Draw Your Hand

Advance your long term goals. Set your budget target, then draw cards to improve student achievement while meeting the budget goal. What choices will you make?

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Select your budget target:

Begin How to Play

Smart trade-offs are the name of the game.

California districts face an unprecedented opportunity to make big changes. With increased budgets and more flexibility now is the time to consider how all resources are used, not just the incremental funds. But even with new funds districts can’t do everything. Achieving educational and budgetary goals requires district leaders to think differently about where to invest and where to pull back. Learn more »

Are we gambling with our children's education?

Education funding decisions should never be left to chance. School Budget Hold 'em is more than a game...it's an interactive exploration of the thoughtful trade-offs school administrators have to make in these challenging budget times.

Playing the right cards can create lasting improvement — transforming your district to make the most of every budget dollar, while increasing student success.

Play Hold ’em individually or with your colleagues. Then let us know what you think!

Want to learn more?

Education Resource Strategies (ERS) is a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming how urban school systems organize resources so that every school succeeds for every student. Our School System 20/20 provides a framework for understanding how districts can most effectively allocate people, time and money. Learn more about System 20/20.

Want to play on behalf of a sample district?

Hold’em can be played with a specific district in mind, including demographics, funding levels, and — most importantly — goals and priorities. Alternatively, you can try playing using one of our sample California districts that most closely applies to your context: High Poverty, Small Rural, or Suburban.

Wondering about your investments in English learners and low income students?

Click here for more information.

Additional resources from ERS to help you transform your California district

ERS is working closely with the California Collaborative on District Reform on how districts can seize this moment of increasing budgets under LCFF to achieve transformation. Read about tools to help your district in our paper and blogs.