 24,000 California school business leaders, in partnership with WestEd, a national nonprofit research development and service agency that works to promote excellence and equity in education. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. Our series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd serves as an advisor and develops the written materials that go along with each episode.Engage With Us!Follow us on Twitter at @Budget4EdEquity to keep up to date on the series; find additional resource recommendations; and share your thoughts, ideas, questions and feedback. 
School districts face extreme urgency to safely return students to in-person environments and help them recover from a pandemic that has not yet ended. At the same time, leaders and practitioners are pressing to expeditiously but thoughtfully allocate a windfall of new state and federal dollars – all the while trying to leverage the unique opportunity created by these circumstances to bring about transformative changes to our public school systems. How can school communities make the most of this moment to innovate towards a greater equality of outcomes for all students? That's the question we explore in this episode. Education reform experts Michael Fullan and Joanne Quinn share powerful ideas and insights from their work. Both have advised school systems in California and throughout the world. They’ve co-authored many books and papers, including their latest, “Right Drivers for Whole System Success.” Fullan and Quinn help us to look through the lens of equity and learning, emphasizing that education leaders should prioritize engaging all of their students.The possibilities for investing this influx of new, one-time funding to address inequities is truly exciting. But not so simple. School business officials especially may find themselves caught in a tension, on the one hand focused on fulfilling their important, traditional role of ensuring fiscal health and responsible accounting (including spending down Covid-recovery funds within prescribed timelines) while also being presented an opportunity to help their districts think and act in new ways that can be sustained over time. CASBO CEO and executive director Tatia Davenport also re-joins Jason to put some of Michael and Joanne’s ideas through a school business “reality check.” Tatia describes why focusing on increasing the long-term yield of our public school investments is so critical, plus she highlights why district leaders need more time and space to plan, so they can develop a cohesive strategy with their communities for effectively spending their funds and improving outcomes. Download the Episode 4 Companion Brief here. GuestsJoanne Quinn is an international consultant and author on system change, leadership, and learning. As co-founder and Global Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, she leads partnership work across eight countries focused on transforming learning. Joanne has provided leadership at all levels of education as a superintendent, implementation advisor to the Ontario Ministry of Education, and Director of Continuing Education at the University of Toronto. Michael Fullan, O.C., is the Global Leadership Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning and a worldwide authority on educational reform with a mandate of helping to achieve the moral purpose of all children learning. A former Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) of the University of Toronto, Michael advises policymakers and local leaders around the world to provide leadership in education. *Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), in partnership with WestEd. Our series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd  develops our related written materials. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. @Budget4edequity
In this episode, Sanger Unified School District Superintendent Adela Madrigal Jones highlights approaches and actions her district has taken to advance equity. It’s chock-full of practical guidance, real-life experiences and candid reflections from a lifelong educator who has helped lead successful work in this Central Valley district.One of the key strategies Sanger USD utilizes are “Principal Summits.” These summits engage school site leaders in reviewing data, collectively exploring how dollars are invested (including LCFF-LCAP funds), developing plans and actions to meet the needs of all students, and regularly monitoring those plans. Superintendent Madrigal Jones shares further insights into the mechanics of budgeting for equity, including describing how some recent allocation models called for distributing dollars equally, and some equitably. In addition, she takes us inside some of her district’s recent discussions about how best to utilize newly available one-time state and federal dollars to accelerate recovery from the pandemic.Later in this episode, Sanger USD Chief Business Official Marsha Alfving joins Adela to discuss the key importance of superintendents and chief business officials working together and with their teams to support resource equity. CBO Alfving describes several ways that school business officials can deepen their engagement in their district's conversations around equity and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) to best meet the needs of all students.Finally, Superintendent Madrigal Jones looks back on a key success in her district that improved early literacy. Plus, she recommends a few things that all educational leaders should consider bringing along as they prepare to embark on their own resource equity and "cultural shift" journeys.GuestsAdela Madrigal Jones has served as superintendent of Sanger USD since July 2018. Prior to that, she served as associate superintendent, as a principal and a teacher, all in the district. She has also worked extensively with English Learners. In total, she has spent more than 37 years in public education.Marsha Alfving has served in Sanger USD for more than a decade, including as Chief Financial Officer since 2013. She’s also a Certified Public Accountant and prior to joining Sanger, served for several years in public accounting.Sanger USD is located in California’s Central Valley. The district serves about 11,000 students, nearly 70% who qualify for free and reduced price meals and 15% who are English Learners. The district has been recognized in research literature, such as the 2019 Learning Policy Institute brief, for its promising practices and outcomes, especially for students of color.Download the Interactive Companion Brief for this episode.*Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO), in partnership with WestEd. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. Engage with us on Twitter at @Budget4EdEquity Budgeting for Educational Equity is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd  develops our related written materials. 
