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Financial Operations

Strong financial planning and operations provide key structures upon which charter schools can thrive.

Through virtual professional development and in-person technical assistance workshops, the NY-RISE Initiative reinforces best practices across the main responsibilities of school finance and operations professionals. These include knowing what your authorizer expects of your financial reporting, ensuring that internal controls are in place to protect the school against mismanagement, evaluating the myriad needs of your staff and student population to deploy budgetary resources accordingly, and maintaining sustainable choices along the way.

Promising Strategies for Teacher Retention

We know high-quality teachers are integral to academic achievement and that charter leaders invest significant capacity into cultivating excellent teachers and retaining them. We also know that historically, charter schools lose far more teachers every year than their traditional public school counterparts.  Join the WestEd team as well as representatives of Manhattan Strategy Group to learn about teacher retention strategies such as using data to inform your strategies, implementing differentiated staffing models, and improving school culture and working conditions

Promising Strategies for Teacher Recruitment and Hiring

The teacher shortage has already hit New York hard - especially in specialized content areas and in less densely populated geographic areas of the state. While there are no easy solutions to this problem, WestEd and Manhattan Strategy Group experts offer promising strategies for teacher recruitment and hiring, including using data to inform recruitment goals and plans, developing new and diverse pipelines for teacher candidates, implementing recruitment strategies, and improving hiring processes to make them more effective, efficient and equitable. 

Financial Metrics and Support for SUNY-Authorized Charter Schools

Carol Cohen of the Manhattan Strategy Group facilitating a session with Barb Acenowr and Connor LeClair to discuss the role of finance in their authorization decisions and oversight practices, specific metrics, common challenges, and available resources. This content is useful for SUNY-authorized charter school stakeholders (academic as well as financial leaders, staff, and/or board members) or those who may apply for a SUNY charter in the future.

Financial Metrics and Support for Board of Regents-Authorized Charter Schools

Carol Cohen of the Manhattan Strategy Group continued the series on authorizer-specific financial expectations with a session featuring David Frank of the NYSED Charter School Office. They discussed the role of finance in authorization decisions and oversight practices, specific metrics, common challenges, and available resources. This content is useful for Board of Regents-authorized charter school stakeholders (academic as well as financial leaders, staff, and/or board members) or those who may apply for a BOR charter in the future.

Planning for Financial Success and Sustainability

Watch this session with Carol Cohen of the Manhattan Strategy Group to learn about the role finance plays in your school’s success and sustainability, metrics of financial success and what’s necessary to achieve them, and what to consider in planning for your school’s future. This content is useful for charter school board members and leaders of all experience levels, including finance as well as non-finance leaders.

Put Your Money Where Your Need Is: Evaluating & Sustaining the Use of COVID and Other Grant Funds

Hear from the NY-RISE team  (Dr. Aimee Evan and Kelly Wynveen of WestEd and Matt Major from the Manhattan Strategy Group) about put your school resources where your needs are. This session is ideal for school teams (including but not limited to school leaders, academic leads, finance leads, and board members).

Participants discussed the strategic use of (ESSER) funding with a focus on team collaborations, discussed the planning process for short and long-term strategic use of funding, introduced how and why program evaluation relates to funding decisions, determined how to evaluate the effectiveness of grant-funded programs and plan funding sustainability through a five-step process; and applied that five-step process to a school scenario to determine whether to continue funding a program or practice once grant funds expire.

NY Macro Trends and Charter Sector Implications

Watch this session to learn from Kevin Hesla, Director of Insights at the Charter School Growth Fund. In his role, Kevin analyzes internal and external data to find insights that will drive improvements in organizational and portfolio performance – and to ultimately improve student outcomes. 

This presentation focused on the New York charter school sector environment and implications for charter school growth—including how demographic trends, the policy environment, and financing policies that specifically affect charter school enrollment and prospects for growth around the state. This is a must-watch for any NY charter school interested in maintaining enrollment, expanding enrollment or facilities, or even potentially replicating and opening new schools.

Finance 101: A Primer for Aspiring Leaders, Teachers, and School Staff

While your role is mostly focused on instruction and academic performance, have you ever wondered how your charter school is funded and how much freedom it has to deploy those resources to meet student needs?

Join Tara Bergfeld and the NY-RISE team for a unique session designed for aspiring leaders, teachers, and staff who may not currently be involved with or familiar with the budget process for their charter school. This session also included essential information about charter school funding in New York and the budget and accountability processes in place to ensure success for students and schools.

Deep Dive on Federal Funding Sources for New York Charter Schools

Hear from Carol Cohen, Hannah Sullivan, and Adrian Larbi-Cherif of the Manhattan Strategy Group to gain better awareness of federal funding sources available to your schools (including but not limited to ESSER, U.S. Department of Education, and U.S. Department of Agriculture funding), resources to take practical steps to acquire additional funding, and guidance on how to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Internal Controls: How to Do Right by Your Charter School (and Avoid Wrongdoing)

Strong internal controls are necessary for the success of your charter school – and will help keep your school out of the headlines for the wrong reasons. Are you aware of common warning signs for financial mismanagement and common audit findings? Did you know that internal controls involve much more than good financial practices? Do you know who is responsible for internal controls in your school?

Watch this session with Carol Cohen and the NY-RISE team to learn about the range of internal controls that New York charter schools should put in place, to unpack what can go wrong without them, and to consider how to strengthen them in your school.

Allocating Resources to Support Student and School Needs

Aimee Evan, PhD and Tara Bergfeld of WestEd joined Carol Cohen of the Manhattan Strategy Group for a virtual strategy session that pushed participants’ creative thinking around using resources strategically to support school priorities, generated discussion among peers around allocating resources (time, talent, and money) to align with data-informed needs and amplified the importance of transparency and equity in driving your budget strategy. We encourage everyone involved in collective decision making across the school to watch this session recording!