School board members have a key responsibility as fiduciaries who oversee taxpayer resources as they work collectively to provide a high-quality educational experience that supports student academic success.
As states project shortfalls in education funding caused by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, school board members have the responsibility to develop and adopt solvent school district budgets to both meet district goals and continue to provide high quality education and services to all students during this extraordinary time.
This convening is part of the NALEO Education Leadership Initiative (NELI) which aims to provide Latino public servants with the enhanced capacity and governance skills they need to become effective advocates for their students, families, and communities. Participants will have an opportunity to network virtually with their peers and will learn from leading experts and each other on how they can strengthen their board leadership capacity on education finance.
Webinar I – Education Finance 101 and Navigating Financial Turmoil
The current pandemic-driven economic downturn will have a negative impact on school district budgets throughout the country. In spite of the fiscal challenges, school board members still have the core responsibility to monitor, adjust, and approve district budgets while navigating the various complexities that the economic downturn will present. This online session will equip policymakers with a clearer understanding of their budgets and school finance models while highlighting how these systems can absorb the difficult financial decisions ahead.
Webinar II – Leading through COVID19: What School Board Members Should Know for the Months Ahead
As the nation still grapples with the COVID 19 health crisis, policymakers are anticipating severe state budget shortfalls in 2020-2021, including deep cuts in school funding. In many states, these cuts could hit vulnerable, low-income communities the hardest. With school district financial obligations set to grow despite the economic downturn, school board members must anticipate short-term budget implications while still planning ahead. In this online session, experts will discuss financial outlooks for public education and what school board members should consider leveraging with their limited funds to achieve the best outcomes for all students.
Webinar III – Working with Your School’s Community: How to Communicate about Finance Strategy
Discussing significant financial updates with community members and stakeholders can feel daunting for board members to navigate anytime and can be even harder during a financial crisis. Whether the school district is seeking community and stakeholder support for a bond or is proposing budget cuts, school board members must be prepared to share critical financial information with their constituents. In this online session, participants will learn of effective communication practices to achieve financial transparency and strengthen public trust.
Webinar IV – Freeze, Trim, and Negotiate: Technical Assistance Strategies to Cover Potential Budgetary Shortfalls
As learning resumes in the fall, education leaders will be in a better position to assess the actual costs of reestablishing instruction and adjusting to any changes in their student population, including the possibility that more students will be living in poverty. In this online session, policymakers will have the opportunity to seek technical assistance from finance experts to explore finance strategies to meet education goals for 2020-21 school year amidst financial realities and look ahead to budget development for 2021-22.