Armed with real-world examples and out-of-the-box ideas, Nathan Levenson challenges conventional thinking about school budgeting and offers practical, actionable advice for school superintendents, central office leaders, building principals, and school board members.
Virtually every school district in the nation is experiencing an extended period of financial constraints. Shrinking tax revenue, decreasing federal stimulus funds, rising health care and pension costs, and growing high-need student populations will continue to test superintendents and school boards as they seek to prepare students for a globally competitive environment.
This is an invaluable superintendent and school board member resource: clear and concise, but also bold and courageous in describing what we have to do to get control of school budgeting. Here is the master plan with insight and relevant case examples that will have readers thinking differently in perilous economic times. — Glenn Koocher, executive director, MA Association of School Committees
From class size to curriculum, from nurses to libraries, from paraprofessionals to administrators, no subject escapes the objective scrutiny that Levenson brings to every line of the budget. In times of acute budget shortages, the author makes a compelling case for rational, if sometimes unpopular, choices that place the interests of children above those of adults. — Douglas B. Reeves, founder, The Leadership and Learning Center
Levenson’s timely book provides specific guidance and examples of how leaders can streamline their operations while keeping dollars in the classroom. Levenson also offers critical advice on how to negotiate the cultural and political barriers that educators often face when seeking financial efficiencies. Smarter Budgets, Smarter Schools is a book forward-thinking educational leaders, policymakers, and advocates should have on their shelves. — Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies, American Enterprise Institute
Anyone who thinks finance is a dry subject hasn’t read this book. Levenson presents a new framework for maximizing benefit at a particular expenditure level, and then fills the pages with fresh and desperately needed ideas about how to rethink resources in ways not typically considered in the district allocation process. At a time when district leaders face tough decisions about how best to spend their limited dollars, this book is an absolute must-read. — Marguerite Roza, research associate professor, University of Washington
Many authors talk about restructuring, reimagining, or transforming school districts. Nate Levenson shows you how to accomplish this across the many facets of any school district’s operations. His ‘crazy ideas’ are not so crazy when you stop to think about their implications. In fact, if implemented, you might just create the model school district of the future—driven by student success. — Jack Dale, superintendent, Fairfax County Public Schools