BeginDiscoverDesignDevelopResourcesXQ INSTITUTE
Module 11

Financial Model and Sustainability

How can a school make the most of its resources to keep the focus on students?

Yet school budgeting is also an area for innovation and even creativity.

The key is using resources wisely to prioritize what matters most: student learning, development, and opportunity.

What a school ultimately delivers to students depends to a great extent on how money is allocated. The budget is where the rubber meets the road. Rethinking high school takes boldness, imagination, and the freedom to put some conventional constraints aside, even in challenging times. By making the most of all available resources, allocating them wisely, and using dollars flexibly, a resourceful school can bring unique and sustainable programming to life for students, educators, and the whole community. A sound budget that truly prioritizes students is the foundation of an innovative school.

Questions to Explore and Discuss:

  1. What are your funding sources, and how flexible are they? If you’re redesigning an existing school, what can you learn from analyzing the current budget?
  2. How much budget autonomy does a school like yours typically have? How much flex money is usually available? Can you gain additional flexibility through waivers, contract exceptions, or the like?
  3. What are your one-time or early-stage start-up costs, and what are the long-term costs of sustaining your programming?
  4. What non-financial resources might you access to support your school and your students?
  5. Do you have the financial and fundraising expertise needed on your team? If not, where can you find it?