21 episodes

How can dedicated teams of leaders, school business officials, educators, and entire school communities allocate resources to better meet the needs of all students? That’s the story we’re sharing in this new limited series presented by CASBO and WestEd. Each episode, our host Jason Willis welcomes education leaders and practitioners to discuss funding, educational improvements and advancing resource equity across all levels of California's public education system. We'll explore their motivations, the tools they’re using, and what’s working and what they’ve learned. Join us to tap into the experiences of guest experts and colleagues who are doing the work every day of ensuring a more equitable allocation of resources. It's valuable insight you won't want to miss!Want to learn more ways to put what you hear about resource equity into action? Check out our episode companion briefs, available via WestEd at https://www.wested.org/budgeting-for-educational-equity-podcast-series/

Budgeting for Educational Equity CASBO and WestEd

    • Education
    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

How can dedicated teams of leaders, school business officials, educators, and entire school communities allocate resources to better meet the needs of all students? That’s the story we’re sharing in this new limited series presented by CASBO and WestEd. Each episode, our host Jason Willis welcomes education leaders and practitioners to discuss funding, educational improvements and advancing resource equity across all levels of California's public education system. We'll explore their motivations, the tools they’re using, and what’s working and what they’ve learned. Join us to tap into the experiences of guest experts and colleagues who are doing the work every day of ensuring a more equitable allocation of resources. It's valuable insight you won't want to miss!Want to learn more ways to put what you hear about resource equity into action? Check out our episode companion briefs, available via WestEd at https://www.wested.org/budgeting-for-educational-equity-podcast-series/

    Meeting the Needs of All Students: How Can Educators, Leaders and Education Systems Better Attend to the Intersection of Language and Disability for Multilingual Learners

    Meeting the Needs of All Students: How Can Educators, Leaders and Education Systems Better Attend to the Intersection of Language and Disability for Multilingual Learners

    This episode we’re bringing attention to an important but still under-examined subject: the need for  schools and school systems to better attend to the intersection of language and disability for young multilingual learners.  
    Focusing on multilingualism and disability offers insight into a larger and more persistent question we’ve dug into throughout this series—that is, how can district leaders, including superintendents and school business officials, make decisions and take actions that more effectively identify and meet the needs of all their students?
    Host Jason Willis is joined by two WestEd colleagues, Jamey Burho and Elizabeth Burr. Both  have worked extensively on policies and practices that support the needs of multilingual learners, particularly those with disabilities. In the past couple of years, Jamey and Elizabeth have co-authored key studies, including a 2022 report, “Resourcing Supports for Young Multilingual Learners with Suspected Disabilities in California,” and in Dec. 2023,  "Pre-Referral Processes in California State Preschool Programs: How Practitioners Decide to Refer Multilingual Children for Special Education Evaluation" along with Alyssa Perez.

    More About Our Guests

    As a Senior Research Associate on the Research-Practice Partnerships team at WestEd, Elizabeth Burr coordinates research projects, including policy analyses, literature reviews, and syntheses with the Regional Educational Laboratory West.  She authored Guidance Manuals for Educators of English Learners with Disabilities: Ideas and Lessons from the Field, and was a lead author of California Practitioners’ Guide for Educating English Learners with Disabilities. Currently she is working on a comprehensive toolkit for educators of English learners with disabilities. Prior to joining WestEd in 2007, Elizabeth was a Project Director at the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University, and a Project Director at Policy Analysis for California Education.

    Jamey Burho is a Senior Research Associate with the English Learners Services and Migrant Education (ELMES) team and the Special Education Policy & Practice (SEPP) team at WestEd. Her expertise focuses on students identified as English Learners with disabilities, or dually identified students.   As part of WestEd’s Quality Teaching for English Learners (QTEL) program, Jamey routinely leads professional development sessions across the country for educators on how to support multilingual students. Prior to joining WestEd, Burho was a postdoctoral fellow at Oregon State University. She began her education career in Washington, D.C. as a special education teacher. She holds a BS in international relations from Georgetown University, an MA in teaching (special education) from Trinity Washington University, and a Ph.D. in special education from University of Maryland.

    Jason Willis serves as  Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation for WestEd, and he is a former chief business official in several California school districts.

    Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by CASBO and WestEd.  The series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music and sound by Tommy Dunbar.  Alyssa Perez and Hannah Jarmolowski at WestEd provides research and develop the written briefs that go along with episodes.

    • 41 min
    What You Need To Know about California’s New Equity Multiplier – And Related School Accountability System Changes

    What You Need To Know about California’s New Equity Multiplier – And Related School Accountability System Changes

    The Equity Multiplier -- a new $300 million component to California’s Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) -- is rolling out this  school year. 

    Guests Natalie Wheatfall-Lum and Sara Pietrowski join Jason Willis to describe how the Equity Multiplier works, how it came about, and related changes to the state’s accountability system, including what districts must now report in their Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAPs). 

    Along the way, they consider broader policy issues and implications for targeting LCFF funds directly to the school sites whose student populations generate them; helping LEAs better identify and address the needs of all of their students; and the importance of focusing on Black student achievement in particular.
     The Equity Multiplier is one piece of a larger set of changes to California’s accountability system that were enacted as part of the 2023-24 state budget. Eligibility for the additional funding is based on two indicators at school sites: prior year non-stability rates of greater than 25 percent and prior year socioeconomically disadvantaged pupil rates greater than 70 percent. Similar to LCFF, the funds flow from the state to school districts or other local education agencies; however, in a shift from LCFF, Equity Multiplier funds are required to be used at the school sites that generate them. 

    About Our Guests
    Natalie Wheatfall-Lum, J.D., serves as Director of TK-12 Policy at The Education Trust-West, where since 2014 she has supported the organization’s policy research, analysis, and position development, primarily in K-12 equitable funding and accountability. Before working in education policy, Natalie practiced law, gaining experience in various civil rights issues, including LGBTQ equal rights, fair housing, and immigration.

    Sara Pietrowski serves as Policy Director for the California State Board of Education, where she has supported the board’s work of developing an accountability and continuous improvement system for more than six years, including the LCAP, California School Dashboard, and Statewide System of Support. She previously served  in Sacramento City USD where she led development of the district’s data dashboard and coordinated LCAP and improvement science efforts.

    About Our Host
    Jason Willis serves as  Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation for WestEd, and he is a former chief business official in several California school districts.

    Related Resourcess
    Equity Multiplier page, CDE website and 2023-24 First Principal Apportionment of EM fundsSupporting the African-American Learner: Guide for Transforming Beliefs, Systems and Practices for Black Students Evaluation of California’s Differentiated Assistance, WestEd More To Be Done: California’s LCFF After A Decade, Education Trust-WestBudgeting for Educational Equity is presented by CASBO and WestEd.  The series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music and sound by Tommy Dunbar.  Alyssa Perez and Hannah Jarmolowski at WestEd provides research and develop the written briefs that go along with each episode.

    • 57 min
    School Closures and Consolidations in California: Deepening Our Understanding

    School Closures and Consolidations in California: Deepening Our Understanding

    Closing or consolidating neighborhood schools is a painful decision that no school district or community ever wishes to face, but increasingly it may be on the table due to declining enrollment trends and budgetary pressures. 
    In this episode, host Jason Willis and school finance and policy veteran Carrie Hahnel deepen our understanding about school closures and consolidations. They delve into current factors that could lead to more closures and data showing how closures have disproportionately impacted different student populations. They pinpoint the tension schools and communities must try to resolve between difficult and necessary budget decisions on one hand and the enormous potential equity effects of those decisions on the other.
    Carrie serves as a senior associate partner for policy and evaluation at Bellwether and a senior policy and research fellow with Policy Analysis for California Education (PACE). She and colleagues Max Marchitello and Dr. Francis Pearman co-authored a series of recent research for PACE related to declining enrollment, equity, and closures.

    Jason and Carrie further explore how district and school leaders can proactively approach considerations about school closures while centering equity, and:   
    The extent to which closures or consolidations achieved expected savings for districts, Connections between demographic trends, housing, segregation and other local issues to resource disparities, How the State of California has started to weigh in on the issue of school closures, andThe importance for districts of pairing a school closure process with an affirmative strategy to provide students that will be displaced with high quality educational opportunities.“It’s hard not to be paying attention to school closures if you’re paying attention to what’s happening in schools."
    About Our Guest
    Carrie Hahnel currently serves as a senior associate partner on the policy team at Bellwether, a national nonprofit. Previously, she focused on equitable school funding as an advocate at the Education Trust West, and as a policy director at the Opportunity Institute. She has worked extensively with the statewide research organization PACE. Her research has focused on school funding formulas, equity, tax policies and local budgeting practices and decisions, among other areas.

