Build Trust

Information about Build Trust

Published on July 9, 2007

Author: Saxophone

Source: authorstream.com

Content

BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR COMMUNITY AROUND SCHOOL FINANCE ISSUES:  BUILDING TRUST IN YOUR COMMUNITY AROUND SCHOOL FINANCE ISSUES David Carlson, Director School Financial Services Team May 3, 2007 Motivation:  Motivation Florence was a crisis of community trust as much as it was a financial crisis Personal observations 'Budgeting by Referendum' and 'Budgeting for Referendum' The new reality for many districts may be that the current school finance system makes referenda a required source of district revenues for operational purposes Methodology:  Methodology Interview administrators, business officials, and others who may have insights into building trust within communities Outcomes: identify elements/dimensions of trust and best practices that are applicable to the school setting Methodology:  Methodology 'How have you built trust or how do you build trust in school communities?' 'What are some best practices that you have implemented?' What is Trust?:  What is Trust? 'Assured reliance on the character, ability, strength or truth of some one or something' Word derivation of trust is related to the word 'truth' A product of trust is the ability to influence behavior New ParadigmBudgeting by Referendum:  New Paradigm Budgeting by Referendum Community support is even more critical to a districts’ ability to provide a quality education New 'financial' decision makers Poses new challenges to administrators, staff, board as it affects their ability to carry out their responsibilities Some believe community participation is good New ParadigmBudgeting by Referendum:  New Paradigm Budgeting by Referendum 'All superintendents need to understand school finance as most board meetings are now related to budgeting' 'Advocates for school finance change' Building Trust:  Building Trust 'It’s not like a light switch. Hard to turn on but easy to turn off' 'Giuliani affect' – district is judged by memorable events 'Not what you do but how you do it. We were planning on this. Now the time is here.' Building Trust:  Building Trust 'Trust is built on how the community feels you are using its money' 'What you say and what you do must match up' 'Credibility is built 1-2 people removed from you' Building Trust:  Building Trust 'Community understands that it will not always be accommodated but expects to be listened to' 'Citizens will buy what they want, not what they need' Building Trust:  Building Trust 'A referendum should not be a referendum on the superintendent' 'Our biggest problems are solved best when they are small' 'Chicken Little' doesn’t work Building Trust:  Building Trust 'Reasonably intelligent people given enough time and information will reach the same conclusion' 'Build your votes one at a time' 'Communities cannot think creatively until they have expressed their fears and concerns' Building Trust:  Building Trust Pick 'Low Hanging Fruit' 'Spread the butter' 'No electric pencil sharpeners' Building Trust:  Building Trust 'Superintendent as Trustee' 'Are you talking about today or tomorrow?' 'No surprises' So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? The following are suggestions that those interviewed believe are best practices for them and their attempt to build trust. It’s about communication and building relationships So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? The Board Board members share their plan to comprehensively 'listen' to community Board has regular listening/learning brainstorming sessions beyond the routine and usual business So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? The Board Board has public relations committee of the board 'Boards must agree to disagree without being disagreeable' So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? Superintendent/Business Official Require administration staff to participate in community organizations When hiring key staff, consider their ability to communicate with the community Emphasize the positives of the district So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? Superintendent/Business Official Use fiscal audit to demonstrate good stewardship Require auditor to meet with Board Establish accounting system that provides easy access to district data Every major project/initiative has a communications plan So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? Superintendent/Business Official Demystify the 'black box' of school finance Have open book policy of finances Hold finance workshops for community Link expenditures to programs for kids Create a district finance website for community (Finance team can help) So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? Superintendent/Business Official Demystify the 'black box' of school finance 'You should be planning the 2008-09 budget now. The 2007-08 budget should be done because of prior planning Use technology to engage community such as website, community television stations, listserves, newsletters, appearances So What? – Now What?:  So What? – Now What? Superintendent/Business Official 'Feed the eagles' Create strategy to communicate with key communicators For referenda, don’t allow superintendent or consultants to present Understand district demographics Conclusions:  Conclusions New paradigm needs further study; this presentation is just an introduction Complexity of issues create incredible challenges but also opportunities

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