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The Lunacy of School Finance

I typically don’t write too much about my day job, but I want to share a typical example of the roadblocks we face in simply making a purchase because there are so many different pots of funding with varied strings attached to each pot of money.

Goal:  Purchase a school-wide subscription (grades 1-5) of a weekly printed nonfiction news magazine aligned with Common Core Standards to help our students with their nonfiction reading skills

Funding pot:  Title I funds (since we’re a Title I school)

What happened?  Title I office called to say the restrictions from last year were attached to this money.  This meant only about half the student body was now eligible.  I had to come up with the funding from somewhere else.  We split the purchase orders between Title I and Media funds.  Title I purchase order was approved, media was rejected stating I cannot purchase that with Media funds.  Why, I have no idea.

So now, I have to waste precious instructional time to find another funding source, plead my case with the media supervisor or cancel my part of the order completely.

All the money ultimately goes for the students.  What difference does it make?  Can’t we just put all of the money in a single pot?