    About Our Host
    Jason Willis serves as  Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation for WestEd, and he is a former chief business official in several California school districts.

    Key Resources
    Centering Equity in the School Closure Process in California – ReportDeclining Enrollment, School Closures, and Equity Considerations – Policy brief and related PACE Webinar.Examining Racial (In)equity in School-Closure Patterns in California –  Working PaperBudgeting for Educational Equity is presented by CASBO and WestEd.  The series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music and sound by Tommy Dunbar. Alyssa Perez and Hannah Jarmolowski at WestEd provides research and develops the written briefs that go along with each episode.

    • 46 min
    Advancing Equity Through Locally-Driven School Funding Formulas: Los Angeles USD's Groundbreaking Student Equity Need Index (the "SENI")

    Advancing Equity Through Locally-Driven School Funding Formulas: Los Angeles USD's Groundbreaking Student Equity Need Index (the "SENI")

    California's Local Control Funding Formula or LCFF took a major step towards advancing equity.  But as LCFF came into existence 10 years ago, education and community leaders in the state’s largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, recognized this new formula might not go far enough in helping to address deeply rooted inequities within its student population.  Through a unique partnership between the local community and school district, the groundbreaking Student Equity Need Index (SENI) was born.

    In 2024, the SENI turns ten. It’s an example of a powerful partnership between students, parents, community advocates and school district leaders to drive resource equity. SENI is a research-based index that uses comprehensive academic and community-based indicators to rank schools from highest to lowest according to student need. With these rankings, LAUSD can more accurately understand the needs of its schools and equitably distribute funds to address them. 

    In many ways, the SENI is a more robust precursor to the state's new Equity Multiplier,  adopted in the 2023 Budget Act, which will target some additional funding directly to schools.

    In this episode, Pedro Salcido, Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Operations for Los Angeles Unified School District, and Jessenia Reyes, Associate Director of K-12 Policy for the Equity Team at Catalyst California, take us deep inside the SENI.  They share with host Jason Willis how SENI was developed and how it evolved, the impact it has had to date, and how the district and community groups worked together and through some difficult tensions to build the system.

    While the SENI originated in California’s largest school district, it’s an exciting homegrown model that districts around the state can learn from and potentially customize to better address their communities’ unique needs.

    ***Learn more about this topic in our Companion Brief.

    About Our Guests

    Jessenia Reyes is the Associate Director of K-12 Policy at Catalyst California, a systems change nonprofit organization, and part of the Equity Alliance for L.A.'s Kids that includes Community Coalition in South LA, Inner-City Struggle in East LA, and the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, which advocated for the SENI.

    Pedro Salcido is the Deputy Superintendent of Business Services and Operations for Los Angeles USD, the state's largest school district. Prior to his current role, Pedro served as Chief of Staff managing all district academic and nonacademic operations and  initiatives. Among many other roles and accomplishments, he served as the leading staff member who developed and implemented the District’s SENI, an equity-based funding allocation that today has grown to distribute nearly $700 million to the neediest schools in the district..
    Links
    Catalyst California SENI page
    LAUSD SENI page

    Budgeting for Educational Equity podcast is presented by CASBO and WestEd. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for additional support. Our series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Music and editing  by Tommy Dunbar. Alyssa Perez and Hannah Jarmolowski at WestEd provide research and develop written briefs that go along with many episodes.

    • 1 hr 3 min
    A New Era of School Business in California: Innovative Thinking About Where We're Headed -- with CASBO CEO Tatia Davenport

    A New Era of School Business in California: Innovative Thinking About Where We're Headed -- with CASBO CEO Tatia Davenport

    Tatia Davenport, CEO of the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO) sits down with Jason for a compelling  discussion about the size, scope and future of school business in California.

