New superintendents face a big challenge when it comes to putting the system’s resources behind a coherent and effective strategy:
- Understanding the lay of the land. We must understand the ways our current resource allocation decisions reflect our system’s values and strategy and what big shifts in resources may be necessary to achieve improved outcomes—and this is beyond just knowing whether there’s a looming financial crisis.
- Weighing trade-offs. Understanding where resource reallocation options may be is a first step, but ultimately a system leader has to be able to assess the tradeoffs (political and otherwise) of potential decisions and advance a plan that deliberately balances risk and return.
- Moving quickly. Annual budget development processes often require major decisions to be made well in advance of the fiscal year. New superintendents often miss the opportunity to make change early on simply because their entry process is misaligned with budget development and school planning cycles.