Smarter School Spending
Smarter School Spending - Tools
Interactive tools to assist a district in developing a strategic finance plan, analyzing district finances, and examine cost savings opportunities.
- Balance Tradeoffs Tool - Once your district identifies the specific areas for investment, based on the instructional priorities, and the ways in which you can pay for those investments, you must determine weigh the tradeoffs between discontinuing existing programs and investing in new instructional priorities. This decision requires your district to consider tradeoffs. This tool provides district leadership with an interactive template to balance these tradeoffs between investments and cost savings over the next 1-5 years.
- Budget Projection Tool - This tool is designed to assist district leadership in developing a general future financial picture of district revenues and expenditures. Additionally, this tool allows leaders to examine which areas of the budget have been growing the fastest over the past 3 years.
- Budget Roadmap Tool -The goal of the Budget Roadmap Tool is to help assess the current and identify potential opportunities to reallocate resources to address the district's strategic priorities. Together, they are meant to be a "quick and simple" assessment of a long list of potential opportunities. The Budget Roadmap Tool guides districts to answer a few straightforward questions that do not require data collection.
- Cost Projection Tool - The cost projection tool is a template to assist districts in estimating all of the incremental costs associated with implementation of instructional priorities. This tool in particular, provides a blank template that districts may utilize to assist in determining the cost of any instructional priority.
- Cost Saving Options Screening and Sizing Tool - The goal of the Screening & Sizing Tools is to help identify potential opportunities to reallocate resources to address the district's strategic priorities. Together, they are meant to be a "quick and simple" assessment of a long list of potential opportunities. The Screening Tools guide districts to answer a few straightforward questions that do not require data collection. The Screening Tools can help districts consider opportunities that at first glance may not seem to have high potential, but are in fact worthy of further investigation.
- Introductory District Diagnostic Tool - This tool provides a list of capacity indicators necessary to execute and sustain the Smarter School Spending process. There are specific capacities in each section of the process that are necessary to effectively complete the process. Use this tool to identify what capacities you have and will need to complete Smarter School Spending.
- Program Evaluation Summary - Often, districts encounter challenges as they attempt to assess the effectiveness and impact of their programs. In such instances, districts can acquire both quantitative and qualitative data through a survey of a specific program’s participants. The district can use this survey data to assess the relative success of a program in terms of outcomes compared to its goals as well as the fidelity of implementation.
- Program Success Tracker-All districts aim to use their dollars as effectively as possible in order to maximize student outcomes. This tool helps districts think specifically about the intended results of their investments and track their success. The Program Success Tracker compares the projected outcomes and costs of an investment to the actual outcomes and costs of an investment in order to measure its relative success. Districts can use this tool to regularly evaluate program success and identify potential areas for either increased investment or disinvestment of resources.
- Strategic Abandonment Tool - A simple tool that can be used to help districts to consider when to discontinue a program. A program is given a score for each criteria (1, 2, or 3 points) and the total points indicate whether the program’s degree of conformance with the criteria is unacceptable, questionable, or acceptable.
- Strategic Financial Plan Template - A tool that you can use to communicate the district’s priorities and financial plans over the next 3-5 years. Developing a strategic financial plan will provide your district with an important tool for communication.