The CBO Training curriculum is organized into a series of modules presented online and in-person. The descriptions of these modules are summarized below. Please note that the sequence of the modules may not follow the order in which they appear below and that CSDC reserves the right to add, modify, or delete modules as programming requires.
Intro to CA’s K-12 School Finance
This module provides a basic introduction to California’s K-12 education system, with an emphasis on how charters fit into this complex multi-agency and multi-layered system. Participants will gain both an historical and conceptual framework for understanding the current trends in California education finance.
Charter School Funding System Fundamentals (Including LCFF & LCAP)
This module provides an overview of the fundamentals of how charter schools are funded, including general-purpose funding and the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) and Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP); as well as restricted state and federal programs and other special funding sources; charter school accountability; and minimum charter renewal thresholds. Also included is a discussion of "direct" versus "local" funding and how charter school funding compares with and differs from the district funding system.
Categorical Programs Management
Provides an overview of the many remaining state, federal, and other categorical funding programs available to charter schools, including detailed information on how to apply for, manage, comply with, and maximize the benefit of each.
Charter School Attendance Accounting (Classroom- & Nonclassroom-Based)
Provides participants with an in-depth understanding of the definition and concepts of average daily attendance, the primary driver in computing school funding entitlements, specifically in the charter school context and its interaction with innovative instructional practices. Includes a discussion of the various forms of school attendance, including compulsory attendance, attendance as it relates to academic credit, credentialing, and attendance for apportionment credit.
Charter School Financial Accounting
An overview of charter school accounting, including the accounting cycle; how to establish a chart of accounts and account code structure; electronic accounting systems/packages; and accounting bases and standards. This module also provides an overview of these matters in traditional school districts, as well as a more detailed overview of how charter schools address the same challenges and issues.
Budget Development and Monitoring
Provides an overview of the role and purposes of budgets and financial plans, typical processes and strategies for developing them, as well as how to monitor them during the course of the fiscal year. This module will also provide training and hands-on experience for using the Fiscal Crisis and Management Assistance Team’s LCFF calculator for budgeting and planning purposes.
Cash Flow Management
Provides participants with a detailed understanding of the timing of state and federal charter school revenues and how the flow of these funds relates to the state apportionment calendar. This module also provides an overview of how to use these data, along with school-specific expenditure data to develop accurate cash flow projections. Lastly, this module will discuss practical tips for managing projected cash shortfalls, including economical short-term borrowing practices.
Charter School Auditing
Provides a basic overview of fundamental auditing concepts, the laws and processes that govern school district audits, and a more detailed review of charter school auditing requirements. This module also provides practical suggestions on how to develop and manage an internal and external auditing process, read and understand audit reports, and prevent and manage negative audit findings.
Long-Term Budget Projections and Planning
Provides an introduction to developing, refining, and using long-term budget projections and plans. This module will provide participants with ideas for designing easily-updated electronic financial planning tools (e.g., Excel-based models).
Fiscal Oversight, Solvency, and Monitoring
Builds on concepts introduced in previous modules and provides a detailed overview of how charter schools and charter-granting agencies may use fiscal and other data to monitor and oversee the fiscal solvency of charter schools and the propriety of their financial management practices. Also provides an overview of common fiscal reporting requirements.
Special Education Finance
Presents an overview of the fundamentals of laws governing the education of students with exceptional needs, how special services are provided and funded, and how charter schools can manage the costs and risks associated with special education while maintaining and supporting strong academic performance among students with exceptional needs.
Facilities Financing Fundamentals
This module provides an overview of how school districts and charter schools plan for, acquire, and finance school facilities, including Proposition 39 ("rent free," district-owned facilities) and the state's lease aid program, bond financing and other funding sources.
Personnel & Labor Relations
Provides participants with the fundamentals of charter school personnel and human resources management, including labor and employment law specific to the business office; collective bargaining and labor (union) relations; applicable staff qualifications and credentialing requirements; and best practices.
Risk Management & Benefits
Provides an overview of the major areas of risk that charter schools face, organizational and practical strategies for mitigating and preventing risk, and options/strategies for insuring against risk including general liability, workers' compensation, property, fidelity, and other lines of insurance. This module also covers the basics of benefits typically offered by charter schools, including health and welfare, STRS, PERS, and other retirement plan benefits.
Managing the myriad requirements of reporting, compliance, and auditing takes focus and determination. This module will help charter CBOs gain strategies for efficiently and expertly managing all of the priorities.
Financial Management Ethics
Provides an overview of the various bodies of law that govern financial management ethics, how to prevent and mitigate conflicts-of-interest, nepotism, cronyism, and other unethical practices that may reflect poorly on your school. The module reviews actual case materials to explore real-life examples of challenging ethical issues.
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