Almost a year ago, the WCCUSD Community Budget Advisory Committee had a great pre­sen­ta­tion from Barak Ben-Gal from the Oakland school dis­trict bud­get of­fice about their sys­tem of site-con­trolled bud­get­ing within le­gal and col­lec­tive-bar­gain­ing con­straints called Results-Based Budgeting. Here is a link to the pre­sen­ta­tion he gave us:

Powerpoint and PDF

The Committee mem­bers were ex­tremely in­ter­ested in this ap­proach. Not only did we like the idea of putting fi­nan­cial con­trol as close to the class­room as pos­si­ble, we were also very in­ter­ested in this as a way of deal­ing with the eq­uity is­sue of ex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers mi­grat­ing “up the hill.” By in­clud­ing ac­tual teacher salaries as part of the al­lo­ca­tion to the school it puts a fis­cal cap on this mi­gra­tion (only so many ex­pe­ri­enced teach­ers can be sup­ported at a school site). And, if the teach­ers in a flat­land school are still mostly in­ex­pe­ri­enced, the school would at least have more re­sources from this sav­ings to use on other things in the school.

Anyway, given the com­plete turnover here (Superintendent, State Trustee, and Chief Budget Officer), I thought this would be a good op­por­tu­nity to re­ally pro­mote his ideas. But, lo and be­hold, he had al­ready left. By a co­in­ci­dence, the next day, a par­ent di­rected me to a Wall Street Journal about Mr. Ben-Gal’s so­journ in the pub­lic sec­tor. here it is:

Another School Dropout

A lot of the con­cerns in this ar­ti­cle can be re­duced to the sim­ple fact that an ur­ban pub­lic school dis­trict is not a pri­vate Internet com­pany (Doh!), but there are still some things that a school dis­trict can learn from the busi­ness world. Hopefully, the RBB sys­tem is still in place in Oakland Unified, so we can study it in our school dis­trict.

Site-Based Budgeting
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