San Diego Unified School Board and School Budgets

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November 4, 2011 The SDUSD Board made an unusual request of its charter schools, requesting that charter school leaders present their budgets to the board. The board wanted to know how charter schools were weathering the financial storm and see if they could learn anything from them.

Three brave charter schools took them up on their offer; O'Farrell Community School, High Tech High and San Diego Cooperative. Jon Dean and Eileen Logue did a great job with their presentation explaining their focus on attendance and their incentive program to ensure the highest ADA rates possible. Kay McElrath from HTH dispelled some myths regarding charter schools and showed the district exactly how much and where charters received their monies and compared to district budgets. Dr. Wendy Rank-Buhr and Ken Rochells for SDCCS talked about the hard decisions they made back in 2007 to ensure their charter schools fiscal viability during this crisis.

The board listened intently, took notes and asked good questions. They definitely heard about the value of local decision making and the flexibility charter's have in responding to crisis. They gave their presentations in front of a packed audience so many heard and were impressed with the way charters are handling their budgets and I think everybody learned a lot about how charters run. Fantastic opportunity for our charter community and we were well represented by these three charter schools.