Last week ERS Managing Director Karen Baroody hosted a webinar in partnership with Education Week on the topic of balancing district priorities in tough fiscal times. We were very privileged to have guest speakers John Scanlon, CFO of Cleveland Metropolitan School District, and Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools in Washington, join Karen for the presentation.
Karen gave an overview of the current state of districts regarding fiscal responsibilities and accountability for student performance, and she explained the challenges in making transformative changes given the traditional budget process.
With an emphasis on the idea that the whole conversation needs to change from one of just cutting money to one of investment and strategic trade-offs, Karen turned it over to guest speaker Susan Enfield, who shared her experiences in Washington. Susan was previously the CAO of Seattle Public Schools, where she was charged with cutting nearly $15 million and faced some tough decisions. John Scanlon then talked about the challenges he’s faced in Cleveland and explained how the ERS tool, School Budget Hold'em, helped initiate a new conversation about budgeting with his board. He pointed out several characteristics of the game that get people to consider budget realities while still investing in student performance.
You can watch the webinar here: http://www.edweek.org/ew/marketplace/webinars/webinars.html#archived.