A new online game released by Education Resource Strategies (ERS), School Budget Hold'em, consists of a series of “cards” that represent the savings and investments school districts face, the object being to select a hand that combines strategic budget reductions and includes investments for improved performance. The player learns the impact of various choices and why some choices will be better than others. The game evolved out of ERS’ experience working with large urban districts around the country, and its aim is to create an engaging, interactive way for administrators to think differently about how they allocate resources. The budget impacts associated with various “card” choices are estimates based on real districts, although specific district circumstances may vary. The game is both online and a physical card game, which ERS has been using with districts around the country. ERS has also prepared a report on how Memphis City Schools used the concept behind School Budget Hold’em to take a new direction in their budget discussions. Read that report here.
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