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ERIC Number: ED532360
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010-Jul
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Perspectives of Key Central Office Staff and School Principals Regarding Resource Allocation Policies and Procedures. A Report Prepared for Twin Rivers Unified School District. SSFR Research Report #02 (TRUSD)
Chambers, Jay G.; Brown, James R.; Tolleson, Ray; Manship, Karen; Knudson, Joel
Strategic School Funding for Results
This report summarizes the perspectives and attitudes of a selected set of district and school site administrators whom the authors interviewed in Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD) during the fall of 2009. The authors carried out interviews and focus groups with these individuals to gain an understanding of how the current budgeting system operates, and to obtain some information on the attitudes and perspectives of various administrative staff on the strengths and challenges of the current budgeting system and how this system measures up against some of the policy goals of SSFR, such as equity, transparency, accountability, innovation, and efficiency. TRUSD uses a traditional staffing model to allocate general fund resources to the schools, but does provide some limited flexibility to the schools in selecting the quantities of staff employed under categorical funding programs. With regard to equity, the perception of those interviewed suggests that substantial inequity exists in the district as a result of the policies that existed prior to the merger of the four districts into the new Twin Rivers Unified School District (TRUSD). Regarding transparency, the impression from the interviews is that despite the notion that the information was technically accessible to everyone, it was unclear whether principals really "use" or fully "understand" that information. The principals interviewed indicated that accountability exists primarily in the form of compliance regarding how money is spent, but also indicated that their school site councils or leadership teams tended to hold them accountable. Interview respondents suggested that the budget crisis has limited opportunities for innovation. There was a common perception that money was sometimes spent to avoid losing it, which did not always result in the best use of funds. Some additional comments that emerged from the interviews suggested both positive and challenging themes for the future of improving resource allocation. First, while respondents embraced the notion of flexibility, they also expressed the belief that specific parameters must be in place to ensure responsible behavior on the part of school leaders. Second, there was the sense that resource allocation decisions were very much controlled by the central office, and that multiple levels of approval for staffing decisions resulted in a very slow process for filling new positions. (Contains 5 footnotes.) [For technical appendix, "Perspectives of Key Central Office Staff and School Principals Regarding Resource Allocation Policies and Procedures--Technical Appendix. A Report Prepared for Twin Rivers Unified School District. SSFR Research Report #02 (TRUSD)," see ED532361.]
Strategic School Funding for Results. Available from: American Institutes for Research. 2800 Campus Drive Suite 200, San Mateo, CA 94403. Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: William and Flora Hewlett Foundation; Ford Foundation
Authoring Institution: Strategic School Funding for Results (SSFR)
Identifiers - Location: California