Financial Leader Interview Paper
Interview a school leader in your education level of interest. The leader should be a district level administrator in the K-12 system or a higher education academic or financial administrator. Ask the leader to describe a school financial issue that involved decision-making on his or her part. Critically analyze the decision-making represented by the school leader. What was his or her role in increasing personnel? How did he or she control spending? Use APA format, including a title page and reference page. The paper should be a minimum of five pages.
Last week I met Beth Torreano, lady principal of the famous “Hillside Grade School”. This school is located in the city of New York. It takes a short drive from Hyde Park. A crisp background about the school is that the school provides good atmosphere and quality teachers for learning.
We sat down for a brief discussion on the current financial issue faced by her. She is a polite and a very soft spoken person. I asked her if she was facing any issue regarding the financial aspect of the school. The petite lady replied in affirmative.
We sat down in the hall above the portico inside the campus. She explained to me that there was a shortage of funds from the state government in the recent months. As a result the school was facing a lot of difficulties in certain aspects. The school principal explained everything to her best in detail. She stated that there are two types of schools in this country. The first type runs on funds provided by the federal government. The second type collects some revenues from the pupils and there is lesser known third type of school as well which enables a student to learn from their home. This is also legalized in our country she said.
As far as Hillside Grade School is concerned the financial crunch has given a heavy blow to the governing head. Ms.Torreano is a new addition in this institution. Thus it had been very difficult for her. She had to figure out the loopholes inside the system. Currently the school has a good teacher and student ratio. For every seventeen students there is one teacher. The school also provides a meal to students during the lunch time. Some of them subscribe to it. It depends on the annual income of both the parents. If the child belongs to a very poor family then it is not possible for the child to pay for lunch. The school provides lunch to them for free.
Ms.Torreano stated that since recession the funds for the school has started to dry up. She had observed this by going through the data of receipt. She also confided that unless there is supply of financial support by the government it is difficult for them to sponsor a lot of facilities. She also stated that she is unable to hire new staff as the funds are too low for paying remuneration. If we look deeper into the school environment we will see that it is populated with mostly Asian students. Students of other ethnicity also are part of this school. Students of both sexes are equally distributed in this institution she told. Analyzing what she had said it is difficult to ascertain why a school like Hillside Grade School has been receiving such low funds for such a long period. The annual data showed that Hillside Grade School is providing quality education to more than average students in the area of New York. The number of pupil is higher than the typical enrollment in other district or county schools.
I asked her if there was any solution to this. She said that she has tried to sit with the management regarding this issue. They have sent out letters to the state level and central authorities regarding this. The state level authorities have assured to look into the matter. A district level school inspector had visited the school for inspection. Ms.Torreano had pointed out to him the problems. The school needed funds for buying books and enriching the library. There is also the remuneration related financial help.
Our principal had asked him if there is any provision where the state could directly sponsor education for pupils from poorer backgrounds. She had advised the school management regarding this issue from her perspective.
- The first solution that she stated is to reduce the amount of money spent on purchasing books for the library. Instead the school can utilize the books by asking old students to contribute their books.
- She also approached the management to request alumni’s to share a small part of their present income for the school’s development.
- The second point stated by her is that she is not in line with the concept of hiring newer staff for low remuneration. She feels this would in effect the quality of teaching rendered by the teachers. It is very likely according to her that the qualified individuals are not going to accept a low remuneration. The school will only get employees of less education if they offer inappropriate wages. Thus she feels that other methods for hiring should be applied like contractual service, voluntary teaching etc.
- A school like Hillside Grade School cannot afford to have degraded quality. Instead of hiring new personnel in the school, she opined to increase the ratio of students vis a visthat of teachers. Currently the school is operating with one teacher per seventeen students as stated before. Ms. Torreano contributed the idea that for every twenty five students there should be one teacher. Thus the number of teachers needed to handle the total number of students will be balanced with the current budget.
- The other aspect that she has tried to counter is that of direct funding. The current principal has proposed to open a charity fund. Civilians can come and donate some cash into this fund. Besides donation by non-cash transaction is also open and allowed. This will help to enhance the financial condition of the school.
- There is another scheme that Ms. Torreano has clearly proposed to the management is that if any civilian is interested in sponsoring the education of meritorious but unfortunate students then it should be accepted.
Hillside Grade School is a very prominent school in the city of New York. The remuneration provided to the teaching staff here at Hillside Grade School is somewhat higher than the regular remuneration given in other schools in the area. Without compromising on the staff quality the school can also hire new teachers for the regular remuneration for a contractual period. This makes sense economically she said. It is not ethical to cut down salaries of existing tutors. Rather till the time fund flow gets back to normal they can recruit teachers on contractual basis for median remuneration offered in the area. This gave some hope to the management. Secondly Beth Torreano also guided the board members that if they had to increase their teaching staff they could also recruit part time teachers(Staff, & Staff, 2017).
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Beth Torreano has mentioned in her interview that Hillside Grade School is receiving funds from the district but it is lesser than the other county schools. It is better to enquire and know the reasons for this variance in payment. She was not willing to disclose any views on the said matter. However she has an opinion that the district should look after the performance of each school. A lot of effort is required to train a student. The performance of the learners is reflected in their report cards. It is wise to invest in schools which take deeper motivational efforts to train and tutor the learners and make them perform better in their exams. So this perspective of hers is not bad I feel.
My interviewee MsBeth Torreano cited another viewpoint regarding solving this issue. She explained that if the metrics from the schools previous records are to be judged then we will find that Hillside Grade School is very high on its performance. Thus it is not acceptable to compromise on the quality of performance of the students. There are many students who are extremely needy and yet they perform well in their assessments. Thus for those students the school will ask for funds from parents of their peers who belong to affluent background. It is very crucial to keep up the level of education. The school has goodwill in the society. It is thus essential for the district or state level government to look forward to this issue and provide financial aid.
Finally in concluding the paper I have realized that in spite of a huge amount of monetary issues and burden the school has not failed in providing its quality edification to its novices. It is unfair that even though the school committee has been very diligent with its duties still the federal support to the school has not improved post the recession period was over. There are many prominent solutions provided by the honorable principal. Those solutions are effective if executed for the time being(“Hillside Grade School in New Hyde Park, New York”, 2017).
In the long run the school needs to revise its expense policies if the shortage of funds continues to grow. There is diversity in the ethnicity of students in this school. Diversity always helps in bringing up different levels of merits but along with it, diversity has a social issue. A child from unprivileged background needs more care and attention than his or her contemporaries from better economic backgrounds. This is because the school focuses on developing better individuals for the society rather than educated morons. In order to facilitate the overall development of students it is necessary for the state to look into the matter as soon as possible.
Hillside Grade School in New Hyde Park, New York.(2017). Public-schools.startclass.com. Retrieved 19 May 2017, from http://public-schools.startclass.com/l/64007/Hillside-Grade-School
Staff, G., & Staff, G. (2017). School finance: issues to consider | Parenting. Parenting. Retrieved 19 May 2017, from http://www.greatschools.org/gk/articles/school-finance-issues/