State Support Network Blog

How Can School Districts Engage Stakeholders in Financial Transparency?

Date Posted: 2020/05/14 – While parent and family engagement is a longstanding part of school improvement efforts, engaging families and other stakeholders in understanding school budgets and spending has more recently gained attention given the financial transparency requirements in the Elementary…

What Can School Districts Do to Visualize Complex Financial Data for Stakeholders?

Date Posted: 2020/05/14 – District financial data can be complex and confusing even for individuals familiar with school systems; therefore, it is important that data be presented and shared in ways that all stakeholders can easily understand. Using appropriate data visualization and summarization approaches can help ensure…

Why Engage Stakeholders in Local Financial Transparency Efforts?

Date Posted: 2020/05/07 – As of 2018, each state and school district is required1 to report per-pupil expenditures at the school level on its annual report card. Families should be able to understand and use these data to make the best choices for their children. For community members, these data can help…

Blog Post 4: Preparing for the Transparency Provision: Perspectives From Districts

Date Posted: 2020/03/30 – The third blog post in this series highlighted the steps Illinois and Oregon have taken to prepare for meeting new requirements in ESEA’s financial transparency provision. Like states, districts also need to be proactive in preparing to report per-pupil expenditures and communicate…

Blog Post 3: Preparing to Transparently Report Spending Per Student: State Perspectives

Date Posted: 2020/03/16 – The first blog post in this series addressed four areas that school districts should look at to prepare themselves for the financial transparency provision in the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)…

Blog Post 2: Going Beyond Finances in Resource Allocation Decisions

Date Posted: 2020/03/02 – The first blog post in this series described four strategies that school districts can use when preparing for the public release of school-level spending reports. This second post explores how to incorporate per-pupil expenditure data into district- and school-level resource allocation…

Blog Post 1: Preparing for the ESEA Financial Transparency Provision

Date Posted: 2020/02/18 – The amounts of money school districts spend per student—and disparities in these amounts across schools—have received little attention outside of the research community. While there are many reasons for this limited attention to student-level spending from policymakers…

ESSA Implementation Lessons Learned: Blog 3

Date Posted: 2020/02/03 – This blog is the third and final in a three-part series highlighting lessons learned by states as they implement their consolidated state plans for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)…

ESSA Implementation Lessons Learned: Blog 2

Date Posted: 2020/01/21 – This blog is the second in a three-part series highlighting lessons learned by states as they implement their consolidated state plans for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This series will share insights…

ESSA Implementation Lessons Learned: Blog 1

Date Posted: 2020/01/06 – This blog is the first in a three-part series highlighting lessons learned by states as they implement their consolidated state plans for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). This series will share insights…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 6: The Role of Stakeholder Engagement and Overall Lessons Learned

Date Posted: 2019/12/16 – We know stakeholder engagement is an important component of a needs assessment process. In this episode of our podcast series, Arizona and Georgia address stakeholder engagement at multiple levels, including the addition of districts and school voices in the development…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 5: Determining Priorities and Connecting to Implementation

Date Posted: 2019/12/16 – Successful improvement plans focus on a manageable set of priorities. A comprehensive needs assessment will likely raise multiple issues that need to be addressed. Prioritizing among the needs—and then acting to make change—is what turns the needs assessment results into something meaningful…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 4: Interpreting Information

Date Posted: 2019/12/09 – An effective needs assessment is a process, not a piece of paper. However, following this process can be a difficult expectation to convey and monitor from the SEA level when the final result of the process is a document. In this episode, we learn from Arizona and Georgia…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 3: Data Collection

Date Posted: 2019/12/09 – Both Arizona and Georgia chose to have the state collect and report data as a part of the comprehensive needs assessment process rather than requiring districts or schools to gather them all on their own. Each state experienced unique successes and challenges as staff…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 2: Planning

Date Posted: 2019/12/02 – Creating a successful, singular statewide needs assessment process is a cross-agency effort. Multiple stakeholders from all levels of the system contribute important perspectives on the work, and the demands of the timeline may surprise you…

Creating A Singular Statewide Needs Assessment Part 1: Rationale

Date Posted: 2019/12/02 – Creating a singular comprehensive needs assessment process takes substantial up-front effort from state educational agency (SEA) staff. However, creating this kind of comprehensive, cross-cutting process can also help break down silos and reduce duplication of effort at the state level…

Rural Education Collaboratives for Personalized Learning

Date Posted: 2019/11/18 – This blog is the third in a series on strategies and resources to help rural educators implement critical improvement initiatives. This blog series will share and build on lessons and best practices that are working in rural districts. An introductory blog post outlining the series…

Supporting Rural Educators’ Professional Learning through Rural Education Collaboratives

Date Posted: 2019/11/18 – Emerging rural collaboratives are increasingly focused on improving the quality and relevance of professional learning for teachers. Rural districts often struggle to provide regular and varied professional learning opportunities for teachers due to a variety of factors, including limited time and resources…

Essential Factors for the Success of Rural Education Collaboratives

Date Posted: 2019/11/11 – Rural education collaboratives can be organized and managed in different ways, depending on the local context. For example, the Colorado Rural Education Collaborative is organized by districts, whereas the North Dakota Small Organized Schools collaborative is organized…

The Value of Rural Education Collaboratives

Date Posted: 2019/11/11 – In Colorado, many of the districts across the state are rural and, like many rural districts, have long faced challenges around limited resources or staff to support stakeholder engagement and implementation activities. In 2015, 55 of these districts and their associated boards of cooperative…

Stakeholder Engagement—A Checklist for Rural Education Systems

Date Posted: 2019/11/04 – t is important that states and district leaders in rural communities continually refine their engagement approaches to ensure they stay nimble and responsive to community needs. There are some common steps that rural districts…

Top Ten Tips for Rural Leaders Around Effective Communications

Date Posted: 2019/11/04 – Effective communication plans aren’t implemented one-and-done; effective communications plans are refined over time, which requires rural leaders to be nimble and responsive to community needs and feedback. A good example of this is the Eastern Shore Collaborative in Maryland…

Effective Communication Strategies for Building Local Stakeholder Engagement and Ownership

Date Posted: 2019/10/31 – Community members in rural districts often view their schools through the lens of tradition and history; in their communities, schools are considered the lifeblood of the region. Many school-based events—including sporting events, school plays, and graduations…

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Last Modified: 10/23/2020