Veteran school district CBO Jayne Christakos joins us to help build our practical understanding of equity and resource allocation in educational systems, and to identify some good places to start. She emphasizes the crucial importance of embracing a districtwide culture that is comfortable using data, asking questions and "listening to the whole system."Throughout our series, we’re sharing specific experiences and examples of leaders and practitioners who are doing the work of ensuring a more equitable allocation of resources. We explore their motivations, what tools they’re using, what’s working, and what they’ve learned.  ***Be sure to check out the new Episode 2 Companion Brief: Using Data to Advance Equity***Jayne Christakos has served as a chief school business official in several California districts, including the past six years as CBO with San Bernardino City Unified School District (SBCUSD), where she recently retired from in June. SBCUSD is among the 12 largest school districts in the state with nearly 50,000 students, about 90% who qualify for free and reduced price meals. The district has implemented a number of significant initiatives to improve learning and well-being for its diverse student population.In this episode, Jayne describes work she has helped carry out in the district, including an initiative called Targeted Support for School Progress (TSSP) that utilized data across all areas to identify a number of school sites for additional support. As part of TSSP, district and site teams worked to examine everything they were doing, from classroom instruction to professional development. The effort also involved creating a new cabinet-level assistant superintendent position for continuous improvement (led by Dr. Rachel Monarrez) -- and strengthening cross-departmental collaboration. Data after the first year of the program showed significant improvements for student subgroups across many areas.Jayne also shares additional timely advice for leaders and school business officials based on her experiences in the CBO chair, as a CBO mentor, and as a "go-to" person for so many in the state on school district budgeting. Related resourcesCASBO WorkWise Webinar: Leaders from San Bernardino City USD discuss the value of social emotional learning for education leaders and share real-world examples and best practices.About our seriesBudgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO), the premier resource for professional development and best practices for more than 24,000 California school business leaders, in partnership with WestEd, a national nonprofit research development and service agency that works to promote excellence and equity in education. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. Engage with us!Follow us on Twitter at @Budget4EdEquity to keep up to date on the series and share your thoughts, ideas, questions and feedback. Budgeting for Educational Equity is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd serves as an advisor and develops the written materials that go along with each episode.
Advancing equity continues to be a major focus for California public education at all levels of the system. Yet, as education leaders and school business officials, it's not always easy to press your way forward into the noisy, bustling, sometimes uncomfortable intersection where equity meets educational resources.  In our first episode,  host Jason Willis, director of strategic resource planning and implementation for WestEd and a former chief business official in several California school districts, invites several guest policy experts, advocates and school district leaders to share how they think about and define resource equity in education. It's our way to help you get your "resource equity bearings." This also helps set the context for a core question we'll be exploring throughout this series: How can dedicated teams of educators, administrators, school business officials and entire school communities allocate resources — resources like time, money and our most valuable asset, people — to better meet the needs of all their students? Especially at this watershed moment, coming out of the pandemic, when student needs have never been greater and an influx of additional federal and state dollars offer opportunities for transformative change. Guests in this episode:Christopher Edley, Jr., J.D., interim dean, U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Education; co-founder and president emeritus of The Opportunity Institute; professor and dean emeritus, U.C. Berkeley School of Law; former professor, Harvard Law School; and co-chair, National Commission on K-12 Excellence & EquityMaria Echaveste, J.D., president and CEO, The Opportunity Institute; and former White House deputy chief of staffJayne Christakos, former chief business officer, San Bernardino City Unified School DistrictMarguerite Williams, Ed.D., assistant superintendent of educational services, Adelanto Elementary School District; and former senior director of equity and diversity, Association of California School AdministratorsAdela Madrigal Jones, superintendent, Sanger Unified School DistrictMichael Kirst, Ph.D., professor emeritus, Graduate School of Education, Stanford University; and past president, California State Board of EducationDownload the Interactive Companion Brief for this episode.Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO), the premier resource for professional development and best practices for more than 24,000 California school business leaders, in partnership with WestEd, a national nonprofit research development and service agency that works to promote excellence and equity in education. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for providing additional support. Engage with us on Twitter at @Budget4EdEquity Budgeting for Educational Equity is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. John Diaz at WestEd serves as an advisor and develops the written materials that go along with each episode.
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