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Get Involved

As one of the fundamental priorities for the project, we want to gather as much knowledge as possible from those involved in the challenges of education budgeting. Over the course of the project, there will be a number of ways for you to be part of the success, and we hope you’ll take full advantage! Whether you just want to stay informed, attend our Symposium, or even apply to be one of our Partners in Practice, your involvement will help us to make the project powerfully successful
 

Stay Informed

We’ll be sharing great information from the project along the way, so be sure to sign up for our updates using the Inquiry Form at the bottom of this page. You’ll get emails about the project, helpful resources we’re using in our research, and be the first to know of education and training opportunities. We will also be asking for feedback from practitioners at various points in the project, so signing up now is a great way to be sure your point of view is considered.

Partners in Practice - Pilot Program

One of the most important components of the project is the Partners in Practice Pilot Program. We will select five public school districts and five community colleges from across the country to test the budgeting best practices and the award criteria as they prepare their 2014-2015 budgets.

Our goal is to find a diverse group of pilots in order to see our research put into practice in a variety of circumstances and structures. We understand that every school is different in terms of how they serve their students and the resource challenges they face, so ensuring flexibility in our best practices and award program is paramount. Each pilot will also receive a grant award for being a first adopter of progressive changes to their budgeting process.

 

What does it mean to be a Partner in Practice?

Most importantly, it means your organization will be one of the first to utilize GFOA’s newest set of best practices, specifically tailored for education, and participate in our revised budget award program. You will help us to refine the framework and award criteria before launching the full program in the fall of 2014. Being a Partner in Practice also means helping GFOA to enhance awareness of the new program and encouraging participation in the program among your peers.

 

What will being a Partner require of me and my organization?

Participating in the pilot program requires that your organization has the bandwidth to regularly interact with the project team and other pilot sites during the budget process. In order for the experience to mutually beneficial, we will be working closely with each organization as they implement the best practice framework. In many cases, interaction will be virtual (e.g. webinars, email, teleconferences), but may also include visits from the project team for on-site work and occasional travel of key budgeting owners to GFOA headquarters in Chicago.


The first such travel will be to a two-day training event in late September / early October (final dates to be announced soon). The event will take place at GFOA headquarters in Chicago and it is recommended that the most senior budget owner and the most senior academic leader from each institution attend. The event will orient each partner organization to the best practice framework, the structure of the pilot program, and allow for networking with the other partner organizations.


After the pilot program has been completed, there will be a series of review meetings to discuss experience with the program and identify opportunities for improvement. Helping GFOA to finalize the structure of the best practices and award programs is a critical component of the Partners in Practice program, and will require involvement of various budget owners in your organization.


After the structure of the program has been finalized, GFOA will also look to the partner organizations to help enhance awareness and encourage participation in the program. The specifics of the communication strategy are still in development, but will likely include speaking engagements at events for various education organizations, press outreach for industry-relevant publications, and utilization of GFOA’s vast network for word-of-mouth outreach.

 

How many Partners will be selected?

GFOA expects to select approximately 10 pilot sites, evenly split between K-12 and community college organizations.

 

Will Partners be compensated?

Pilot sites will be provided a grant of $4,000 to help compensate the organization for the time spent providing feedback for GFOA. Additionally, GFOA will sponsor all travel required for the pilot program.

 

How can I apply for my organization to be a Partner in Practice?

Applying to be one of our Partners in Practice is a two-stage process. First, we ask that you complete and submit the application found at the below link along with your most recent budget document. After the initial review of the applications, our project team may reach out to you for additional follow-up and discussion of specific elements of the pilot program. Applications and budget documents are due by August 23, 2013. Follow-up and selection will be conducted during the first half of August, and final pilot site selections will be made by the end of August.

 

To apply for the Partners in Practice pilot program, complete the web application here. Contact Dylan Gordon with any questions or concerns.