WASHINGTON, DC—Understanding that school districts across the country are facing shrinking revenue and budget deficits, Future Ready Schools® (FRS)—led by the Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed)—today announced an updated suite of tools and resources to help school district leaders spend their education dollars more efficiently and make more informed decisions about technology usage and purchases.
“As a former school district superintendent, I know firsthand the challenges associated with shrinking budgets and greater needs,” said Deb Delisle, All4Ed president. “Successful school district superintendents don’t just track money going out the door. They have to make sure that the dollars being spent will deliver on improved student outcomes, especially when it comes to technology purchases where the temptation is to secure the latest device.”
Instead of purchasing before planning, FRS recommends that school district leaders analyze how technology purchases fit into the district’s vision for teaching and learning and support the unique needs of students. The free FRS Framework and self-assessment provide school district leaders with a customized, systemic plan for how to personalize student learning through high-quality teaching infused with technology.
Additionally, through its new partnership with Allovue, an education finance technology company, FRS will provide school district leaders with support in their transition to digital learning by helping them budget for resources that are aligned with their needs and current initiatives. As part of the program, district leaders will learn best practices for priority-based budgeting and have access to free webinars with experienced superintendents who have budgeted for and transitioned to effective digital learning.
“Implementation of student-centered digital transition plans often require new devices, software applications for modern curricular content, and professional development,” said Allovue’s chief executive officer Jess Gartner. “Districts are faced with making tough decisions and tradeoffs to keep their budgets balanced while introducing new resources that are aligned to strategic priorities. Communities and school boards are calling for increased transparency around spending and the equity and effectiveness of resources.”
“A successful transition to digital learning will require strategic short- and long-term budgeting and leveraging of resources,” said Tom Murray, director of innovation for FRS. “That’s why district leaders should align their district and school budgets to the district’s new personalized vision for learning with consistent funding streams for both recurring and nonrecurring costs to ensure sustainability. During the transition, district leaders should strive for cost savings and efficiencies through effective uses of technology. Most importantly, districts’ financial models should include the metrics and processes to ensure not only sustainability, but also accountability for learning returns on investments.”
Budget and Resources is one of the seven FRS “gears” required for a successful transition to digital learning, along with Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment; Use of Space and Time; Robust Infrastructure; Data and Privacy; Community Partnerships; and Personalized Professional Learning.
As it nears its five-year anniversary in November, FRS has grown into one of the largest networks of school districts in the country. Today, more than 3,200 school district superintendents—representing more than 19 million students—have signed the Future Ready District Pledge, committing to personalize learning by tailoring instruction to students’ strengths and needs while engaging them in challenging, standards-based academic content, with the help of effective digital learning strategies.
Learn more about FRS at FutureReady.org or access the budgeting and resources tools at https://dashboard.futurereadyschools.org/framework/budget-and-resources.
The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those underperforming and those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and citizenship. all4ed.org
Future Ready Schools® (FRS) is a bold effort to maximize digital learning opportunities and help school districts move quickly toward preparing students for success in college, a career, and citizenship. FRS provides districts with resources and support to ensure that local technology and digital learning plans align with instructional best practices, are implemented by highly trained teachers, and lead to personalized learning experiences for all students, particularly those from traditionally underserved communities. FRS is led by the Alliance for Excellent Education alongside a vast coalition of organizations. FutureReady.org
Allovue provides innovative education finance technology solutions to educators nationwide to help them budget, manage, and evaluate school spending. The company also provides districts with supplemental services including funding equity analysis, diagnostic surveys, and financial management training. Allovue’s flagship product, Balance, is an online software platform designed to help K–12 administrators access, understand, and control their financial data. allovue.com