    Tatia shares what was learned from the first comprehensive survey of California school business executives in nearly 25 years, including where professional development is headed, the changing face and vital voice of CBOs, and how school business leaders can work more to advance equity.  She offers timely perspectives about some of the persistent challenges California faces in maintaining an effective and efficient public education system -- one that delivers on the promise of high-quality education for all. 
     About our guest

    Tatia Davenport is the CEO of CASBO. Founded in 1928, CASBO is a nonprofit membership organization representing more than 25,000 professionals across 1,100 school districts and 58 counties statewide. CASBO members drive and support facilities and management of approximately 125,000 acres, 475 million square feet of real estate, an estimated 630 million student meals and snacks served annually at 22,000 sites, 115 million miles of busing and student transportation annually, technology services, and more. With an estimated $108 billion annual budget, California school business officials represent a statewide public education system that serves millions of K-12 students, teachers in classrooms and communities.

    Tatia  has built a reputation as a respected leader in the field and has a proven track record of success in improving the financial, operational and management systems of California schools. Previously she served as CASBO’s chief operations officer and held executive roles with Vision Service Plan (VSP) and E*TRADE Financial.



    Key Links

    California Chief Business Officials Survey -- Summary of Responses


    About our host

    Jason Willis serves as  Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation for WestEd, and he is a former chief business official in several California school districts.


    About our series

    Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented by the California Association of School Business Official (CASBO) and WestEd. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for additional support. Our series is written and produced by Paul Richman and Jason Willis. Original music, mixing and sound by Tommy Dunbar. Alyssa Perez and Hannah Jarmolowski at WestEd provide research and develop the written briefs that go along with many episodes.


    Follow Budgeting for Educational Equity on Twitter/X:  @budget4edequity

    • 46 min
    Expanding Access to Behavioral Health and Other Services for Students and Maximizing Interagency Collaboration

    Expanding Access to Behavioral Health and Other Services for Students and Maximizing Interagency Collaboration

    In this episode, dig into ways schools can advance equity by expanding "whole child" services that are available to students at sites. Dr. Chaun Powell, Senior Chief of Student Services for the Alameda County Office of Education, helps identify key approaches for maximizing funding sources for these services -- with a particular focus on behavioral and mental health supports -- and seizing new opportunities to partner with other agencies that serve children.

    *Be sure to check out the Companion Brief to this episode*
    California is in the throes of rolling out major initiatives that create greater access for students to a range of vital services  to better support all areas of children's  development and learning, including the California Community Schools Partnership Program, California's Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, Extended Learning Opportunities Program, and Family First  Prevention Services Act.
    These initiatives present a new era of possibility for school districts and county offices to blend and braid funding to increase and sustain services. Chaun leads us through this new landscape of programs and policies that promote interagency collaboration. With insight and curiosity, she helps to explore questions around innovative funding, strengthening collaboration across systems, and centering equity.
    Other Resources
    Statewide Multi-Payer School-Linked Fee Schedule overview video"Improving Student Wellness With A Multi-Tiered System of Support," WestEd AudioCast featuring Santa Clara COEAbout Our Guest 
    Dr. Chaun Powell, Senior Chief of Student Services, Alameda COE, is  a licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), school social worker, educational leader, writer and adjunct faculty member at San José State University & California State University East Bay.  Her unique background in education, community based work and child welfare helps her bring a cross systems lens and experience to serving children, youth and families in schools and the community.  Prior to joining Alameda COE, she served as a site level Dean of Students, and as Executive Director, Youth Health & Wellness for Santa Clara COE, where she also led a statewide Professional Learning Network for educators on school-based billing.  
    About our host

    Jason Willis serves as  Director of Strategic Resource Planning and Implementation for WestEd, and he is a former chief business official in several California school districts
    About our series

    Budgeting for Educational Equity is presented byCASBO) and WestEd. We are grateful to the Sobrato Family Foundation for additional support.

    • 54 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
5 Ratings

5 Ratings

pjr_100 ,

Takes a deeper step into the intersection where policy meets implementation

The goal of this series is to bring forward the voices and experiences of educational leaders and practitioners, as well as policy experts and advocates to explore key issues around resource equity.

SchoolAdmin_SoCal ,

Very informative!

I got a lot of useful info from the first episode and look forward to more.

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