As school districts across the country are increasingly seeking to make the most of the resources they have and to organize people, time and money in more sophisticated, higher-impact ways, the role of district budget staff is changing. They must now bring a strategic perspective and set of analytic skills to their work that were not needed before.
For school district budget staff, expertise in the technical aspects of budgeting (account transfers, position management, account reconciliation and expense tracking) must be complemented with a strategic perspective and set of analytic skills. While many districts are evolving their position descriptions and seeking to hire new staff that can bring a more strategic mindset to the table, most are lacking the tools and bandwidth to train staff on what this actually means in terms of actual skills and knowledge.
ERS is closing this gap with our inaugural Strategic Budget Partner: 2015 ERS Strategy Retreat, a four-day training retreat for budget partners that provides school district budget staff with the knowledge, skills, and mindset to support strategic resource allocation in schools and across the district.
The retreat will focus on developing skills in four different buckets: District Strategy, Building Expertise in School Design, Technical Skills, and Interpersonal skills. The sessions employ best practices of adult learning with collaborative group work that directly relates to work of the participants. The four days include sessions on strategic school design, applying hypothesis-driven analysis to school support, Excel training, ERS’ School Budget Hold’em, and transforming difficult conversations into learning conversations, among other, with breakout sessions for district teams to reflect and debrief on how these concepts apply to their district work.
In addition to the content above, we intend for this training to build a community of thoughtful practitioners working in this space, with strengthening relationships as they return to their districts. As we grow this retreat, ERS is looking to create a cohort of a group of districts within a single state, building on deeper resource strategy work we are engaging in with those districts and the state education agency in addition to more sessions training budget analysts from all over! If you are interested in learning more about upcoming retreats, please fill out this survey!
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