CBO Training Program

A comprehensive school business management training – with a unique, charter-specific focus.

CSDC’s Charter Business Officer (CBO) Training program offers a rigorous curriculum that delivers the critical skills and knowledge required of charter school staff with significant financial management, operational, and oversight responsibilities. This training remains an unparalleled opportunity for the state’s charter school business leadership to establish and build the skills and knowledge to effectively navigate their charter organization’s fiscal and operational health and long-term stability.

CBO Training Program

Why Attend?

In these complex times it has never been more critical to safeguard your organization with the in-house expertise to develop and maintain proactive, sustainable structures that effectively manage funding, retain staff, and ensure legal compliance and ethical decision-making. Participants and their organizations will benefit from:

  • Up-to-date information, guidance, and analysis of the current political, regulatory, and legal environment provided by CSDC staff and instructors
  • Hands-on exercises with real world applications including the design of easily updated electronic financial planning tools that can immediately benefit your school
  • Expert feedback on your work and answers to your questions as you engage with the content
  • Engagement with colleagues from similar charter organizations and/or with similar backgrounds to facilitate the continued growth in your network of charter business professionals.

Redesigned for Your New Reality

We understand that school leaders are stretched for time and resources like never before. Starting in 2021, CBO has been redesigned to make even more efficient and effective use of participants’ time, as well as your school’s professional development budget. The program will be delivered over 14 weeks, in an innovative, 100% online format including:

  • A structured content and engagement calendar
  • Live and on-demand sessions facilitated by staff and instructors
  • Engagement with colleagues from similar charter organizations in regularly scheduled cohort labs
  • Hands-on exercise and projects completed during the training program that apply knowledge to common school business challenges and create tools and resources for use at your school
  • Up-to-date information, guidance, and analysis from CSDC staff and instructors
  • Feedback on work and answers to your questions
  • Additional, optional on-demand sessions for continued learning


CBO Training consists of a scaffolded series* of facilitated sessions that cover the topics most critical to those managing and/or overseeing the business of charter school organizations. CSDC is uniquely positioned to help program participants understand how charter school finance and operations are similar to—but often different from—traditional school system practices. Participants will complete the program with an extensive understanding of:

  • The California Context: How a charter organization fits into the state’s multi-agency, multi-layered public education landscape.
  • Funding Programs: Complex state and federal school funding programs and how to apply for, manage, comply with, and benefit from each.
  • Accountability: The shifting landscape of charter school accountability at the state and local level and how it effects the business side of your organization.
  • Budgeting and Financial Oversight: How to develop strategic and balanced budgets, long-term financial plans, cash flow projections, required state and federal plans, all while engaging key stakeholders.
  • Attendance Accounting: The complexities of attendance accounting at various types of educational organizations in order to effectively monitor and maximize school funding.
  • Accounting and Auditing: The specifics of charter school financial accounting including financial and compliance auditing.
  • Facilities: Charter facility options, challenges, and strategies.
  • Human Resources (H.R.): A review of the fundamentals of charter school labor relations and how to proactively avoid pitfalls including building and managing sustainable employee compensation and benefit packages that maximize value and encourage retention. Will also provide an overview of current law to ensure compliance at all stages of the employment relationship.
  • Risk Management: Claim trends in California charter schools and how to ensure a school has appropriate coverage and risk management policies, processes, and protocols in place.
  • Management Ethics: How to understand and negotiate the complex and shifting expectations regarding conflicts-of-interest, transparency, ethical decision-making, and legal compliance to keep your school and career on a straight, upward trajectory.

*Content may not be sequenced as listed above and additional content may be added, as necessary.

Who Attends

CSDC seeks applicants to the CBO program who are professionals with substantial fiscal and/or operational oversight responsibilities who are presently employed by or serving an active California charter school organization(s), district offices, or county offices of education. Principals or other academic leaders also participate in the program in order to effectively communicate with business staff and board members. We also encourage CBO Training Program alumnus to attend every two-three years to reengage with the dynamic content. CBO Training participants typically work in:

  • Financial Management: School Executives including Business, Financial Officers, Controllers, Director of Business Services, Finance Manager, Finance Board Chair
  • Operations: Chief Operating Officer, Director of Operations, Operations Manager
  • Administration: Includes both site-level (e.g., Principal, Site Leader) and central office administrators (e.g., Executive Director, CEO)
  • Other: Includes business, instructional, and support staff
NOTE: The program is designed for those currently employed by a charter school and is not designed for consultants, charter service providers or new charter developers in the petition-drafting phase. CSDC urges these audiences to attend our Annual Leadership Update Conference in the fall.


Tuition covers registration, materials, presentations and individual assistance with exercises:

  • Organizations with an active CSDC Membership $2,595 per participant*
  • Organizations without an active CSDC Membership $3,595 per participant
CSDC members receive a significant discount, but membership is not required of applicants. Most CBO Training program participants become CSDC Members to take advantage of the ongoing operational support CSDC provides to members including detailed analyses of the latest high-stakes fiscal, political, legal and regulatory developments and access to member—only webinars and resources. Learn more about CSDC Membership.

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Download our latest brochure to learn more about the CBO Training Program.

CBO Training Program Application

We are no longer accepting applications for the 2021 CBO Training Program. Prospective 2022 attendees are encouraged to join our CBO Training Mailing List, to receive relevant updates and announcements throughout the year.

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