Yesterday was Course Three of CSBA’s Masters in Governance (MIG) training. It covered only one topic, but it was a hefty one: School Finance. If you’re thinking to yourself “Hey, what happened Course Two? Don’t worry, you’re not losing your mind. I was scheduled to participate in Course Two on March 21 but woke up too ill to attend. I will reschedule to make sure I don’t miss out on the Student Learning and Achievement/Policy and Judicial Review trainings. UPDATE (July 15, 2015): Peggy was kind enough to re-schedule me for Course Two on Saturday, September 26, 2015.
As I was saying, today was a difficult session to fully digest—even for a self-proclaimed “number junkie” like myself. There is just too much that goes into a school district’s budget that it becomes impossible to learn it all in one sitting. That isn’t to say the session lacked value, though. It was actually a great introduction into what will surely be a long-time study of the inner workings of school finance.
A couple quick-yet-important takeaways:
- California, as a state, does not spend nearly enough on public education (unfortunately this may not come as a shock to many of you).
- Intentional deficit spending is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, investing extra funds strategically to high-need areas can be a great way to target weaknesses in a district.