As part of our education district reform work, C&J is helping districts to analyze budget and expenditure data to track, assess, and revise how their key resources (people, time and money) are deployed across and within individual schools. Increasingly, this involves helping districts that are struggling to “do more with less” as they work to achieve continuous improvement for all students. Our team always works in partnership with district staff with a goal of building district capacity to use their finance data to inform strategy and practice. Reviews can focus on a particular program such as Title I, inform the development of a strategic plan, or help allocate funding to a particular reform effort such as student-centered learning. Some of the key questions addressed by our finance team include:
- What resources are allocated by the district to the schools and which are controlled by the central office? What is the thinking behind these choices?
- How are resources distributed across schools and student types (Special Ed, English Language Learners, poverty)?
- How are teaching and other staff resources deployed within schools?
- How do class sizes variations affect expenditure patterns across grades, and by other characteristics of schools and students?
- How are resources being deployed for professional development?
- What resources does the district tap from community partners or other public agencies? How are those funds used?
Our firm works with foundations and districts that are looking to better align resources with goals and priorities. Some of our clients include The Ford Foundation, The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Allentown School District, Wichita School District, Jersey City Public Schools, and Omaha Public Schools.