budget change


Play School Budget Hold'em with a Group

Playing School Budget Hold'em with a group of colleagues can be a powerful teaching tool for education leaders wanting to rethink the budgeting process. Consider bringing together people from a variety of roles, departments, and perspectives and use the game to spark a robust discussion on district priorities and the impact of possible trade-offs.

Suggestions for Team Play:

  1. Set aside at least three hours for team play and discussion.
  2. Balance teams of 5-6 players with members from different departments, functional areas or constituencies (e.g. administrators, teachers, school board members, community members, etc.).
  3. Select a facilitator to guide the teams through the game and group discussion. See our Facilitator's Guide.
  4. Review the game parameters: See "How to Play" and "Is your Hand Transformational?"
  5. As a group, discuss the top 3-5 district priorities to protect/invest in. This can help guide the teams in selecting their savings and investment choices.
  6. Set your group's Budget Target.
  7. Provide each team with an option sheet to record the selected investments and savings. Have teams note long-term versus short-term options as they make their selections.
  8. Encourage teams to assign the roles of discussion leader, time keeper and option selector.
  9. Be rigorous about time. Remind teams to review the options in all eight categories.
  10. Reconvene. Teams reflect with each other on the strengths/issues of their combination of choices.
    1. Do your chosen options complement or contradict one another?
    2. Do they support your district priorities?
    3. Are certain categories over or under-represented?
    4. Are there opportunities for Wild Cards — options not included in the game that should be included for your district?

Select your budget target: