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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Resource Allocation and Support for Children and Families

I imagine that resource allocation is a huge challenge for school administrators. How do you best use your resources to meet all teaching/learning needs?

As I think through this problem, I believe it begins with your priorities.

What matters most?

First, I would think is safety. Do you have the resources needed to make sure that every child and adult in a school is safe? For every school that will mean a different set of supports, but in general that includes student oversight in ways that ensure safety.

Next, I believe are the legal obligations. Are you meeting the legal obligations of the teaching/learning program?

After that are the top priorities of the school system and teaching program?

Then, perhaps, is some support for innovation and development.

It seems that, with the exception of unexpected situations and emergency situations, good schedules can be put into place to meet these needs earlier than later to ensure a good program pattern. Now I realize that change is a constant in most schools so this is an ideal, but it's a good ideal to strive for.

Also as I think about this, I'm realizing that it's good to assess the resources to see how time is used, and to evaluate the impact of that time. Is there time that results in less impact than other time--are there ways that we can strengthen impact. Is too much time being taken up by meetings or on the other hand are there not enough meetings to foster good collaboration?

I know it won't be a perfect science, but this is an important consideration when it comes to schools today.

Of course I believe that schools should be better supported so that there are not great limitations when it comes to servicing students. I believe that if our society serves children and families well there will be less more-expensive needs later on, the kinds of needs and problems that hinder or detrimentally impact the good communities possible.

As a people, we have to look deeply at the kinds of supports that make a positive difference in the lives of children and families, and find ways to support and forward those supports, supports such as paid leave for working parents and stay-at-home parents during the first two years of a child's life, substantial skilled staffing at schools, work/education programs for young parents to increase their ability to get good jobs and earn a livable wage, help for families that face health issues, and support so that every child has their basic needs of food, clothing, health care, and shelter met.

I actually believe that the tax code should support a livable basic wage for every American adult and the expectation that those with children will meet the needs of those children. I'm not exactly sure how to get there, but I do think we can do a better job of moving in that direction.