School District Finance and Organizational Management – EDUC 748

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course addresses the role of district-level leadership in system operations, including budget preparation, fiscal management, administration of auxiliary services (food service, transportation, etc.), human resources (salaries, benefits, hiring costs, professional development, etc.) and policy development. Related topics address equity issues, taxation, statutory mandates, facility management, technology infrastructures, and school safety.

Prerequisites

EDUC 743 or (Background Check Clearance with a score of 5 or Background Clear International with a score of 5 or Background Clear Out of State with a score of 5 or Background Clear Virginia with a score of 5)

Rationale

Financial and managerial leadership of a school building or district is a primary factor in the success or failure of school instructional programs. This course provides an opportunity for public and private school practicing and prospective superintendents to gain an understanding of their role in these critical areas. A comprehensive understanding of the financial implications of systemic reform, centralized goal setting, accountability standards, and decentralized forms of site-based management, school choice, charter schools, and the voucher system will be the main focus of this study. It is essential that a school system superintendent have more than a cursory knowledge of all aspects of school finance including local and state tax structures, federal funding, state funding formulas, along with various budgeting procedures, collaboration with key stakeholder groups, and understanding the issues surrounding the various types of school and districts including private (non-church-related schools), private church-related schools, rural public-school systems, and metropolitan public-school systems.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the candidate will be able to:

    1. Understand and can monitor and evaluate school district management and operational systems (ELCC 3.1).
    2. Efficiently use human, fiscal, and technological resources to manage school district operations (ELCC 3.2).
    3. Develop school district capacity for distributed leadership (ELCC 3.4).
    4. Collaborate with personnel and community members by collecting and analyzing information pertinent to the improvement of the school district’s educational environment (ELCC 4.1).
    5. Apply biblical principles to act with integrity and fairness to ensure that school districts are accountable for every student’s academic and social success (ELCC 5.1).

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (3)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the candidate is required to provide a thread in response to the provided prompt for each forum. The forums will be spread out over 2 modules/weeks with the thread due in the first module/week and the replies due in the following module/week. Each thread must be at least 500 words and demonstrate course-related knowledge. A minimum of 2 scholarly references in current APA format are required. In addition to the thread, the candidate is required to reply to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 250 words and include at least 1 scholarly reference in current APA format.

Legal Issues Presentation

The candidate will demonstrate a thorough understanding of legal issues by preparing a PowerPoint presentation of at least 30 slides. The candidate must discuss the constitutional and legal issues pertaining to the evolution of public school financing, and future of school finance issues (vouchers, charter schools, other school choice issues, etc.). A minimum of 5 citations in current APA format are required.

Financial Needs Assessment

The candidate will submit this assignment in 3 parts: analysis of financial processes and operations, strategic and tactical challenges, and prioritized challenges resulting in operational policies and procedures based on the funding of programs within his or her chosen district/school system. The candidate will complete all 3 parts according to the provided steps for each section. The assignment must be submitted in current APA format.

Budget Review

The candidate will submit this assignment in 2 parts: budget review collaboration strategies and budget review communication strategies. The candidate will conduct a detailed budget review for the top priority identified in the financial needs assessment and analyze it collaboratively with at least 2 other stakeholders (faculty, administration, parents, students, etc.). The analysis must convey multiple perspectives regarding the sufficiency and efficiency of the funding in a minimum of 250 words in current APA format. The candidate will then prepare a PowerPoint presentation of a minimum of 10 slides based on the analysis.

Leading Financial Goal-Setting

The candidate will submit this assignment in 2 parts: goals and distributed leadership in goal-setting as they relate to the Financial Needs Assessment assignment. The candidate must ensure that the goals are SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Research-based, and Time-sensitive), include a summary of a minimum of 250-words and be in current APA format.

Fiscal Comparison Paper

The candidate will complete a full comparison of the issues surrounding rural, suburban, and urban school districts within his or her state. Issues such as state funding formulas, federal funds, equity v. adequacy, SPED funding, school facility funding, and professional development funding must be discussed. The candidate will use the comparison to write a minimum 5–7-page paper in current APA format to include 7–10 citations in current APA format.

Resource Management Plan

The candidate will develop a multi-year fiscal plan and annual program budget that is aligned to his or her chosen district/school system’s priorities and goals. The plan must be a minimum of 750 words in current APA format.

Financial Accountability Plan

The candidate will design a comprehensive system for monitoring, evaluating, and revising finances as they relate to his or her project topic. The plan must be a minimum of 250 words in current APA format.

Program Financial Review

The candidate will submit the revised Financial Needs Assessment, Budget Review, Leading Financial Goal Setting, Resource Management Plan, and Financial Accountability Plan assignments to LiveText at the end of the course. 

Quizzes (6)

Each quiz will cover the Reading & Study material for the assigned module/week. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain 10–20 multiple-choice and true/false questions and at least 1 essay, and have a 1-hour time limit.