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Hold'em and The Wallace Foundation

ERS’ popular School Budget Hold’em game was featured at a recent grantee meeting sponsored by The Wallace Foundation. On April 5, representatives of eight Wallace grantees—all members of the Extended Learning Time PLC (professional learning community)—met to discuss school financing. This session was one in a series the group, mainly comprising non-profits who work with school districts, has held this year to better understand public education strategic financing and budgeting.

As part of the meeting, Principal Associates Randi Feinberg and Rob Daigneau led the group through the Hold’em game, which focuses on district level budgeting and decision making, followed by our new Strategic School Design card exercise, which focuses on school level budgeting and decision making. Both experiences and the follow-up discussion were well-received. Carrie Feliz of the Providence Public School Department said, “The opportunity to step back and reconsider district level considerations and trade-offs was powerful. These are great tools, and I look forward to playing with them.” Erin Hodge-Williams of Higher Achievement added “[This session] allowed me to gain a deeper understanding of how budgeting and planning are interconnected.”

Several participants noted this experience will impact their conversations with district and school leaders as they plan extended learning time programs across the county. Antonio Battaglia of BELL commented, “[I gained] an understanding of the complexities of fiscal management at both the district and school level.” 

ERS would like to thank The Wallace Foundation for hosting us, and Brenda McLaughlin, who coordinates the PLC for Wallace, for organizing the session.

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