Despite this school performing reasonably well and reaching its targets, some issues require immediate policy action. Firstly, the school will have a cut in funds, limiting the possibility of providing financial support to all of its projects. Additionally, there have been complaints about the staff not performing their duties in a diligent and professional manner, which is a serious quality concern. Hence, it is the responsibility of the school’s leadership to address these concerns immediately and communicate a policy change plan and implementation process. This paper will outline the discussed issues in detail and suggest steps to implement new processes in this school. First and foremost, due to the funding cuts, there is a need to enhance the transparency of the resource allocation. Additionally, the school’s management will have to find additional sources of funding to support the operations to ensure that the vital activities and projects have the financials needed to support them. Finally, the professionalism issue can be addressed by performing a needs assessment, reviewing the HR policies, and referring educators to the training and development programs.
Communicating the changes, their purpose, and the anticipated effect is an essential measure that helps engage the stakeholders and ensure their support. For this reason, this paper will detail each of the school’s issues and outline steps to improve the situation and communicate the plan to the stakeholder groups. The basis of the communication plan is to use the school’s resources, such as website, email, and boards, and to encourage the headmaster to establish a communication channel with the stakeholders both to talk about policy changes and to assess feedback. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to highlight the problems and offer policy solutions.
Recently, this school has been affected by the decision to cut funds, limiting the management’s opportunities regarding funding different projects and creating a shortage of resources, some of which are vital for the education process. Additionally, the school’s personnel has not been doing their job diligently, leading to complaints from the parents and students. Both of these problems need to be addressed immediately since insufficient funding will lead to the management having to restrict the use of resources, and new projects will have to be delayed. The purpose of this essay is to outline the policy directed at improving the school’s financial resource management and the educator’s professional qualities.
The policy in question will require the school’s management to prepare reports on budget allocation and funds management. Additionally, the training and development program for the educators will be launched to ensure that they are engaged in lifelong learning and that they improve their professional qualities on a constant basis. Finally, the school will adopt a new model of funding to gain access to more resources and ensure that its vital projects are funded adequately. Effective communication of the new policy is essential for providing the community members and stakeholders an understanding of the goals of these new developments and their anticipated impact.
Currently, this school faces three major problems: the quality of the staff, the allocation of funds, and the reduced budget for the following years. For the purpose of this analysis and to create an effective policy implementation plan, information will be evaluated and disseminated by using scholarly resources, such as research and opinion articles, and summarizing the findings while discussing how these can be applied to the context of this school. Additionally, upon the launch of the new policy, the stakeholders will be informed through newsletters and announcements made on the school’s website and boards.
The Every Student Success Act (ESSA) is legislation that targets the improvement of the state’s education system. For example, ESS “requires—for the first time—that all students in America be taught to high academic standards that will prepare them to succeed in college and careers” (U.S. Department of Education, n.d., para. 7). In relation to this school, it is essential to ensure that the reduction of the funding would not affect the quality of the education, including the resources the students receive and the facility’s ability to hire highly qualified professionals. Additionally, ESSA “maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time” (U.S. Department of Education, n.d., para. 9). Hence, under ESSA, the school’s management is required to ensure that the students perform well, and the leaders of low-performing schools have to be accountable and create policies to help students improve their performance.
Quality of Staff
Quality education demands for this school to hire and retain talented and experienced educators, as well as ensure their training and development. According to Gasva (2019), “for teachers, staff development enabled them to become more knowledgeable, confident, efficient, relevant in the face of rapid educational changes and fulfilled their desire for continual learning and professional growth” (p. 24). Thus, ensuring the quality of the teaching personnel through the improved HR practices is not only the demand of modern education but also the expectation of these teachers.
According to Gasva (2019), for-profit organizations have used employee training and development programs for a long time since they recognize the contribution that their personnel makes to the companies’ performance. However, education facilities’ leaders currently fail to recognize this practice and rarely emphasize the training and development programs. In this school, however, there is an urgent need to improve the educator’s skills and professional knowledge.
This policy suggests creating an annual needs assessment of the employees to determine the gaps in their knowledge, issues they face, and areas of the unknown where they need more training. Additionally, each educator will be required to participate in at least one training and development session each year as part of their contract. The school’s HR will also collect information from the teachers after they attend their training program to determine if the goals identified earlier were achieved. To communicate this policy to the staff and other stakeholders, the leaders of the school will have to hold a meeting, explaining the purpose and the design of this program, as well as its mandatory nature.
Transparency of Funds
Fund transparency is needed to establish trust between the stakeholders and the management of the school and to ensure accountability since any individual will be able to check how these resources are distributed and used. The Center on School Turnaround at WestEd (CST) (2019) argues that there are four elements of effective and transparent school funding policies: establishing priorities, layering resources, engaging resources beyond funding, and distributing resources equitably. According to Lamatenggo and Rosa (2020), involving parents in the discussion regarding fund allocations and ensuring that the principle maintains communication with the stakeholders continuously is the key to ensuring that the funds are not misused. Hence, this school will have to use an entirely different system of fund management, and more engagement from the student’s families and community members will be needed to ensure the fair use of these resources.
Transparency is an important factor of school management because “local leaders report that when stakeholders have a clearer understanding of the district’s full financial picture — including rising costs and obligations, such as pension contributions — they can provide more constructive, collaborative, and realistic recommendations” (CST, 2019, p. 20). Hence, information should be collected regarding the planned allocation of funds and their actual distribution, and the school should publish the report reflecting these figures annually on its website, which will be the primary mean of communicating this policy.
Another important change offered by this policy is the increase of the school’s funding, which will allow addressing the previously outlined changes and improving the overall quality of education. One strategy to increase school funding is through the layering of resources, which is a practice of adding another funding source in the case when the original one does not fully cover the costs of the program (CST, 2019). Layering can have three levels, the foundation layer, program-based layer, and individual-level layer. The idea behind the layering policy is that the school’s administration will evaluate the programs based on their contribution to the stakeholders: the students, their families, community members, and teachers, and prioritize the activities based on their benefits. The programs with the highest priorities will be funded first, and in case the school does not have enough resources from its foundation layer, it will use Layer 2 and Layer 3 to ensure that the top priority projects are completed.
Apart from increasing the funding, CST (2019) argues that schools must focus on maximizing their existing resources since increasing the funds is not always possible, but studies such as by Han et al. (2020) show that an increase in funding results in higher test scores while Cook (2020) argues that it leads to better exam performance. Hence, the stakeholders must be informed through email and board notices about the change in the school’s fund collection and allocation policy, and the leadership must collect information about the school’s top priority projects.
In summary, this paper addresses the current issues at the school and the policy change needed to address them and communicate the new procedures to the personal, students’ families, and community members. The school will have less funding due to cuts in the following years, which means that its leadership has to address the issue of transparency and find additional sources of funding. Next, the quality of the human resources at this school has been a matter of concern as well, which is a threat to the education process. Under the ESSA legislation, school management should work towards ensuring that their facilities help students, especially those student groups who have difficulty studying, in achieving success. Moreover, ESSA requires transparency and high-quality education, both of which are reflected in the policy outlined in this paper.
The discussed policy concerns the transparency of the school’s funds use, the quality of the human resources, and the collection of additional funding resources. The information used to justify these policies and create an implementation plan was collected from the four scholarly articles and the U.S. Department of Education’s website. The information collected for this policy paper suggests that this school is among many others that face the issue of reduced funding and have to search for other resources to support its projects. Moreover, research studies show that educators welcome training and development programs and perceive them as a necessary element of their work.
Based on the collected data, this policy paper suggests implementing a consistent reporting system, where the leadership of the school will reflect the targets of funding and the actual expenditures. This information will be communicated to the stakeholders through the school’s website. Additionally, the funding for the projects should be allocated by engaging the stakeholders and assessing their opinions regarding the importance of each activity.
Next, to ensure that the issue with the quality of the human resources is resolved, the school will have a policy of mandatory participation in a training and development activity for all teachers held once a year. The HR manager will be collecting information on teacher’s needs and creating a training and development plan, as well as conducting a post-assessment. Finally, to address the issue of funding, the management of the school should use the layering system, where the funds from different projects are combined to ensure that the vital activities are supported appropriately.
The Center on School Turnaround at WestEd. (2019). Resource allocation strategies to support the four domains for rapid school improvement. Web.
Cook, W. (2021). Does funding targeted at improving the management of schools increase school performance over the long term? Economics Letters, 204, 109871. Web.
Gasva, D. (2019). Teacher perceptions on indicators of school staff development effectiveness in the context of demands of the 21st century: In search for quality education. EAS Journal of Humanities and Cultural Studies, 1(1), 24-31.
Han, D., Kim, S., Park, H., & Sohn, H. (2021). Promoting student achievement in high school using school funding: Evidence from quantile regression discontinuity design. Asia Pacific Education Review, 22, 193–208. Web.
Lamatenggo, N., & Rosadi, A.A. (2020). Transparency of education financing management at high school in Gorontalo City. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 5(4), 679-691.
U.S. Department of Education. (n.d.). Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Web.